Carl Johan Cronstedt

Carl Johan Cronstedt (25 April 1709 – 9 November 1779) was a Swedish architect, inventor, count, noble, civil servant, scientist and bibliophile.[1][2]

Carl Johan Cronstedt
Carl Cronstedt, C.J. Cronstedt's uncle
Born(1709-04-25)25 April 1709
Died9 November 1779 (1779-11-10) (aged 70)
OccupationArchitect, inventor
Known forSwedish architect
Spouse(s)Countess Eva Margareta Lagerberg
Parent(s)James Cronstedt (Olderman) / Margareta Beata Grundel


Cronstedt was the son of Jakob Cronstedt (Olderman) and Margareta Beata Grundel. He was born in 1709 in Stockholm, Sweden.[2] He married Countess Eva Margareta Lagerberg in 1744.[2]

Cronstedt became a pupil of Christopher Polhem in 1729 and in 1733 was his apprentice.[2] He studied civil engineering under Carl Hårleman and in 1743 became his successor as superintendent,[2] a post he held to 1767. He carried out work at the following:

  • Construction of the new Amiralitetskyrkan in Karlskrona in 1760.[2]
  • Involved in the construction of Drottningholmsteatern 1764 to 1765.[2]
  • various town plans and park designs, including the town plan for Kasko in 1765.[3]
  • drawings for Saint Olai Church in Liverpool, which opened in 1767.[2]



In the mid-eighteenth century Cronstedt, working together with Fabian Wrede, increased the efficiency of the wood-burning stove roughly eightfold with a new technology and invention.[1][4][5][6] Their 1767 redesign of the traditional wood-burning stove directed the smoke and heated gases through long flues that wound up and down inside the stove. The stove and its flues were built of special masonry bricks that captured, and then radiated, more heat from the burning process.[1][4][5][6] The new technology changed the pattern designs of large interior building space for residences and other public buildings.[1][4][5][6] It allowed more rooms to be heated with the same amount of firewood.[1][4][5][6] It had significant social and economical consequences throughout Sweden and later throughout Europe and America up into the twentieth century.[1][4][5][6] Cronstedt's invention had significant environmental significance as well because it saved forests from excess usage.[4]

Cronstedt showed how in a ceramic wood-burning stove much more heat could be captured through a heavily tiled system of five long internal flues.[1][4] The innovation of his masonry stove system captured the heat from only periodic burning of wood. It would then spread out that heat over a longer period for a fairly constant temperature.[1][4] Because of this it only needed to be lit in the mornings and in the evenings.[1][4] This type of residential (or interior space) heating system is referred to as a kakelugn (in English, a cocklestove) in Swedish.[1][4] It is a type of "contra-flow stove" which the Chinese have made into a Kang bed-stove.[1]

Books written

Cronstedt wrote and had published several books. Among these were,

  • 1767 - On a new installation of stoves for firewood saving.


  • Carl Johan Cronstedts fullerösamling, Byggmästaren 1942, n. 9, p. 115-116
  • Okänd fransk konstnär:Arkitekten Carl Johan Cronstedt, Nationalmusei årsbok 1946, n.s. v. 16, p. 112
  • Carl Johan och F.A.U.:Cronstedts samlingar på det gamla Fullerö, Nationalmusei årsbok 1942/1943, n.s. v. 12, p. [39]-105
  • Hofberg, Herman, Heurlin, Frithiof, Millqvist, Viktor, Rubenson, Olof, Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon, 1906 - a source now in public


  • Rollenhagen Tilly, Linnéa, Carl Johan Cronstedt. Arkitekt och organisatör, Balkong förlag 2017.
  • Rollenhagen Tilly, Linnéa, « Carl-Johan Cronstedt in Paris (1732-1735) : Education, Purchases and Contacts» in Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm, vol. 15, 2008, p. 101-108.
  • Rollenhagen Tilly, Linnéa, "Ur Carl Johan Cronstedts bibliotek. Fyra kopior av Antoine Desgodets opublicerade lektioner" in Konsthistorisktidskrift/Journal of Art History, vol. 80, 4/2011, p. 207-218.
  • Rollenhagen Tilly, Linnéa, « French Bridge Drawings in the Cronstedt Collection » in Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm, vol. 19, 2012, p. 137-144.
  • Rollenhagen Tilly, Linnéa, « Knowledge of architecture and building technologies in 18th century Sweden », in R. Carvais, A. Guillerme, V. Nègre and J. Sakarovitch Nuts & Bolts of Construction history, Picard, Paris 2012, vol. 1, p. 409-417 - 4th International congress on construction history Paris, July 3-7, 2012.



  • Quinn, Bradley et al., Scandinavian Style, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. 2003, ISBN 1-84091-325-8
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