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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Mountain Man Stoves brings the past back to life in Estes ParkEstes Park Trail-Gazette, May 13th
He belongs to the Antique Stove Association, which consists of about 50 restorers across the country. In 2013, the annual convention was held at the Stanley Hotel. The hotel has one of Zell's stoves as well, located on the lowest level of the main...Read more
How Paul Weertz helped stabilize the tiny Detroit neighborhood you almost ...Detroit Metro Times, May 12th
Everybody has an antique stove that they use. Everybody is all about creating durable existence that isn't based on disposability." And it isn't easy being a neighborhood householder in Detroit, a city that devotes so many resources to big-ticket...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
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
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
Half century later, antique stove still keeps cookingShelton Herald, May 19th
The photo of the stove from the GE advertisement in the April 1955 edition of Better Homes & Gardens. Some time ago I wrote a column about my stove. The headline read: “They don't build them like that anymore,” a direct quote from an appliance man who ...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 ...Read more