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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Growing number of generations again living under one roofUtica Observer Dispatch, December 21st
The echoes of those large gatherings still resonate in this now quiet domain, from the array of black-and-white family photos adorning the walls, to the antique stove used to lovingly cook so many meals, to the wooden kitchen cabinets that the 74-year...Read more
Energy-efficient Valemount home nominated for awardThe Rocky Mountain Goat, December 17th
Modeled on an antique stove. The sun hitting the south facing windows also brings in a lot of warmth during the day. The windows are a net energy gain, meaning that over the course of a year, they bring in more energy than they lose. Because of the...Read more
Answer Man: Appraisers don't rate a fee on 'Pawn Stars'Belleville News Democrat, December 5th
So unless some local historian or restorer has a better idea, your best bet might be to keep scouring eBay or hunt the Internet for such sites as antique-stove.com and antiqueappliances.com (or a local machine shop) and see if they might be able to...Read more
Old wood cook stoves are still a drawBarre Montpelier Times Argus, December 1st
Wilber's business, called Once Upon A Time Antique Stove Shop, is devoted to the restoration and preservation of old stoves dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s. “This round Oak Stove came out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, last week. The guy brought...Read more
Old Wood Cook Stoves Are Still A Draw, For SomeVermont Public Radio, November 28th
Charm Crawford was one of the models made when wood stoves were the primary source of heat. This is one of the hundreds of wood cook stoves that Bill Wilber has restored in his West Glover shop. Steve Zind VPR. This "Glenwood" is from the early 1900s ...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. Melissa Binder | mbinder@oregonian...Read more
FOCUS: Inside Little Compton's Antique Stove HospitalFall River Herald News, December 14th
The Antique Stove Hospital had its first full-time doctor. Six years later, his youngest son retired from his middle-school classroom on Block Island, moved to East Providence and began his residency at the hospital. Brandon, 35, now commutes to his...Read more