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Chowhounders and Vintage Stoves?

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I was just curious how many chowhounders own vintage stoves? If you do, what do you like best or least about them and what kind do you have? I have an old Wedgewood 36" that looks like this and I love it:

http://www.vintagestoves.com/stove/au...

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  1. We have a very cool, and very functional, 1920s gas stove (with nickel plated gas supply pipes). It's gorgeous and works great as a stove. My only complaint is that it has a single, somewhat small oven space which is sometimes a pain around Thanksgiving. (Have alleviated the problem somewhat by getting a deep fryer for the turkey.)

    1. I have a gas Roper, I'm guessing it's from the 1950's, judging by bthe graphics on the clock (still functional, but i have it unplugged, because there's a crack in the glass that buzzes. It;s quite functional, tho unrestored. I keep an oven thermometer inside to check on temp. It has a gas-hewater on one side, instead of another oven, because it provided the heat in my kitchen...I've always been afraid to use it, tho...

      1 Reply
      1. re: galleygirl

        have you ever looked into what your Roper would be worth? i have a 1950's Roper double oven with 4 burners and timer. I have been thinking about selling it to a beter home. I don't use it. It is unrestored but in really good condition.

      2. hmmm, cool website. I think this is our stove.

        http://www.vintagestoves.com/stove/de...

        Didn't know it was "rare"--yikes! Funny thing, it was in the building when we moved in and the new owner of the building had told the maintance guy to haul all the stoves to the dump. The maintanence guy --being too lazy to load the stuff in his truck and haul it away--asked all the new tenants if they wanted a stove. I grabbed this one so we got it for free.

        Its not a bad stove but needs a new thermometer for the oven and probably a general overhaul. hmmm, I wonder how much the stove in the picture sold for?

        My first apartment had an amazing old stove about half the size of the giant kitchen. It had an oven, a griddle and storage bins for dry goods on the side. Everything worked perfectly. I think it was from the 40s or maybe even earlier. It was wonderful. I would have killed to take it when I moved but I was broke and couldn't afford a replacement. I often wonder what happened to it--I know it was worth a bunch but doubt that the landlord realized it. He probably hauled it out to a dump and replaced it with some crappy cheap stove. sigh.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jenn

          Check out the website for Antique Stove Heaven. They've been around the Los Angeles area for years fixing and restoring vintage stoves. We used to have an old O'Keefe & Merritt stove, and found a replacement clock there. They may be able to help you out with restoration and/or parts.

          1. re: CynD

            Does your clock go on top or is it set in? Our old O'Keefe & Merritt was in our house when we bought it. It has four holes on the top (two sets of two) and I suspect that a clock might have gone there. If that's the case, I'd love to get one. If not -- I wonder what those holes are for...

            1. re: Glencora

              Clock sounds reasonable to me. Also, some old stoves have little shelves/racks for range shakers. I think (like refrigerators came with things) that the shakers themselves came with the stove. So if the stove was white with red trim, so were the shakers.

          2. re: jenn

            I live in an authentic 40's tri-plex in the Los Angeles area, original tile, fixtures and cloth electrical wiring everywhere (which isn't always a good thing). This stove was here when I moved in, and I'm taking it with me when I go...I'll buy the cheapo landlord a replacement! When I first moved in the oven didn't work, the thermostat is this weird long wire at the top of the oven. My SO turned the oven on, stuck the thing in a glass of ice water and we heard an instant click....and the oven ignited. He thought it was stuck somehow. Anyway, the oven has worked great and keeps perfect temps ever since. You might try this trick on yours.

          3. I have a Roper from the 50s or so, but I miss my O'Keefe and Merritt. Had to leave it behind at the old house, but this one still works like a charm. Oven thermostat is perfectly calibrated.
            If I ever get a new range, I won't have anywhere to put my pots -- I'm so used to the storage area on the left side of the oven!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chowpatty

              I googled this site as my husband and I was given a 1948 one owner Roper stove. We love it . We have cleaned, and had the chrome refinished.
              Do you know how we could have the thermostat calibrated?
              I had rather have this one than a new range. I love the storage areaon the left side of the oven and the pilot burners keep my kitchen toasty warm in the winter months. thank you

            2. We have a red double-oven O'Keefe and Merritt. It looks like this stove.

              http://www.vintagestoves.com/stove/ok...

              And it usually works great except one of the ovens isn't working right now.

