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vintage stoves?

bolletje Jan 2, 2007 08:08 PM

Does anyone here have a vintage stove?
I'm thinking about saving up to buy a restored one from the 1920's or 30's that is raised off the floor on bowed legs. I think they are gorgeous and I love the thought of not having an area under the oven that is difficult to clean.
My main reservation is that the ovens look pretty small on these things.

So please, share your stories about antique and vintage stoves and ovens. I'd also appreciate any advice on acquiring one in the NYC area for a good price. TIA.

  1. o
    onesmartcookie44 Aug 26, 2013 09:04 PM

    Does anyone know anything about prosperity stoves sold by Sears?

    1 Reply
    1. re: onesmartcookie44
      k
      kaleokahu Aug 26, 2013 09:22 PM

      They're simple, small gas flip-top ranges with 4 burners and a gas oven. Enameled steel. Circa 1920 if I remember. This one's kinda pretty: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Appli...

      All anyone needs, really.

    2. y
      Yosemite Aug 10, 2013 08:22 PM

      I know this discussion is old but can't help myself as I just found it. I bought a house based on the fabulous 1932 Wedgewood Stove that came with it. I LOVE this stove. It is true the oven is narrow but it works fabulously as well as the beautiful broiler underneath. The four burners on top with a "modern" pilot light (I once had an older wedgewood with no pilot light and that was a problem) control heat perfectly. The smooth side section above the oven and next to the burners is great for putting down tops and utensils while cooking. This used to provide heating as well but that has been turned off now as it is set into an alcove. I replaced two mismatched handles with originals after I moved in and had a wedgewood expert come and reset the pilot lights. It clean beautifully although I recently left pot tops ontop of the enameled top and it seems to have left a permanent mark which distresses me a little. Oh well. I wouldn't change this for any other oven.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Yosemite
        k
        kaleokahu Aug 10, 2013 08:41 PM

        Hi, Yosemite:

        Really cool--I admire your priorities. Even better if there was a '32 Packard in the garage.

        There was a lady posted here about 2 years ago who bought her house based on it having its original and fully-functional cooking hearth.

        Can you post a photo so we can be as jealous as we should be?

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

      2. a
        ancientoaks Jan 1, 2013 12:27 PM

        I sure would keep a vintage over anything new today...in a heartbeat. especially a RED one!
        and they do have smaller ovens (but hey aren't families supposed to be getting smaller anyhow??). it's why I love my Chambers...I can my sides in the thermowell in my triple pots, plus anything else on top. I've even made herbed new potatoes in my in the top broiler...so versatile...everyone who comes into my kitchen is just amazed at how lovely my 'Madeline' is...
        go for VINTAGE!!

        1. rmarisco Jan 1, 2013 11:11 AM

          had one for 5 years - o'keefe and merritt from the 50's. it was given to me by our old landlady who considered it too heavy to remove to the dump. she was grateful that i took it! it was easy to restore and was beautiful. i miss it. i'd have another one in a new york minute if i could! the only real drawback was that the oven portion (cast iron) was kind of small, so i couldn't do a turkey AND sides at one time for thanksgiving (so the turkey was always on the BBQ which is better anyway..)

          1. fkhatibloo Dec 31, 2012 03:19 PM

            Love finding this thread!

            We are in escrow on a house that comes with a gorgeous red six burner Merritt & O'Keefe (photo attached).

            The thing was in fine working condition until a year ago, at which time the place was rented out. The renters brought their own modern stove, and moved the M&O into a shed, where it became home to some rodents. It's since been cleaned, but gas lines were chewed thru, and one of the lower broilers is in visibly bad shape.

            I am LOATHE to let this beauty go... I've called around to several local repair shops, but haven't heard back yet (holiday season and all that). Should we sink $3-4K to refurb this stove? Or should we sell it and bite the bullet on a modern one?

             
            1 Reply
            1. re: fkhatibloo
              Glencora Jan 1, 2013 10:34 AM

              That red is amazing! If I were you, I'd fix it. Mine cooks beautifully and adds character to the kitchen. I love being surrounded by objects that have a history. A new stove would be boring and wouldn't necessarily cook better, IMO.

            2. a
              ancientoaks Dec 31, 2012 10:33 AM

              there is NOTHING....NOTHING like a Chambers range. They are the ULTIMATE in eco friendly, efficiency and flexibility.
              If ya ain't read about 'em, or tried 'em PROPERLY, you can't knock 'em..I think the 90C, era 1949- 50's is my choice and the one I have because it combines ALL the features Mr. Chambers came up with over the years.
              The possibilities of this range are endless, and only ONLY because of cheap gas (in the late 60's and 70') higher incomes, etc etc, did they go out of favor. AND they were somewhat expensive, relatively in their day(ours was $366 in 1953)
              NO ONE else, except Chambers, had or ever has had the ability to cook with the gas OFF...and to the poster who said 'why would you want the turkey cooked until the meat fell off the bones' doesn't sound like a cook...! The term means TENDER AND MOIST...NOT 'overcooked'!! good grief..

