Adding an antique or vintage stove to a contemporary or period kitchen can transform the busiest room in your home into a working museum. Whether it’s a mammoth, Victorian, cast-iron range crowned with an ornamental splash back or a more modest, boxy, 21-inch O’Keefe & Merritt apartment stove from the 1940s, an antique or vintage stove makes a powerful design statement.
Most Victorian-era stoves were made from cast iron and designed to burn wood, coal, or both. Manufacturers generally sold regionally, so the brands are not as important from a collecting standpoint, as with stoves from, say, the 1930s and 1940s. What matters most to contemporary collectors of antique stoves is the level of ornamentation—in short, the more the merrier.
Pennsylvania-based manufacturer Floyd, Wells & Co. made a host of ranges under the Irving brand—the Irving, Grand Irving, Loyal Irving, Prize Irving, True Irving, Rose Irving, and on and on—as well as ranges with names like Justice, Fidelity, and Progress. Other manufacturers included Majestic Mfg. Co. of St. Louis and Pennsylvania’s Buckwalter Stove Co., whose New Adonis was a veritable kitchen altar.
Another type of antique Victorian stove that is perhaps more popular with collectors than kitchen ranges, simply because it is smaller and easier to move around, is the pot-belly stove, which was typically used for heat rather than cooking and is known variously as a cannon, globe, or egg stove.
The most utilitarian and unadorned of these stoves is generally only going to be worth anything at all if it is still functioning. More ornate pot bellies—with mica windows in the feed doors, matching foot rails, and deep decorative ribs—may be prized for their beauty alone.
At the beginning of the 20th century, stoves that also burned gas began to be more common. Steel slowly started to replace cast iron, and the most prized stoves were coated in white porcelain, to give the appliances a spotless and sanitary sheen. Simple configurations include perhaps four burners on the left with a small oven at chest height to the right. More complex arrangements increase the burner count to six and add a second oven and perhaps even a warmer.
The 1930s and 1940s were the glory decades for vintage stoves. This is the era when brands like Chambers, Dixie, Gaffers & Sattler, O’Keefe & Merritt, Roper, Tappan, and Wedgewoo...
One interesting sub-genre of stove collecting is the field of camping stoves. Today we associate camping stoves with the Coleman brand, and, indeed, Coleman has been a leader in this field since the 1920s. But other manufacturers were also producing fine portable stoves, including the Kampkook and Readykook from American Gas Machine Co., Clayton & Lambert, Primus, and the generically named Model 42A Senior from Wehrle.
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Historical society gets rare coal-burning stoveMorris Daily Herald, August 24th
The rare antique stove, a Royal Acorn No. 47, was donated by Jerry and Kathy Sidenstick of Diamond in memory of their daughter Geri Lynn, who died in 2011 from leukemia. “My father was a hard working man. He took the stove apart and cleaned it and had ...Read more
Actor Bret Harrison sells Hollywood bungalow for over the asking priceLos Angeles Times, August 21st
A Batchelder tile fireplace, an O'Keefe & Merritt antique stove and dark wood floors are among the interior details. French doors open to a brick-lined patio and a small expanse of grass. Adjacent to the house is a detached garage. Jory Burton of...Read more
Realty Check: What $600k Gets You in the Old NorthsideIndianapolis Monthly, August 18th
The current owners, Realtor Peg Tharp Atherton and husband Tom, finished the third-floor attic and turret, updated the master bath and kitchen (which already highlighted an antique stove and range reproduction), and added a custom wine cellar and wet bar...Read more
In the basement, a race against the clockBoston Globe, August 1st
My husband was expert at focusing on what we'd be able to do with trips to The Home Depot and lots of sweat equity: Rip off the floral wallpaper, replace the antique stove, and remove the brown refrigerator. I, however, looked around more discerningly, ...Read more
The 21st-Century Fire Lookout Tower Is a CameraOutside Magazine, July 31st
Inside the boarded-up cabin sits an old fridge, an antique stove, and a bed frame that hasn't been slept on for years. Hundreds of fire lookout stations similar to this one exist across the West in states like California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho...Read more
Good Samaritan inherits antique stoveLancasterOnline, January 2nd
The 1939 Chambers model B gas range that Mary Greenya left in her will for Kerry Glenn. prev. next. On a sweltering hot summer day, after mowing his elderly neighbor's small yard, Kerry Glenn would receive an ice cold glass of water from Queen...Read more
Mini-stove love affair: Infatuation began at Houston antique showMuskogee Daily Phoenix, October 20th
Bruce and Gerri Mumford are shown in their kitchen with the antique stove that started Bruce's love affair for collecting these miniature antiques. Posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 11:37 pm. Mini-stove love affair: Infatuation began at Houston antique...Read more
Antique stove aficionado Buck Froman works to keep history, Phoenix Pharmacy ...The Oregonian, March 28th
The refurbished antique stoves at Buck's Stove Palace are tucked away in a separate room, hidden from the main retail space by a thick curtain. The stoves are ornate, with figurines and other artistic details. Robert "Buck" Froman estimates he owns 600...Read more