              1. hello, our 36 in. O'keefe and M is nearly identical to your Wedgewood, but in place of the left side storage there's a "grill-a-vator" broiler where the ring is just below the cook top, eliminating the kneel/stoop of the shared oven/broiler ring. The platform beneath the broiler raises/lowers with a lever, hence the name, you don't need to slide a broiler tray in and out. The big drawback is the pilot lights--they use a lot of gas and put out lots of heat, so we shut off the ones for the surface burners. Ours was restored but not refinished, and was by far the best range under $1k we could find; anything significantly better when we replace it will go for many times that. cheers

                2 Replies
                1. re: moto

                  I know what you mean about the pilots, this stove gives off so much heat and is right next to my fridge which doesn't help keep things cool with the heat we've had of late in So. Cal. But I still love it. How lucky to have the 'grill-a-vator'. I rarely use my broiler, (usually bbq or grill pan it) it's a long way down and I hate scrubbing the broiler pan!

                  1. re: moto

                    How did you shut off the surface burners' pilot lights? I've looked under the range top and don't see anything obvious. Thanks.

                  2. I don't have it--but the stove from the family home remains wonderful, in my mind. It was a Moffat (Canadian Brand, I think) electric stove, with a fablous double oven, side by side. The broiler worked a treat. But, my favourite part of the stove was the burner which was on an elevating/telescoping device. In other words you could lower the element into the stove and insert the stock pot that came with, thus the top of the pot was even with the stove top surface. I loved the whole thing. I have never seen another, cause if I did I would probably have to buy one.

                    1. I recently bought a house that was built in 1912 and in the basement was an antique stove that I need more info on. I'm guessing it is a gas stove because there is a gas can with tubing attached to it. It says Monogram on the front. The guy I bought the house from told me that it works and was fully functional when he removed it for a more modern appliance.
                      I need more help finding out what it is and how much it is worth. Any ideas?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sketchman

                        Sketchman, could you post a better description of this? My area of confusion centers around "gas can" - you mean a can as for liquid, or a pressure tank as for LP gas? If it's an antique stove using gaseous-type gas, it would have been fed from the gas company's gas main, typically with coal gas, and would require no receptacle or tank of any sort. If it used gasoline or kerosene, that could possibly be an old stove, but nothing like as old as the house. Those - especially the kerosene ones - were fairly common from the '30s into the early '50s.

                        I'm not current with any antique-appliance websites anymore, though I need to get back into that, but they do exist. What I'm going to do is start Googling for them, and you might do the same.

                      2. I have a Crown gas 1960's 42" range with 6 burners, 2 ovens, and 2 broilers. It is a lovely piece and I could not be prouder of it. I love the fact that it has almost all the modern conviences [lighted ovens & glass doors] and yet has vintage charm. I adore the 2 ovens because I can use a Hearthkit oven insert in one oven, and have the other one free.

                        1. I have this one -- I love it! It looks great in the kitchen in my Victorian house, and with two ovens and six burners it really cooks.
                          http://www.goodtimestove.com/kitchen_...

                          1. I grew up with a great vintage Chambers stove and always thought that when I had a home of my own, I'd go vintage.

                            These: http://www.antiquestoveheaven.com/sho...
                            We had the one in yellow... in yellow.

                            But when I did buy a house I went with a "nearly" pro GE and I couldn't be happier. The Chambers has a lot going for it, but the oven is tiny. The range top broiler is fabulous however. My GE is wonderful and I love the big oven and high BTUs.

                            1. The kitchen of our 1928 house in Nashville was given a period makeover, after we'd started acquiring ancient appliances. It began innocently enough with old electric mixers, grew through toasters and waffle irons, and became inevitable with our scoring a monitor-top Frigidaire and a Sears "Prosperity" gas range, both from the '30s. The range had been used hardly at all, but had been dismantled and stored practically from new, in a room with a whole lot of other stuff, by a wealthy but eccentric woman in the Chicago area. The couple who'd bought the house advertised the stove in Old House Journal, and crated and shipped it to us for about $400 total...or roughly $2/lb.! The oven never did get properly calibrated - any constant temperature under 300ยบ required propping the oven door open a bit - and it's only about 17" deep, so I had to find smaller pans and baking sheets, but I managed a 20+ lb. turkey one year that came out beautifully (though of course everything else had to be cooked stovetop!). The burners are also rather feeble; I could put a pot of water on for spaghetti, then go out shopping for sauce ingredients and be home before the pot boiled! Anyway, we couldn't bear to leave it or the fridge behind when we moved to Pasadena, so they're both out in the garage, along with all the other appliances, waiting for the resurrection of the Owen Museum of Culinary Power Tools.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Will Owen