              as for the oven being small, if you can cook a 20 lb turkey or four pies in the oven, what do you want? efficiency is what this range is all about.. and you can use the Thermowell for baking also, I made the most amazing chocolate cake in it. It bakes, it allows you to throw away your crock pot (makes oatmeal overnight on JUST the pilot light), makes your soup over several hours with JUST 10 minutes of live gas, and your potato soup will never have mushy potatoes no matter how long you leave it in the well..you can reheat bread or biscuits, you can thaw meat, you can deep fry, you can cook THREE things at the same time using the triple pots, or put three frozen things in the pots, turn the fire on for 15 mn, and walk away for a few hours and return to a complete meal. The broiler on the TOP of the range is fully enclosed, which means NO smoke, no splatter, it's a built in George Foreman grill...seriously...has a sizzle platter (removable for cleaning) that has ridges that funnel the grease to a grease well..talk about 'modern' and 'healthy'! Makes the best burgers, steak, chops and bacon you've ever eaten..it's topped with a griddle...that is no stick...but doesn't have any of those lovely chemicals in a coating that come off eventually and get in your food. This burner is fully adjustable as well, to broil on high or griddle pancakes on medium, eggs on low...
              You do NOT have to have any venting, as the oven vents thru the high back and allows you to put the range against the wall..
              The burners are so adjustable, from HIGH (you can boil water in about 3 minutes) to a barely perecptable low low.. the child SAFE knobs are ideally designed and are impossible to accidently turn on. NOT like my NEW fancy dancy gas range (over $1800) in my little rental house in town. I can turn THOSE burners on with my stomach accidently while cleaning the stovetop!
              As for cleaning, well..couldn't be easier unless you are lazy. the chrome top wipes up with a damp rag or paper towel. The griddle comes off and goes to the sink and is easily washed clean while warm, the sizzle platter the same. the burner pans are quickly removable if you've spilled something, but I just wipe em out while in place. The oven has a REMOVABLE cast iron bottom, that just cleans up like any pan..amazing!
              The ENTIRE stove is user repair friendly, as in simple folk like us can fix nearly everything on it should it go out (and almost never does) plus the parts are readily available, the tech help is out there and FREE for the asking, and the parts are not expensive..try and do that with a 'modern' 'super efficient '(what a joke that label is) range. I know, I've got both. and I'm a cook, a GOOD cook, and I can make a real breakfast, everything, on and in my range, in minutes, and it does DOES taste better.
              the oven is so efficient , as the other poster said, you can bake or roast with very little gas, and the meat is so much more moist, we did a leg of lamb for Christmas and honestly, I've never had one so good. And lamb is hard to roast without drying it out or overcooking. And these are multi fuel ranges, long before it was 'cool', as you don't need to change orifices, just adjust the stove one way for propane, the other for natural gas...they are built to LAST, they DO last, they are the only truly ENERGY EFFICIENT range out there, THEN OR NOW!,,,and they did all this decades before it was 'cool'.
              they are the perfect range for busy cooks, for TODAY'S women who work outside the home, just think about it, a built it crock pot? an oven that cooks for hours with the gas off? No tending the foods? a complete meal in the thermowell ready when you get home from work? not mushy like a crock pot?????? think about it.

              there is a reason the cookbook is called the 'idle hour cook book'..Chambers did some studying and they found out that their ranges because of the features, saved women between 1 1/2 - 3 hours of time EACH DAY...so....research, contact other owners, go look at a few (at restoration shops for demos), then find one reasonably on craigslist (like we did) before you ding these remarkable, fabulous, incredible cooking machines..if you do your homework, and you want something that REALLY works, that really lasts, and that helps you be a hero to your family, get a Chambers range...I wish I'd found mine years ago...

              1. u
                UmbertoJ Aug 7, 2011 06:09 AM

                I have a Moffat four leg gas stove circa 1920, in white enamal with blue trim......... four burners and a storage drawer. Oven and separate broiler all in working order. I love this oven works very well and the burners work very well

                1. b
                  bka Jun 6, 2011 06:37 AM

                  I love my small "Oriole" stove, and am looking around for interior grates to match the 15x17" stove space. I have a functional large "Sterling" four-legged gas stove with water-warmer & warming shelf sitting protected in my garage, looking for a home with a strong floor! Too large for my little place. I paid $500.00 for it, and the rennovated ones go for $2000.00 and up. East Coast, if anyone is interested, gray and white enamel. Hate to let it go to the auctions, but need the room, and happy with my apartment sized one.

                  1. b
                    bka Mar 18, 2011 12:20 PM

                    There's a very nice architechtural salvage place in Oneonta, NY called Archtiques - the guy's last name is Messina (and he's never seen La Strada) phone is 607 865 5776 and he can say what his inventory is - massive collection of doors, old fixtures, bathroom & kitchen - maybe he's on line.
                    and weather's nice for that 5 hour drive....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bka
                      n
                      natschultz Mar 20, 2011 01:32 AM

                      Ha! Weather's nice! Yeah, it's been in the 50's-60's the past few days, but the weather predicts snow tomorrow and ice on Thursday. It happens every year - my trees and plants start to bud out and boom - it freezes again.

                      There is also Historic Housparts, in Rochester, NY I believe. They have some great stuff too, but very expensive. There is a place in Barnegat, NJ that has great stuff too (can't recall the name). They have tons of sinks, tubs and a fantastic selection of old doors. It is nice there because it is near the water, so it's a cute town (Barnegat Bay) to visit. 1-2 hours from NYC in central-coastal Jersey.

                    2. I used to know how to cook... Mar 16, 2011 03:52 PM

                      Hi all,

                      I've been following this thread with a lot of interest. My stove is a 1948 Roper, oven on one side, broiler on the other. Staggered burners on top. It came with my house, which I bought ten or so years ago.

                      The oven is amazing - holds heat perfectly. Take a look at what Paducahrider says. He's correct. Local gas company serviceman told me the same thing. Broiler is excellent. Staggered burners give lots of work space on top. Plenty of BTU's too! I recall reading somewhere that the big front burners are 12,000, the back ones 9,000. And those little simmer burners in the middle are wonderful.

                      A couple of decades ago I had a similar O'Keefe & Merritt - the kind with the griddle in the middle and the shelf that turned into a cover for the burners. When I sold the house the lady who bought it was simply *in love* with that stove and I foolishly agreed to leave it. A decision I regretted for many years.

                      That said, I have my house on the market now (moving to Texas) and my Realtor (same one as before) is making "leave the stove" noises. This thread (and a whole heck of a lot of other research) have convinced me it would make absolutely no sense to repeat my mistake from last time. Okay, so it's gonna cost me a few hundred bucks to ship the thing to Texas. Beats all heck out of spending $7-8,000 for another one. Assuming I could find one at all!

                      So learn from my experience. If you have a wonderful old vintage gas range, don't let it go. They are simple to repair if something does go awry. Only thing I ever had to do for either one was an oven thermocouple.

                      Lucy

                       
                      7 Replies
                      1. re: I used to know how to cook...
                        n
                        natschultz Mar 17, 2011 11:05 AM

                        No - do not include the stove as part of the house. You CAN offer to include it for CASH to the buyers - at the current value of a similar stove in similar condition. That way you have the cash to replace it with another stove you like in your new home (there is a restorer in Texas).
                        Stoves are easy enough to find new to fit the space in the kitchen. You can either replace it before it goes on the market or tell the buyers that there is no stove - they can choose one of their choice.
                        Your realtor is an idiot - MOST people DO NOT want an antique stove - just check ebay - the vast majority of the antiques are listed by people who bought a house and are "gutting" the old kitchen. Do not let the buyers benefit or worse, DUMP, the stove!

