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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Terry Marsh’s beautiful showcase of gas-pressure lanterns, lamps, stoves, irons, and heaters from the 1920s o… [read review or visit site]

Stoveburner.com

Stoveburner.com

A stunning collection of 162 images of stoveburners, those corroded cast iron elements that power stoves, broilers,… [read review or visit site]

Feeding America

Feeding America

This archive of 76 influential American cookbooks from the late 1700s to early 1900s, assembled by the Michigan St… [read review or visit site]

Tupper Diva

Tupper Diva

Kristian McManus’ fresh, airtight collection of Tupperware catalogs and related ephemera from the 1950s and 6… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique 1920's Fireless Stove Industrial Table Ornate Cast Iron Legs Original Rare Early Optimus 22 Double Burner Camp Stove Made In Sweden Doll House Miniature Antique Soft Metal 'ceramic' Parlor Stove, Germany OpensSuper Vintage 1960 / 70's Optimus 8r Sweden Camping Hiker Stove Cycling HuntingVintage Svea 123 Brass Camp Stove Back Pack Made In SwedenVintage Coleman 502 Camping Stove Antique Nickel Plated Parlor StoveRare Vintage 1953 Primus No.210 Sport Camp Picnic Stove In Tin Box Nice Cond. Antique French Edwardian Lc Brooks Brothers Camp Backpacking Portable StoveVintage Nos Coleman 425 Dual Burner Gas Stove With Rare Gold Tank 1948-53Discount Sale - Antique Technocrat Multifuel Stove, 40,000 Btu Corn Wood Pellets1901 Vintage Cast Iron Still Bank Save Your Money & Buy A Gas Stove Not PiggyVintage Primus No. 96 Camping Stove. Sweden. Neat Size. Vintage Coleman 530 Backpack Camping Stove B47 Post Wwii I BelieveVintage Coleman 502 Single Burner Camp Stove W/ Aluminum Cook ContainerVintage Sweden Optimus 8r Compact Camp Stove Pump Key Dial Extra Brass Tank CapC1900 Antique Vintage Cast Iron Toy Salesman Sample Doll Ruth Childs Stove Indiana Farm Find=barler's Ideal Oil Heater-cast Iron Base & Top-wood WheelsVintage Sigg Tourist Portable Cookware Kit Camp StoveVintage Coleman 502 Backpack Hunters Camping Gas Stove + Aluminum Cook Case UsaVintage 1944 Wwii Us Army Military Model 1942 Aladdin Camp Field Stove W/ WrenchVintage Coleman Stove Model 502 With Original Box + Cook Kit / Storage Pot, 19741965 Coleman 502 Single Burner Camp Camping Cook Stove Vintage Works Great!Vintage Swedish Optimus 111b Camp StoveVintage Wwii World War 2 Us Military M-1942 Mod Pw-1-45 Portable Field StoveVintage 14 Pcs Sigg Tourist Portable Cookware Kit W Heavy-duty Camp Cook StoveAntique Canvas Leather Stove Pipe Golf Club Bag W/2 Zipper Pouches, Metal BottomVintage Magic Heat Reclaimer 6" Pipe Wood-gas-oil Stove Heater Fan Blower Antique 1910 Porcelain Lion Double Copper Coil Gas Tankless Water HeaterVintage Coleman 502 Camp Stove And Heat Drum With BoxesVintage Coleman Single Burner Propane Stove, 5418-708Vintage Cast Iron Stove Childs Dollhouse Kitchen Miniature Toy Jupiter SampleNice Vintage Coleman Model 500a Single Burner Backpacking/camping StoveTwo Vintage Antique Stove Pipe Flue Cover W/ Glass Covers Horses, Hounds, ChildO'keefe/merritt 1950's White Refurbished StoveVintage 1945 Ww Ii Us Army Military Camping Stove By Cm Mfg Co - Nice! **nr** Rare Vintage Petromax No.220 Classic Camp Picnic Stove In Tin Box Nice Cond. Antique Cast Iron Wood Parlor Stove Top / Finial Vintage Round Oak Part DecorVintage Svea 123 Swedish Made Stove For Parts Or Restore (580)Vintage Stainless Steel 4 Cup Stove Top Coffee Percolator Maker PotRare Antique Quick Meal Iron - No. 7 - Ringen Stove Company - St. LouisAntique Royal Toy Stove Salesman Sample Complete Miniature Cast Iron CollectibleVintage Kenmore Gas StoveElmira Antique Stove/range 850-steAntique Ww2 Wwii Us Army Model 1942 1945 Aladdin Fold Up Personal Camp StoveSouthard Robertson Company, Water St. Ny, Polo Model Potbelly Cast Iron Stove.Vintage Phoebus No. 725 Austrian Camp Stove In CanRare Vintage Standard No.296 Classic Camp Picnic Stove In Tin Box Nice Cond. Vintage Chambers Stove Range Oven Timer Model C Working Timer! Vintage Revere Ware Copper Clad 5 Cup Coffee Pot Stove Top Percolator Glass-lqqkRound Oak Stove FinialVintage Coleman Two Burner Camping Stove Model 4fPlaymobil Vintage Victorian Dollhouse Furniture Kitchen Hutch Stove Sink LotVintage Kerosene Oil Heater Parlor Stove Fuel Tank Font BurnerAntique Tin Sign Waverly Cast Iron Stove Parts & Pipe Boston 1900s-1920sGood Antique Vintage Perfection No 525m Kerosene Oil Wick Heater Parlor StoveVintage Pyrex Glass 7759 B Flameware 9 Cup Stove Top Coffee Pot PercolatorColumbia City Indiana Civil War Token Harley & Linvill StoveVintage Bernz-o-matic Propane Gas Cook Stove Camping Hiking Single BurnerAntique Central Oil & Gas Stove Co. Sad Iron Heater

Recent News: Stoves

Source: Google News

Some antique toys tell a story
Winston-Salem Journal, September 11th

Q: I inherited an antique stove and would like to sell it. It's a standing, round stove, and I assume it's a wood-burning model. It's black with metal accents and is marked “Great Western Stove Co., Leavenworth, Omaha, Denver.” Where can I sell it, and...Read more

Antique children's toys tell long-forgotten stories
HeraldNet, September 11th

Q: I inherited an antique stove and would like to sell it. It's a standing, round stove, and I assume it's a wood-burning model. It's black with metal accents and is marked “Great Western Stove Co., Leavenworth, Omaha, Denver.” Where can I sell it, and...Read more

Dr. Tomato is ripe with ideas on life
Foster's Daily Democrat, September 1st

“The thing that kept us going was thinking about gathering around an antique stove in the evening, eating fresh-baked bread,” O'Connor said. “There was a lot of commitment between day one and that first fire. Sometimes we would look at each other and...Read more

Remembering life 75 years ago
Kokomo Perspective, August 31st

My brother often said, “If we lived like our parents, we'd be millionaires.” Although this is an exaggeration, he had a point. Our house was heated with wood from trees dad cut. Kerosene lamps provided light at night. A kerosene stove was used for cooking...Read more

Dreams come true in Rochester
SouthCoastToday.com, August 22nd

The kitchen is a sight to behold, with the highlight being a restored 1903 antique stove that is wired for wood and gas use. The kitchen island is one of a kind with actual granite counters and four horse saddles used as stools, getting your country on...Read more