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    

Rare! Antique Cast Iron Salesman Sample Kernerator Furnace Stove Match HolderVintage (large) No.12 Martin Stove & Range Co. Large Skillet W/fire Ring Vintage/antique Coleman Alcohol Marine Stove #348Vintage Aida No. 100 Brass Kerosene Stove Germany Primus Optimus Excellent! NrVintage,excellent Optimus No. 8r Small Gasolene Stove In Orig Box W DirectionsVintage Spark Cast Iron Salesman Sample Pot Belly Stove Grey Iron CastingVintage Motor Oil Bottle Carrier Rack For 8 Oil Bottles Metal With Stove HandleVintage Coleman 530 A47 Pocket Stove Wwii EraWood Burning Cook Stove - Beautiful Great Buy !!Vintage Coleman 530 Gi Stove (a-46) ExcellentPristine 1950's Wedgewood Gas StoveOld Spartan Soldier Stove Finial No ReserveVintage Style Wood Stove, Fits 18" American Girl Kitchen Furniture Factory 2nd!!Antique Cast Iron Wood Stove At No ReserveSmall Wood Stove-parlor, Cabin, Boat, RvVintage Coleman No. 0 Copper Filter Funnel For Lantern Lamp Iron Stove Heater1952 Vintage Chambers Model C Style 90 Super Deluxe Back Gas Stove & OvenVtg Grey Iron Casting Co Pot Belly Stove Spark Mt. Joy, Pa 75-15 & Attachment Vintage United States Stove Company Kerosene Space Heater Model Us89-pAntique Cast Iron Wood/cook Stove Plate Top Lid Burner Steampunk 9 1/2" CoverWedgewood Stove Antique **no ReserveJapanese Electric Heater, Stove For Furnace By Nonoda/ Gotoku/ Tea Ceremony 4466Vintage Coleman No. 530 Self Contained StoveRare 1884 Griswold " Griswold's Erie " Primitive Wood Stove Cast Iron Tea KettleMorning Stove Wood Cast Iron Parlor Pot Belly Vintage Room Heater Kitchen CookPretty Lady & Her Century Stove-gorgeous Big 1880s Victorian Trade CardVintage 1950 Griswold Commercial Stove Cast Iron CatalogueAntique All Brass Parlor Stove Finial Very Ornate Round Oak-wood-coal Spun BrassAntique Advertising Ringen Stove Company St Louis Match Safe Holder #3Vintage Corning Ware Stove Top Coffee Percolator # P-166 Wildflower CompleteRare Wagner Ware Sidney Cast Iron Waffle Iron Pan Vintage Antique 1925 Hot StoveAntique 1911 Cast Iron Wood/cook Stove Plate Top Lid Burner Steampunk 9" CoverVintage Antique Spring Handle Wood Stove Cast Iron Lid Lifter 7 1/2" "arctic"Vintage 1918 Patented Armstrong Enamelware Table Stove No. 8-bAntique Vintage Small Sheepherders Stove Central Gas Co Gardner Mass Cast IronMini Wood StoveGenuine Antique Crescent Antique Cast Iron Stove Salesman's Sample (circa 1908)Vintage 1940's Diamond Matches Cigar Tobacco Kitchen Stove Gas Oil Metal SignTilley Lamp Tilly Aladding Spares Most New Old Stock Taps Burner Stove Parts5 Antique Cast Iron Cook/wood Stove Lid Lifter Spring Handle Shaker Cranks GrillVintage Cast Iron Skillet Birmingham Stove And Range Antique Cast Iron Parlor Stove Top And Fancy FinialAntique Superior Stoves & Ranges Cast Iron Warming Shelf Antique Stove PartHuge Vintage Fisher Price Sink #918 Cooking Stove #919 Fun With Food Play DishesVintage Antique Set Of 4 Cast Iron Wood Stove Legs 10" Inches LongVintage Martin Stove & Range Co #5 Cast Iron Skillet Florence Alabama-heat RingVintage 1950 Wolverine Metal Childrens Toy Kitchen Range Stove Tin LithographVintage Wood Cook Stove Heater Lid Lifter W/ Spring Style HandleVintage Fisher Price Little People #729 909 Stove Double Sink Yellow LotMajestic Wood StoveVintage Griswold #203 3 Burner Cast Iron Stove Porcelain Knobs Skillet PanReduced $ Mini Queen Vintage Black Cast Iron Stove & Acces Salesman / Sample ToyShining Light Stove 1875 Early Trade CardVintage Gas StoveNice Clermont Stove Finial Trophy Old Stove Part Estate FindAntique Chambers Stove Cook Book C 1950 Cook With The Gas Turned OffVintage Martin Stove & Range Co #3 Cast Iron Skillet Florence Alabama-heat Ring1867 Antique Victorian Ornate Cast Iron Fireplace Stove Wall Mount Match HolderAntique Vintage Cast Iron Wood Stove Plate Cover Lid 6 1/2" Inches WideAntique Mason`s Challenge Paste Stove Polish Tin, Philadelphia Pa.