                        Honestly, a few years ago some friends of my brother sold their old house with an old stove and refused to give (or sell) it to me because it wouldn't be "fair" to the new buyers. I don't know, but I'd be willing to bet the new buyers dumped that stove (it was in a very wealthy high-tax area).

                        People up the value of their homes with nice kitchens with new high-end Vikings and Wolfs all the time - those are a dime a dozen, an antique is NOT! Unless you live in a very up-market area it is just not worth it in today's economy - let the buyers buy their own stove.

                        Re-sale is why I am very hesitant to put my antique SINK in the new kitchen - you cannot sell a kitchen without a sink! And I'd have to replace the cabinet and counters in order to replace it with a new sink before it goes on the market (I'd NEVER leave the sink behind).

                        1. re: natschultz
                          I used to know how to cook... Mar 17, 2011 02:40 PM

                          Hi Natschultz,

                          Oh, I'm not including it. Not a chance. Will give the buyer a cash credit so they can buy their own stove. If they absolutely insist - as in they won't buy the joint without the stove - they can pay me a ton of money! Although the stove is an important part of the 'retro' kitchen style, my Realtor agrees with me.

                          The only restorer I've found in Texas is Macys Stoveworks in Houston. Doesn't appear they have a functional website. Do you know of others? I'll be about 90 miles north of Houston.

                          Yes, it would be very easy to put in darn near any stove. The stove wall has nothing else, no cabinets. Just those shelves.

                          As for new, especially the high-end stoves, you can have them. I haven't seen any that aren't all-over grates. Just not my dish of tea. Also don't want electronic ignition. Those things don't hold up at all well.

                          You mentioned your sink... Mine is a '50s metal cabinet base with porcelain drainboard/sink top. I had it restored. (Doesn't show in the picture - it's on the other side of the room.)

                          Lucy

                          1. re: I used to know how to cook...
                            n
                            natschultz Mar 17, 2011 07:07 PM

                            Did you have your sink re-enamelled? That did that cost? I'm really curious about that!

                            1. re: natschultz
                              I used to know how to cook... Mar 17, 2011 07:15 PM

                              Hi Nat,

                              No, I had it refinished with an epoxy. Professionally applied. It's not like an original porcelain finish but with reasonable care it has held up fine. I did have it redone after about five years.

                              He did the sink and drainboard and the entire base unit. Did an amazing job. There was rust showing through on the sink and cabinet. It looks just fine now.

                              Also had bathtubs and old subway tile around one done. A wonderful solution to the drearys. Certainly much better than the 'Well, it will be $5,000 just to rip out the old tub..." scenario.

                              Edited to add: Oops, sorry I didn't address your question about cost. As I recall it was maybe $300 to do the top and cabinet. When he came back to do just the top it was less.

                              Lucy

                              1. re: natschultz
                                I used to know how to cook... Mar 17, 2011 07:23 PM

                                Okay, I found a picture showing the sink. Here it is.

                                Lucy

                                 
                                1. re: I used to know how to cook...
                                  n
                                  natschultz Mar 20, 2011 01:24 AM

                                  Ooh! I LOVE the round pulls on the drawers! Very Atomic! I also love the built-in next to it. Where do you live? In California? I LOVE the arched windows that can be seen in the background of your stove pic. And that built-in china cabinet too!

                                  So, the epoxy was $300, or actually having it re-enamelled? Custom Ceramic in Illinois has a picture of a sink (just the sink, not the base) just like yours that they re-enamelled on their website. No prices listed, though.

                                  1. re: natschultz
                                    I used to know how to cook... Mar 20, 2011 04:52 PM

                                    Hi Nat,

                                    The total cost was $300. He spent more time draping off the surrounding areas and masking off the faucet, handles and drain than doing the actual spraying.

                                    Keep in mind, this is not the same as porcelain enamel. I'm fairly careful with it. I don't go dropping knives in point first, stuff like that. Cleaning is either Dawn dishwashing liquid on a gentle scrub sponge or a bit of Barkeeper's Friend.

                                    No, it's not as simple as having an indestructible porcelain sink but, for me, it sure beats having a sink that wouldn't match the kitchen.

                                    Lucy

                        2. n
                          natschultz Mar 12, 2011 11:42 PM

                          My restored 1952 Freedom Red Chambers Model-C 90 high-back just arrived. Yes, the oven is small - but it cooks with the gas turned off! We plan to get an extra moden electric oven when we remodel the kitchen. If you want an antique stove, let me WARN YOU NOW: It is not cheap!!! In fact, if I had known I would end up spending $8,000 I would have just ordered a fully refurbished one online (my favorite color is the powder blue, not red).

                          What happened was I found the PERFECT stove on ebay - the original paint was PERFECT except for one small rub/chip at the very bottom on the corner that you cannot even see, it was still working, and it had the triple pots and the Thermobaker and 3 round baking pans. The pots alone were worth at least $400, and the red, well priceless! So, it was in Brooklyn, NY, about an hour from my house. I thought it was destiny! The owner of the house wanted $750, I got it for $600. The PROBLEMS began when I had to have the stove disconnected from the gas - the house was sold as a tear-down (gorgeous old turn-of-the-century Victorian), and the stove had to be out within a week, and there was NO GAS SHUT-OFF in the house - it had to be turned off at the street and a shut-off installed! My original plan was to borrow a van or even hire a moving company to bring the stove to my house and I was going to clean it, have a local chrome shop re-chrome everything and ship all the cast iron out for new enamelling, then I was going to purchase all the new safety systems (required by code) and hire someone to install all the gas lines / safety system to code. Well, I called so many appliance shops and NOBODY would disconnect the gas line, and many of them even said "NO CHAMBERS!" I was up against a wall! There was a guy in Queens who supposedly repaired Chambers, but he didn't answer the phone for days. Finally, in desperation we hired the Stove Lady in Westchester and it cost $400 to have her guys come out, disconnect the stove, put a cap on the gas, and take the stove to her shop. She refused to give any ballpark figure for what a restoration would cost in advance (I was hoping $2,000-$4,000 just for mechanical).

