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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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
Girdler House celebrates 130 years helping elderly womenWicked Local Beverly, July 25th
Every day, residents are given three home-cooked meals from two rotating chefs working out of a small kitchen area anchored by a huge antique stove. Rita Burke, one of the chefs and originally from Ireland, works alongside her daughter, Kelly, a senior...Read more
Crossfield library renovating Oliver HotelAirdrie Echo, July 21st
Filled with treasures, such as an old telegraph machine, an antique stove and furniture, and decades-old hotel records, the building offers twice the floor space and a third more storage as the existing library, located in Banta Park. After the initial...Read more
Ramona Singer Once Pulled A Knife Out Of Fear: What Happened?The Inquisitr, July 17th
I am standing next to the antique stove, preparing the salad, while my mother stands at the opposite counter near the sink. My father walks into the room and demands to know when dinner will be served. My mother tries to placate him, but the more...Read more
June storm clean-up just over for Hammonton man, 84Press of Atlantic City, July 9th
“He's an amazing man.” Watkins estimates he chopped 5½ cords of wood — a cord of wood measures at a standard 128 cubic feet. But it won't go to waste: He and his wife have a potbellied antique stove that will need fuel come winter. “We'll sit there...Read more
Good Samaritan inherits antique stoveLancasterOnline, January 2nd
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 Elizabeth II. “I used to call her 'your majesty' and she would chuckle at that,” said Glenn, a Columbia native...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