                                Followup: I thought we were over our old-stoves thing, and for a pending (still a long way off) kitchen remodel I was going to get another gas cooktop and a new double wall oven... And then a friend from down the street asked if we'd like a '50s Wedgewood gas range, brand-new condition, hardly been used at all, four burners with a griddle up the middle. So I began to think about my remodel plans, and it occurred to me that I could use that range plus a single wall oven - have both a gas oven (plus broiler!) and electric, and save a bunch of money, all at once. Best part is I got the thing for $1000 - he just needed to get the thing out of his garage, and was happy to see it get a good home.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  Best story of the day--I'm glad it went to a good home!! I was so inspired, I stopped reading and went to polish my little 1962 Tappan stainless steel cooktop and built in wall oven.

                              2. This might go far beyond vintage into "antique" or "you're crazy" territory, but I am about ready to begin restoring both a 1920's coal-fired railroad dining car kitchen range and early 1900's enclosed charcoal burning grill/broiler unit out of a defunct hotel kitchen. As you can see they are a mess now and serving as junk storage space in a garage, but my idea is to eventually have a kitchen with a bit of the feeling of a turn-of-the-century (20th) restaurant or hotel commercial kitchen aesthetic. Both the range and the grill have similar aesthetic lines and construction of rivetted plate steel, and I suppose are quite rare. (how many rail dining cars still exist anymore?) Needless to say, both require a proper and safe chimney for use, and have limited usefulness during the warmer seasons, but the range has a built-in water jacket for hot water supply, and a fantastic vaulted-top oven which excels at roasting.
                                Obviously, such devices are not practical for everyone, (ie, hassles with proper installation and building codes) and a suitable range (vintage or modern gas) will be needed for use in Summer, but I hope it will be a very unique concept.

                                 
                                 
                                2 Replies
                                1. re: klieglight2

                                  I actually just posted over in this topic:
                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/356378

                                  I have a Gaffers & Sattler stove from the 1940's (we think it's from 1948 because I have a Sunset ad from 1949 in which the stove had "new" square burners -- ours are still round).

                                  I love the stove and we are on the lookout for the original S&P shakers that went with it. I would also love the original manual, if anyone has one.

                                  Some stove pix:
                                  http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2013/2...
                                  http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2005/2...
                                  http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2214/2...
                                  http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2342/2...

                                  1. re: spycygrl

                                    I'd love a chambers stove!

                                2. Dear davinagar,
                                  I realize the date on this post was 06, but I googled this site and you came up.
                                  My husband and I was given a 1948 Roper stove. We love it. We have cleaned, and had the chrome restored. All the burners work perfect, but the oven needs to be calabrated. Do you know where we should go. We had rather have this than a new one as we are restoreing our 1920 home. thanks for any reply. psalms24believer

                                   
                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: psalmsbeliever

                                    We bought a 1950 Roper from ebay. The stove looked super, but had horrible mechanical problems. My wife believes the previous owner really screwed up the thermostat and a lot more. What saved our stove was a retired serviceman that worked for our Gas Company. He connected us with the firm they used for all their antique stove valves and thermostats. J.E.S./ The Old Appliance Club - http://www.antiquestoves.com/toac/ind.... Hope it helps someone out there. Our stove will stay in our family forever. It works better than any new range we ever owned and it looks sensational. It's easy to clean too!

                                    1. re: Turnover

                                      My husband and I have a 1950's roper double oven in our basement and are thinking about selling it. it has 4 bruners and timer on top. It needs redone but its in good condition. Anyone know about what it is worth?

                                      1. re: emreker99

                                        It's probably going to depend partly on where you are. Here in Los Angeles County we have three or four major old-stove renovation places that can either restore your old range for bags of money or sell you a refurbished one for many more bags of money. Back in Nashville I've seen fine old Magic Chefs gathering dust with $1200 price tags, and even saw a magnificent Chambers (the Mercedes of home ranges) at the Nashville flea market for $800. Here it would've been at least five times that.

                                        Do a Google search for refurb/restoration shops, or check ads in Old House Journal, is the best advice I could give.