                          Needless to say, what should have cost no more than $5,000 ended up way more, and it is NOT to my standards. We went with a "Partial Restoration" because a "Full Restoration" included new paint. I was SO INSISTENT that the ORIGINAL PAINT NOT BE TOUCHED!!! Anyone can paint a crappy stove red, but the most desirable thing about this stove was the nearly perfect finish - that little scrape on the corner is CHARACTER, in my opinion (The Stove Lady didn't think so). Now, when you pay someone over $6,000, there should be no rust in the bottom of the Thermowell, as far as I am concerned. But, she claims that if I wanted to get rid of the rust I would have had to pay her more than $7,000 for the "full restoration". Sorry, but even the crappiest restoration should include rust removal / repair. Now I have to do this myself. I am perfectly capable, but after all this, I'm pissed. So I told her (almost in tears) I was afraid to use the stove with the rust because it will only get worse and the bottom of the well will eventually rot away. She said "No it won't." HELLO? You "restore" old stoves and do not understand the first thing about rust on metal?!? So, then I said "None of your quotes mentioned anything about "rust", therefore I ASSUMED that it was covered in all levels of restoration." The three quotes she originally gave us were very confusing, the first being bare-bones ($3,000-$4,000), the second seemed to be everything but new paint - everything would be re-built and repaired to work as new, including re-chroming and re-enamelling (approx. $6,000 range), and the most expensive is "full restoration" - just like brand new, no blemishes (over $7,000). From everything the quotes read the only difference to me was that the "Full" would have removed all the aesthetic character.

                          So, since the stove was already in the shop and taken completely apart, she insisted that she have everything re-chromed and enamelled because otherwise I would have to take everything apart later and that is difficult. I agreed to the second quote because she refused to let me pick up all the parts and get them chromed / enamelled myself.

                          So, as far as I see it, I wasted at least $1,000 on an up-charge "service" fee on the chrome and enamel because she sent the parts out to her people. That's because there is no way, in my mind, that the actual mechanical "restoration" should have cost more than $3,000 since she was able to re-build my broiler box and light (she didn't replace them with parts from another stove), and she refused to replace or repair my Thermowell. The safety system costs about $150, and I can't imagine that installing it and making sure all the gas valves work should cost more than $2,000. And honestly, I did ask her if I could have a modern light kit installed to replace the original, since the old light bulbs are no longer made. I was willing to pay for it or even order it myself and give it to her, but she ended up just repairing the old light. Now when the bulb dies I'm going to have to do this myself. I have the stuff to the repair the rust (I used it on my old radiators), but still!

                          So, if you insist on an old stove, I suggest you order one "Fully Restored" online, or if you do find one locally that you like, make sure it is DISCONNECTED from the gas line, or else make sure the current owner is willing to have it disconnected BEFORE you buy it, because that way you can clean the stove yourself (paying for someone else's elbow grease is not worth the price), you can have the chrome parts re-chromed locally, and there are a few places online where you can send the burners and grates to be re-enamelled. After that you just need to buy a safety system and find an appliance repair person who is willing to get the stove up to code and working without any gas leaks. Then, and only then, will you get a nice antique Chambers stove for less than $5,000. And code will not allow you to just install an old one without the safety system. Of course the chrome and enamel is optional, but I must tell you the difference is night and day! And the original chrome on my stove was perfect - no chips - it was just dull; in fact the grates were still quite shiny considering their age, much better than any originals I'd seen before. The stove was very dirty, and as soon as they pulled it out from the wall I saw $$$ as I realized I'd be charged for a massive cleaning / de-greasing, something I never dreamed I would pay someone else to do.

                          Oh yeah, because I live in NY and it was restored in NY, the sales tax was over $600. So, next time I would not hesitate ordering from across the country and having it shipped, as there would be no tax and shipping costs not much more (actually, it would be cheaper because in total we ended up paying $700 in delivery charges round-trip). She actually wanted $500 to deliver the stove to the house, so we hired a mover for ~$300 (including tax and insurance).

                          BTW: If you do live in NY, the guy in Queens no longer restores Chambers (something about working for Rachel Ray), but he will do small repairs.

                          In total the stove I thought would be perfect for less than $5,000 actually ended up costing $8,000. That's $600 for the stove, $400 for pickup, over $6,700 for restoration (including tax), $350 for delivery (with tips).

                          I purchased the stove in mid-July. I got it last Wednesday. That's 8 months. Actually it was ready a month ago, but we were covered in snow. Then the movers showed up at the shop to pick it up two weeks ago (arranged in advance), and the Stove Lady was not there; finally when she showed up she still had yet to disconnect the stove from the gas, so the movers left and re-scheduled for the next week (Thankfully they did not charge for that).

                          Was it worth it? Honestly, I don't know yet - still waiting for the gas company to hook us up to the gas line! Then the plumber has to do the rest. That being said, no, not for the money! Much easier to order online!

                          I just won the last few Thermowell pots I need to complete the entire collection - Each under $100 (SCORE!) - on ebay. And the cookbooks, OH YES, you NEED the cookbooks! But there is a guy who makes high-quality copies and that's where I'm going to order mine.
                          http://www.chamberstoves.net/Literatu...

                          And no, if the house ever gets sold, the stove will NOT be included!
                          (don't get me started on my 10" deep double-bowl enameled cast iron Art Deco sink!)

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: natschultz
                            KansasKate Mar 14, 2011 08:28 AM

                            Nat, I would *love* to hear about and see your sink. New vs vintage sinks is one of my many dilemas.

                            1. re: KansasKate
                              k
                              kate in NH Mar 14, 2011 08:38 AM

                              KansasKate:

                              I do property management/maintenance for a living and collect antiques. The one thing that I'd caution you with vintage plumbing is that many sizes, styles and gauges have changed throughout the years. Presently I have vintage bath plumbing, but I have had to retrofit a lot of it and I realize there will be a point where replacement with newer may have to come.

