Here is a shot of my Van Wert Economy Anthratherm. The wall is only about five feet behind the burner so I had to angle it quite a bit to fit it into frame. Never noticed it before, but maybe it's time to repaint the cover!
Gonna reminisce a bit ... back around 1965 my folks bought the house I grew up and still live in, and it had an old hand-stoker that burned chestnut coal. There were pros and cons - I learned a bit about smithing by trial and error (pro - it was great for heating up chunks of steel), but mostly cons (the grate would snap in half every couple of years, and eventually could no longer be welded).
Balanced between a pro and con was that it had a large enough firebox so we could feed wood into it. My folks were scrimping and saving, and, after the grate blew out that last time, and for a year or two afterward we burned everything from broken-up pallets to logs we split up from the woods out back.
Some time around 1976 Dad (a carpenter by trade, but at loose ends at the time) arranged to raze a local residence. It was a family outing ... Mom, Dad, and all us kids swarmed over it for a couple of weeks to salvage the wood - great big beams, and the original log walls; it had started out as a log cabin - that he then sold to an individual building a log cabin.
The jewel in the crown was this Van Wert stoker, but it was a year or so later until we had enough money to get it installed, and it has been providing space heating and hot water ever since. Except for that intermission (and however long it had been out of service at the original owner's) this stoker has been running since the mid to late '50's ... Dad worked a couple of years for a local plumbing contractor, and recalled installing this very same stoker around the time of the 1955 flood.
It uses a Honeywell L8124A1007 'AquaStat' controller for main zone control in conjunction with an ancient water pump feeding five radiators placed throughout the 1800 square foot, two story house. Only one radiator is upstairs, but we found it (coupled with warm air rising up the stairway, and one small air louver into the middle bedroom) is enough to maintain a reasonable degree of comfort. A second thermostat/pump controller feeds water into another loop for the back room.
A five foot long x 2-1/2" auger feeds buck coal from a 55 gallon drum into the burner, and it uses an 8" exhaust duct into the original brick chimney.
I'd have to dig through the last couple of years worth of receipts to develop a baseline, but an off-the-hip estimate is it burns about 5 to 6 tons per year depending on how severe the winter turns out to be.
Hard to beat from a cost standpoint