I have burned several older coal stoves over the years none had door gaskets Warm Mornings, Monkey Wards two lid cook stove (Atlanta), a small American cast pot belly, and an old Sears kitcken range. They were all controlled with a manual damper that was adjusted to control the burn rate.
I grew up with heat from soild fuel burners (grandfather, uncles & aunts, father and the old farmer whose land ajoined ours). These stoves and furnaces burned wood and coal, on all of the kitchen ranges when the sun set you could catch a periodic glimsp of the fire under the plates. In centeral CT on my uncles farm my aunt would open a small door on the side of the kitchen range on the fire box side and grill meat over the fire using a tool similar to what is used to cook over an open fire today. The farmer for years kept the kitchen range going all year that kitchen was some hot in July, I was told they finally purchased a small propane stove for summer operations. As a kid I never heard any of them discussing fine draft control.
All of the older stoves did a great job without high tech instrumentation, I guess I can see a requirement for instrumentation on auger fed machines where electronic controls are utilized.