                              The same with kitchen sinks, right now in one property I manage we are struggling to keep in place an old double-bowl porcelain sink that was installed over an old dry-sink. The problem is two-fold in that the faucets are now malfunctioning and due for replacement but finding the right gauge is going to be a challenge, to fit the holes of the sink and the width of the countertop of the present is not the same as standard today.

                              I guess that is part of the romance of making the old work, is the technical problem solving sometimes required to make something older work in a modern world. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

                              But at the end of the day, I encourage taking on the challenge, just for the sense of independence you get out of it at the end, but also that keeping things useful and out of the waste stream is always a commendable goal.

                              1. re: KansasKate
                                n
                                natschultz Mar 15, 2011 12:21 AM

                                I actually won the sink for $150 on ebay a few years ago! I LOVE old sinks, but all the ones at salvage places were either really shallow (a very common problem), in extremely bad shape (would HAVE to be re-enameled - EXPENSIVE), or the good ones cost a fortune.
                                The sink was on the Jersey Shore in an old beach house being remodeled. I live on Long Island, NY, so I thought that was pretty close. The trip there took 5 hours (traffic and getting lost) and 4 hours to get back home.

                                The sink weighs about 150-200 pounds! It was originally attached to the wall, but already removed when it was listed. It took up almost the whole length of the back seats in my Ford Taurus! There are a couple tiny chips in the enamel on the outside, but the inside is still in great condition, just a bit dull and only a little rust around the drains. It has a wide rim that goes all around the sides and front and up the middle separating the two bowls and into the back center where there are three holes for faucets. It has a high, deep back that is almost u-shaped, approx. 6-8" deep (from wall) on each side (halfway above each bowl), and 3-4" deep (from wall) above the center faucet niche. The outer rim and and the shape of the back (forming the faucet niche) are all beveled / angled, so it looks really Art Deco (not curved or straight like many sinks).

                                The sink is actually from 1951, but looks very 1920's. The benefit is that the bowls are deep (many 1920's sinks are only 3-4" deep = major splash-back); one is 14-15" deep, the other 7-8" deep. The sides are sloped, so the bottom of each sink is smaller than the top. Both drains are towards the back, rather than the center, which is good because plates and pots won't block the water flowing down. The whole sink measures 42" long and it is 25" deep (from the wall), and the back is about 7" high.

                                The sink has a nifty metal drainboard that clips onto the the side rim of one bowl and hooks over the center rim; it is interchangeable to go over either bowl since both bowls are the same size. It's kind of like a sink cover (I guess you would wash dishes in one sink and dry them over the other - makes sense since the sink stood all alone in many old kitchens without a nearby countertop). The guy even gave me the big old galvanized drain pipe that was underneath!

                                The sink does not have the old faucets though. You can actually get new reproductions made to fit old sinks. I think Kohler makes them. Kohler actually has a bunch of REALLY NICE old-style enamelled cast iron sinks; they look like the originals, but many have deep bowls - they are VERY expensive though (over $1,000).

                                I think I might get one of those faucets with the handles up high on each side of it (tall neck, retro handles), because it uses only one hole and then I can get a sprayer for the other hole, and maybe an instant hot water for the other. I'd be wary of getting antique faucets, because they get very corroded and the washers fall apart and they leak. In fact we have replaced all the old faucets / handles in our house because they just could not be fixed anymore. We do have an old toilet though that we cannot replace because modern toilets are a totally different size / shape and we'd have to destroy the original black and white pinwheel tiles (NEVER!). The pump in the tank was shot, and it wouldn't flush, but it turned out to be a "classsic" toilet made in the USA and the company still exists and manufactures here (but only modern toilets), and they still make parts for the old toilets because they were originally made to be repairable! I forgot the name of the manufacturer, but when I was researching it I found websites devoted to it and many plumbers who actually would never install any other toilet and took their toilets with them when they sold their houses!

                                If I install the sink in the kitchen I will probably build a custom cabinet to go under it, recessing the sides inside the rim so the drainboard can still be clipped on. It is very heavy and no modern cabinet could handle the weight. It can be attached to the wall (it has brackets), but I need the extra storage underneath, and although I could make a nice skirt out of vintage / retro fabric, I think it would get really annoying after a while, especially if the garbage can is under there.

                                I'm not sure if I should install it in the kitchen though, because I would never sell it (I actually designed my "Dream House" around the sink!), and then I'd have to replace it before the house goes on the market, and that would require replacing cabinets / counters too (expensive). Also, we are seriously considering buying vintage steel 1950's cabinets and the sink is definitely NOT Midcentury Modern! I think that might just be a bit TOO eclectic. The sink matches the original house, but we are putting the kitchen in an addition (turning the original galley into a butler's pantry / laundry room), and I installed Mid-Mod lighting and rugs to make the new seem "1950's / 60's new." It's not authentic Mid-Mod because the windows are traditional (to match the exterior cottage-style of the house). Also, I really like integrated stainless sink / countertops - very easy to keep clean, and very mid-mod. But they are very expensive too. So, I don't know.

                                So, as far as new vs. vintage, I'd say avoid the ones that really need to be re-enamelled. Those kits and guys who "swear" that they can paint old tubs and sinks to be just like new do NOT work! Especially in a kitchen sink that will get lots of use. You can get sinks re-enameled - there is a place in Illinois that does it - I think it's called Custom Ceramic, but I haven't priced it out. Re-enamelling means it actually goes into a kiln / furnace, not an in-house spray. You can have steel sprayed in your house (electrostatic or wet-paint? - similar to powder coating), but that is not on a surface that is actually coated in ceramic/glass enamel. I am interested in finding out what it costs, but I'm guessing that unless you live near an enamelling place that it would just be cheaper to buy one of the Kohler reproductions.

                                And, although they do look great, the 1920's shallow sinks really are not functional - you will NEED another deep sink in the kitchen. I've read lots of stories of people who love the look of their sink, but the first time they drained pasta in it they got burned. I guess it can be used as a really large prep sink - install the composter in it. Shallow sinks definitely will not hide a sink full of dirty pots and pans / dishes (which is why I was determined to have the deepest sink possible!). Well, there is one good use for a shallow sink - if you have a greehouse / potting shed!

                                Also, remember that they are heavy - so you will need 1-2 extra people to help carry it into the car / house. And you cannot store it outside - it will get rusty; mine is waiting in the shed.

