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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If there's a fork in this road, take itThe Boston Globe, April 29th
IN THE KITCHEN It's hard to find a restaurant that boasts a fabulous raw bar, expert mixologists, an eclectic menu, and an upscale-urban-chic atmosphere. But Great Road Kitchen has all of those things, and much more. The place even has a tournament...Read more
Florida on a Tankful: Corn, cafe mean spring at Long & Scott FarmsBay News 9, April 22nd
Visitors place their order next to the antique stove and then have a seat on a tractor seat to enjoy sausage biscuits for breakfast and corn chowder for lunch, along with daily specials such as chicken pot pie. "You can tell it was made with a lot of...Read more
Old Stove Brewing Starts Pouring in Pike Place Market on SaturdayEater Seattle, April 13th
from the 30s, 40s, and 50s; a cast iron, nickel plated Kalamazoo stove (circa 1905) from the Kalamazoo Stove Company (1902-1952); antique stove handles for tap pulls; and a 25-foot mural depicting a 1905 barroom scene that doubles as an "I Spy" game...Read more
House of the Year 2016: A Refrigerator Magnate's Mansion WinsWall Street Journal, January 14th
The 1927 dishwasher is now a conversation piece They are looking for an antique stove. In the boiler room is a wooden McCray icebox that Mrs. Lowe plans to “upcycle” into a piece of furniture. Still, her favorite part of the house is the sweeping...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
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
Antique Wood Stove RestorationMother Earth News, August 24th
A rusty old wood burning cook stove awaits the restorer's magic. The first step is to make sure that the body is sound and the cast iron not cracked. BARRY DORDAHL. Slideshow. Content Tools. Print. Close X. Email · Comments. The antique wood stove and ...Read more
Antique's versatility conquers convenienceBoston Globe, March 15th
John Buscemi bakes scones in his Gold Medal Glenwood. Two burners are set over coals; four are gas-fired. He says heat is more evenly distributed in the coal oven than in modern ovens. (Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe). By Andrea Pyenson...Read more