                                  2. For Sale:

                                    I have a Gaffers & Sattler stove from the 1950's or earlier. I'm still doing research on it. Any information will be helpful. Our Father passed away, and we would like to sell some of his items. I will clean it carefully, but we would like to sell as-is, and not sell S&P shakers separately. Any information on how to clean it properly will be helpful.

                                    Some stove pix:
                                    http://annkristin.fileave.com/ItemsFo...
                                    http://annkristin.fileave.com/ItemsFo...
                                    http://annkristin.fileave.com/ItemsFo...
                                    http://annkristin.fileave.com/ItemsFo...
                                    http://annkristin.fileave.com/ItemsFo...
                                    http://annkristin.fileave.com/ItemsFo...

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: annk

                                      Howdy!!
                                      I have a '30s model "A" Chambers gas range that I paid $50 for, on ebay, then drove 500 miles, to Kenosha, Wisc., in cold weather, to pick up. To those who are unfamiliar with it, Rachael Rae uses one on her cooking show, only hers is usually a red one, while mine is white. It weighs 450 pounds(this is OFFICIAL, by the way!!) and has three unique "daisy head" surface burners(each burner is actually four separate burners, which concentrates the heat in the center of a pot/pan, rather than in a ring, around the outside of it), which work very well, and heat very quickly, contrary to some comments I've seen before. In the r. rear corner is a unique, heavily insulated deep well, with thick, insulated top. This ""Thermocooker" has a variety of uses, since matching single, double and triple pots fit precisely into it. Mine came with the rare triple pots, in great shape. There is a much sought-after accessory called a "thermobaker" which can be lowered into the deepwell, and allows pies to be baked there, instead of heating up the entire oven.The griddle on the left of the top cooking surface has an adjustable heighth broiler beneath it, using the same oblong burner, and both the griddle and broiler can be used simultaniously. The oven is big enough to accomodate a twenty five pound turkey, and both it and the "thermocooker" deepwell, have unique inlet and exhaust dampers which allow them to be completely sealed, to entrap the heat, thus enabling a great reduction in gas usage(a twenty pound turkey can be cooked in three hours, with the gas only on for one hour).
                                      The range does not use fiberglass insulation, but more dense and efficient mineral wool, and lots of it, as it is the most heavily insulated range I've ever seen, and I've worked on ranges for almost fifty years.
                                      Each of the surface burner controls has a child resistant "lock" on it, and are levers, instead of knobs.
                                      The oven will maintain the temperature at which it is set, within a degree or two, all day long, confirmed by an electronic thermometer, and this in itself, sets it apart from ANY MODERN RANGE. Most modern ranges use an "average temperature" as a set point, which creates forty to fifty degree swings, in normal operation.
                                      A two piece hinged porcelain surface unit cover, folds down to cover the entire burners/griddle area, and allows the range top to be used as an uncluttered work surface.
                                      There is a small compartment on the right, next to the oven, which is sometimes thought to be a "warming oven", and can be used as such, but is actually a storage compartment allowing access to gas controls and connections
                                      Trust me, when I say; THEY DO NOT MAKE THEM LIKE THIS ANYMORE!!!, and no-one but Chambers ever really did.
                                      When I picked it up, none of the surface controls would move, making the seller believe that there was a problem. The only problem was that the range was being stored in an unheated garage, during 0 degree weather, which caused all the grease in the valves to solidify. Once warmed up, they worked fine. All I had to do was clean it up a little bit.
                                      My wife thought I was "CRAZY" but once she saw it in action, had to admit that it was "sorta cute", due to all the super features and it's compact, easy to clean-under design, as it sits on four legs, about six inches tall
                                      I'm planning to put it in my "MANSPACE", which is a workshop with other possibilities.
                                      Thanks for your time.

                                      1. re: paducahrider

                                        All you posts about the wonders of Chambers Ranges, especially those built in the 30's, were music to my ears!

                                        I am purchasing a Chambers Imperial Model No. 7961. Are you familiar with this one? I am told that the Imperials were their commercial ranges so I am hoping that means the BTU output on these are more powerful than the ones built for residential use. Do you know anything about this? I can find no literature on the BTU output of this model and no one seems to know. My mother-in-law had one exactly like Rachel Ray and I loved how it cooked. I especially loved the broiler/griddle and Thermowell. I've always dreamed of owning my own Chambers.