                                1. re: natschultz
                                  b
                                  bka Mar 15, 2011 06:17 AM

                                  I got at auction a Sterling gas stove (perched on 4 legs, warmer shelf, grey & white) - then was told it was too heavy for the old floor it was to be installed on. Then found a wonderful little Oriole apartment sized stove, and am finally cooking on it. the enamel handles which turn on the gas (I opted not to have an ongoing pilot light, and light with matches - Ohio brand is best) are a bit stiff, but increase my mindfulness of each action, each color of the flame, each spent match. It is just right. Had also checked repro and reno sites, boggled at the prices of the rehabed oldies in both categories ($8000.00 etc). As for me, I love my shallow, high-back , slightly rust speckled old farmsink. Put on a very plain & serviceable hot & cold gizmo with soap dish - the faucet high enough so that large pots pass under, and swivels so I don't really need a sprayer. I pour my hot pasta water out very carefully, so have thus far experienced no trouble, and love the little just right crumb catcher that just fits the drain with no center stem. Simple rubbermaid seals nicely if I want to soak my dishes, and although I haven't used it (yet) there is a dishwasher, in case I should want to tuck things away. realized I wanted to live in another year (with invisible perks) - maybe 1875 or thereabouts.....the sound of the old clock I haven't quite synchronized to computer perfect is a lovely heartbeat in the kitchen, and the little time-out timezone, with all its little imperfections and flecked paint - the old cabinets co-existing with a new refridgerator..these little touchstones are a comfort to a modern person who craves a slower existence in the heart of the handbag.

                                  1. re: bka
                                    n
                                    natschultz Mar 16, 2011 07:51 AM

                                    If you have an old house I'd think the floor is even better than new floors, unless it's starting to rot. We have a few joists in the basement that I plan to sister up because they have some rot where they sit on the old foundation. The old joists span the entire width of the house - over 22 ft long - crossing over the center beam. Most old floors are 12" or 16" on center - today you must specify (we did 12" on center in the first floor addition). You can even just add bracing to handle any extra weight - block out between the joists using 2x's (to match the width of your joists) with joist hangers or hurricane straps. New lumber is crap compared to old lumber.

                                    Old clocks - I really want a Kit Kat clock in the kitchen! But Cuckoo Clocks? UGGH! We have an old Cuckoo Clock that my granparents brought over from Germany and a few years ago my mother found it and had it repaired. At first it was cool - cuckooing every hour and half hour, but eventually it started to drive ME CUCKOO and I had to stop it for good (easy - you had to pull the chains every few days to keep it going). But it looks good surrounded by black and white photos of my grandparents' weddings and childhoods.

                                    New fridge in old kitchen - I love mixing it up too! We're definitely getting a modern stainless fridge and dishwasher to go with the vintage cabinets and stove. I think it breaks it up and adds just the right amount of modern touch to keep it from looking "dated".

                                  2. re: natschultz
                                    KansasKate Mar 15, 2011 01:22 PM

                                    Wow, Nat, you got a great sink! I really like the 1 deep + 1 shallow configuration.

                                    Architectural salvage and antique fixture restoration is almost non-existant where I live, and even in Kansas City the options are limited. I would gladly drive 5 hours for the right old sink!

                                    I'm a preservationist, and when I'm not working on National Register projects, I'm (we're) preserving & restoring an 1884 Victorian townhouse. It's the 4th old house I've lived in. Over the years (decades) I've found that if I'm patient enough, I can eventually find what I want... though in some cases "eventually" turns into an eternity!

                                    1. re: KansasKate
                                      n
                                      natschultz Mar 16, 2011 07:17 AM

                                      Yeah, there are no salvage places near me either - NJ or Connecticut are closest - 2-3 hours away.
                                      Wow! You work for the National Register for Historic Preservation? That's AWESOME!

                                      I hate NY - they let anyone just tear down all the old great houses / buildings. In the past few years in the Village where I live a gorgeous old Craftsman and an amazing old Spanish/Mission Revival were torn down to build gignormous new houses :( The Craftsman was actually rebuilt to look exactly the same - just twice the size (they even re-installed all the original woodwork). But the old Spanish house was my favorite - it was already huge - 3 stories with wrought iron balconies and a tile roof. Now the new house is going up out of 2x4's and plywood - and it takes up almost the entire acre lot! I think the old neighbors are pissed - they all restored their old mansions. That area is on the lake and the old homes were originally giant old estates that have since been subdivided. The old house had really thick plaster and stucco walls - very energy efficient. But the new thing doesn't even fit the area.

                                      My house is an old Cape custom built by a local carpenter for his daughter in 1946. It has 1" thick plaster walls that keep it cool in summer and hold in the heat from the woodstove in winter. We recently put on an addition and they really screwed it up - they have absolutely no understanding about old houses or basic physics. I had to reframe the wall where the new second floor attaches to the old A-frame type roof and install a header with new collar-ties / ceiling joists to transfer the load from the original ridge beam / front roof rafters down to the foundation because they were like "You don't need a header - the old rafters are no longer needed!" Hello! They were holding up the entire front of the original roof!

                                      People complain about plaster walls (a REAL PAIN to repair), but I must say that the old house with almost no insulation is much more energy efficient than the new plywood sheathing / R15 insulation / drywall combo. In fact the old 1x12 shiplap sheathing was almost impossible to remove! And the best part about the old plaster - Soundproof! I insulated the ceiling in the addition with R30 and it's still not as quiet as the old part.

                                      We salvaged the old oak flooring from the old den (1950's addition) so the new kitchen / family room has a continuous floor, and we will be putting that in the old galley kitchen which will become a butler's pantry / laundry room. We had custom flooring milled from Sassafrass in Indiana because it was long-plank to match the rest of the house (oak, fir and heart pine). We chose Sassafrass because we lost our giant old Sassafrass tree last spring in a freak Nor'Easter. It only cost $3,000 for 1,100 sq.ft - and that included $1,000 shipping - even cheaper than Lumber Liquidators for short planks! I'm still installing the master bedroom floor in a giant pinwheel pattern (like classic 1940's bathroom tile) set on the diagonal that starts in the center of the room and radiates out in a 4-way herringbone pattern. It's taking forever!

                                      I have to finish the floor and install trim just so the inspector can close out the permit - so ANNOYING! We have to install cheap temporary trim according to code (as if wood trim will really stop a fire!), because the real trim will take forever to make. But, lumber prices have skyrocketed, so for now the real trim is on hold because the wood (clear pine, nothing special) for around the 6 ft door alone cost over $200!

                                      So, at the moment we are finishing up to close the permit and trying to find some nice vintage cabinets for the kitchen. We don't want to hook up the gas in the actual room until we know exactly where the stove is going, and for that we need the cabinets and fridge and dishwasher. Trying to fit an old kitchen into a new layout is really difficult!

                                      The one good thing about new houses - lots of outlets! I hate that there are so few outlets in the old part, and most of them are only 2-prong. I installed the absolute maximum number of outlets allowed by code - approx. every 6 feet - so that I can plug in my laptop wherever I sit and not have the cord be a trip hazard. We even had a new (additional) breaker box installed upstairs so that eventually we can re-wire the old bedrooms without having to run the wires down to the basement.

                                      1. re: natschultz
                                        k
                                        kate in NH Mar 16, 2011 08:51 AM

                                        Older kitchens always had built-ins, the concept of the box-pre-fab cabinet didn't really catch on until the 70's, outside of the old metal fit-ins popular in the fifties.

                                        You build your own cabinets that replicate most vintage construction by using plain board and lumber for the framing against the wall and bead-board for the face frames and the doors and use reproduction hardware for the drawer pulls and cabinet latches.

                                        Design/layout for kitchens for any style or size is never easy anyway, I can attest to that after over ten years in the trade as a remodeling contractor.

                                        Also, you can use spray-in foam or a combination of spray-in foam and blown in cellulose to get a really good R-value out of your wall, if you haven't demo'd to the studs, you can do blow-in, its easy to do yourself and pretty reasonable.

                                        Here in NH our minimum R-value allowed in R-21 for walls and R38 for ceilings and attic space. If you demo to the studs you can also do a combination of spray-in and blown in using the more expensive spray foam for air sealing and then the cellulose to fill the stud bay.

                                        The sound dampening and R-values are amazing. With spray foam in a 3" - 3 1/2" cavity you can get about an R-30 wall, with cellulose packed tight you can get a good R-21 or better and with a combination, you can again push toward your R-30.

                                        There's no reason to accept an R-15 wall and I wouldn't anywhere where winter heating fuel use is required.

                                        1. re: kate in NH
                                          n
                                          natschultz Mar 16, 2011 10:56 AM

                                          Yes, our current kitchen has built-ins. But we want to get vintage 1950's metal cabinets for the new kitchen. Those are really hard to make fit because you cannot alter them. I was considering making 1920's-style cabinets, but it's too much work, and the metal cabinets are so much fun.

                                          It's stupid, but R13 is the most common, and all that's required by code here (Long Island, NY). The irony is that we've had as much snow and freezing temps this year as my brother who lives in Killington, VT. We did R15 batts. I don't like fiberglass, but I am totally against styrofoam (toxic), and the "green" stuff is really expensive. We have old cellulose that was blown in back in the 1970's or 80's and the problem is that it settled and gets moldy if it gets damp. I'm replacing all the old icky stuff from the attic floor. Around here code doesn't even require insulating the attic, if you can believe it! I'm installing radiant barrier and then insulation in the rafters.

                                          You live in New Hampshire? I thought you were from Kansas! They have building codes up there now? What happened to Live Free or Die? Even Maine and Vermont are going all Big Brother now too - my brother just spent all last summer repairing a really rundown old farmhouse for some people and it was a total disaster and they ended up having to have a whole bunch of plumbing / electrical work done because apparently it is not legal to sell the house as it was (crazy - I'd rather buy a house that's not fixed up and do it right and spend less). Then my aunt in Maine was recently told by her insurance company that she had to install central heat in her timberframe house and she went nuts because it is a passive solar house with a woodstove; she wrote letters to the insurance board, the governor and her senators, and the insurance company finally agreed that the woodstove was enough.

                                          Do you have to have central heat in NH? Or is a woodstove enough?
                                          We wanted to install just a wood or gas stove in the addition, but that is not allowed here - we HAD to install central heat. UGGH! But at least each new room has it's own zone so we can leave those turned all the way down and not waste oil. But it is really cold in there - in the 40s! I want to put in a woodstove, but since there is no existing chimney it would require a permit and our insurance rates would probably skyrocket (the one in the living room is a Jotul insert, no permit required).

                                        2. re: natschultz
                                          KansasKate Mar 16, 2011 10:42 AM

                                          No, I don't work for the NPS. I work on nominations (research & paperwork), do workshops about the pros & cons of being listed, try to get people to do appropriate restoration work, etc.

                                          I hear you about the outlets. Our house was built before houses here were wired. At some point, the owners updated to electric lights and added outlets -- one or two per room. The pushbutton switches sparked whenever we used them. If we ran anything else while the microwave was on, a fuse blew. (Needless to say, one of the first things we did was re-wire.)

                                      2. re: natschultz
                                        wekick Apr 11, 2011 04:33 PM

                                        I wish I had a shallow sink like my grandmother had. It was not deep but wide and I'm short and the sink I have hurts my back. She kept a dish pan she pulled out to do the dishes. The porcelain on the sink included the sink and drain board and behind them as well.

                                  3. b
                                    bka Aug 24, 2010 11:25 AM

                                    I got a beautiful Sterling (gas cast-iron & enamel) stove that proved to be too heavy for the floor of the little house it was intended for. (Many people feel that a gas/wood combo is best for these uncertain times...) I bought it at an auction for $500.00. Takes 3 men to move it. To suit my floor got an apartment sized gas stove (an Oreo) - looking for racks for it now, and figuring out how to be inventive about its odd 13" x 15" interior size. Love it and look forward to cooking on it. Had investigated the very pricey repro stoves as well as the sites where refurbished/modernized stoves are sold for Big Bucks....now the wonderful Sterling sits in my garage, crowding the MGTD. I want to give her a good home. too Luddite to upload a photo but she is grey and white, beautifully bowlegged, was made in upstate NY where I am. I will sell her for $500.00 if you will transport her. Good luck all with the beauties from the past.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bka
                                      k
                                      kate in NH Dec 31, 2010 08:57 AM

                                      Its too bad you didn't shore up your floor to accept the load of your Sterling. If you still have the Sterling, I'd encourage you to consider contacting a reputable contractor to see about doing just that -- assuming your floor is accessible underneath and seeing that you are from a cold climate, I'd assume you have a cellar.