                                        I LOVE the looks of this wonderful range. I am presently cooking on a Thermadore Professional cooktop that came with my home. I am told it is approximately 35 or more years old. It has six 11 1/2" cast iron burners (I don't know the BTU's of these either) and a grill is situated next to one set of these burners. I never use the grill as it sets my smoke alarm off even with the overhead vent on full blast. I just use the space to move pots off of the stove burners or transferring food from the pot into a storage container, which has been a convenient use of this space. I have thoroughly enjoyed cooking on this unit for over 17 years but I personally hate the stainless steel look.

                                        My ONLY concern in purchasing this gem is that I often cook in 16 to 24 quart Calphalon Commercial Hard Anodized or All Clad LTD Hard Anodized pots, pans and stockpots and I also use Calphalon 14" skillets. Will the 9" burners on the Imperial be sufficient to evenly and adequately heat the pots and pans I cook in? Also, will it take a much longer time to cook a dish than it does now due to possibly lower BTU's than what I might currently have?

                                        I cooked on the Chambers over 25 years ago. My culinary skills are far greater now than they were then so I have no way to compare.

                                        There are three enamel storage boxes at the top of this range, situated above the back two burners and the well. So how does one vent the cooking smells from the cooktop and from the oven?

                                        I will be taking a road trip soon to deliver it to my home. I have wanted one for YEARS but am now concerned that the transition may be a great big one. I hope I am wrong but would love some insight if you or anyone else have some to share. This unit has two ovens and that they are smaller than most popular oven sizes today doesn't concern me. The superior baking more than makes up for the slight lack of capacity.
                                        I am also very excited about the griddle/broiler and Thermowell.

                                        Please educate me if you can. I need the information and the reassurance.

                                        Thanks!

                                        1. re: chamberslover

                                          Howdy!
                                          I haven't visited this site in a while and was pleased to see your comments and excited over your acquisition of a genuine Commercial Model Chambers Range.
                                          WOW!! That has to be a real find. I'm sorry I couldn't find one, but GLAD I wasn't the one who had to move it. I would guess that it weighs about 800 to 900 pounds.
                                          You have a lot of questions which I may not be the best person from whom to seek answers, but I'll try.
                                          First, I do not know the btu ratings of the top burners, but if they were used in a commercial application, I would tend to believe that they will be adequate.
                                          Frankly, I have found that the fears about the burner capacities are, for the most part, unfounded,
                                          One problem on older ranges is that, over the years, the orifices feeding the burners can partially close, due to impurities in the gas supply, rust, and even grease build up. If it seems that the top burners are a bit weak, I would have the orifices checked and cleaned, if needed, along with insuring that the proper gas pressure is being supplied to the range.
                                          Pertaining to the cooktop venting,; I can only remind you that commercial ranges are always situated under a vent hood (and commercial building codes define how big the hood must be and how much "make up" air must be supplied, adjacent to the range, to allow proper ventilation.
                                          The ovens on most Chambers Ranges are vented out the back of the range, so there should be special consideration given to the proximity to the wall and the materiqal of which it is composed. Early range ovens sometimes even had a vent, looking like a stovepipe, leading up the back, and venting outdoors, but I can't tell you if that is the case with yours.
                                          I don't know if you are aware of the "CHAMBERS RANGERS" website, but it is a go to site for Chambers afficianados.
                                          "Chambers Stove" is another site with excellent information and lots of links to other sites which should be able to offer you more accurate information than I have. It even has a picture of a range almost identical to your (its a model 7960).
                                          The ovens are definitely smaller but so unique in their capabilities that there is still nothing which will compare to them
                                          I believe you will find that any adjustments you will be forced to make will be minor compared to the unique experiences this ageless appliance will provide.
                                          Good luck!!
                                          Thanks for your time.

                                          1. re: paducahrider

                                            Hi There -

                                            For anyone that's interested, we have a 1930's vintage Magic Chef Series 1000 6 Burner stove for sale.

                                            It is in UNRESTORED condition - but actually in good shape. We just posted it on CL this week.

                                            These sell restored for 12-16K -asking 1K. Here is the link to the listing:

                                            http://newjersey.craigslist.org/app/1...

                                          2. re: chamberslover

                                            Chamberslover: I know your last post is well over a year old, but I was curious if you did indeed get the Chambers Imperial 7961? I just bought one about a month ago, and was wondering how your restoration was going, or if you bought it already restored?

                                            Thanks for your time!