                                      I'm a remodeling contractor by trade and assessing the strength of floors for loads is just a part of the job. Assuming your kitchen is on the first floor over a cellar, more than likely adding some extra floor joists would do the trick. No need to get rid of your wood burner.

                                    2. j
                                      Jemon May 23, 2010 10:52 AM

                                      I love my 1953 40" Wedgewood like it is my child.

                                      1. s
                                        sjmadamson May 11, 2010 03:23 PM

                                        I have recently moved into a place with an old Royal Rose stove, but, alas, there are no racks in the oven. Anyone know a place that would be helpful in obtaining new ones?

                                        1. w
                                          wisteria3 Apr 22, 2010 12:59 PM

                                          Hello Folks - I've just acquired a late 1950s Chambers wall oven (bought a "new" house). The main oven works wonderfully (we've made turkeys and cookies in it!), but the bottom compartment is missing the heating element. Anyone know of someone in the Chicago area that might have parts and/or be able to fix it for me? Thanks!

                                          1. p
                                            paducahrider Jan 22, 2010 04:45 PM

                                            Hello Folks!
                                            I've watched this site for a while, as a bystander, but I feel I must put in my two cents worth, pertaining to old gas ranges in general, and Chambers, in particular.
                                            Some contributors state that newer ranges maintain more even oven temperatures than the old ones did. Frankly,if both the new and old are working properly, this just isn't so, never has been, never will be, and I can tell you why. I've worked on kitchen appliances for almost fifty years, was certified to do factory warranty work on more than two dozen brands of domestic and commercial equipment, and have seen just about every problem that has come down the pike. Almost all modern gas ranges have a type of oven gas thermostat which cycles the oven gas valve either "full ON" or "full OFF" , while many of the older ovens had a "modulating" gas thermostat which started out wide open, then gradually closed, as the oven got closer to the set temperature. It would finally reduce the flame size to the point that the temperature in the oven was maintained at the set temperature, with almost no perceptable temperature change, unless the oven door was opened. Whereupon, the thermostat would sense a drop in temperature, and "gradually" open the valve to raise the oven temperature back to the set temperature, then reduce the flame, "gradually" to maintain that temperature.
                                            A modern T'stat, is designed to keep the gas valve on "full" until it gets "nearly" to the set point, shut it "off", then "coast up" to a temperature that is an equal number of degrees "above" the set point. As an example: if the set point is 400 degrees, the thermostat will shut off the oven gas valve at about 380 degrees, then allow the oven temperature to "coast up" to 420 degrees, then not come back on again until it "coasted down" to about 380 degrees. This gives an AVERAGE temperature of 400 degrees but your NEW oven is almost never AT the set temperature, but is coasting past it, on the way up or down.
                                            When calibrating a newer thermostat, this "average temperature" is what a technician is trying to attain.
                                            On the other hand, I have a late 1930s Chambers, model "B" gas range, that , when set to 400 degrees, will maintain that 400 degrees, all day long, within 3 or 4 degrees, measured with an electronic thermometer.
                                            When the newer type of control was introduced in quantity,, in the late fifeties and early sixties, I was given the onerous task of trying to fend off the complaints of all the "blue haired ladies" who had a new gas range(that a well meaning younger relative bought for them).
                                            They were absolutely "spot on" with their complaints that the new oven just didn't "COOK" as well as the old one.
                                            To exemplify the problems with this almost universal, present method of oven control; imagine trying to cook on your SURFACE BURNERS, if they did not have that "modulating" feature, as all do. You would need to be constantly turning them "FULL ON" , then "FULL OFF", while you fried your chicken.
                                            In short, there ar many good things about the new appliances (AINT THEY PURTY?!!), but cooking better than a 1930 or 1940 oven just isn't one of them, and nothing short of going back to the more expensive "modulating" control will make it so.
                                            Thanks for your time.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: paducahrider
                                              toodie jane May 17, 2010 08:07 AM

                                              wow! great info! what Chowhound is all about.

                                              THANK YOU!

                                              1. re: toodie jane
                                                f
                                                foiegras Aug 26, 2013 09:31 PM

                                                Totally agree ... I am fascinated by this information!! And I must say, as the owner of an old house, find it completely believable.

                                              2. re: paducahrider
                                                v
                                                vintagesupply Oct 21, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                I am a restoration contractor by trade, save huge amounts of what other folks throw away. My first or second apartment had a 1930s Detroit Jewel as its kitchen appliance offering. The owner of the building told me to put it on the porch for Goodwill and she would send over a new stove. The new stove lived on the back porch until I moved away with the Detroit Jewel. I haven't had a stove newer than that decade since I upgraded to a red Chambers C four years ago. We own a derelict elementary school packed with architectural junk, old plumbing fixtures and vintage stoves.

                                                I would love to be in communication with paducahrider with all my questions about making old stoves have a continued life. The men that I work with have little patience in trouble shooting something that requires four men to move--they are much more inclined to give up on a vintage stove and throw it away because they don't know how to fix it. I was totally intrigued with the explanation of the modulating thermostat. Be in touch if you are still scanning this site. Thanks.

                                                1. re: paducahrider
                                                  s
                                                  stovelady Jun 5, 2011 09:27 PM

                                                  I totally agree with you.

                                                2. a
                                                  alievictoreia Jan 15, 2010 06:11 PM

                                                  I have a vintage stove that has the claw legs three burner with small oven and cooling shelf about 4.5 in height 2.5 width it is gas made by TheHome Stove company in the 1920s -1930s it does need cleaned other than that it is in working condition 500.00 neg. If you would like a picture send me a e-mail & I will e-mail you one or call me and I will text you some pictures 317-724-9571 Iam located in indianapolis indiana Thank you

                                                  1. d
                                                    donna6041 Nov 29, 2009 02:26 PM

                                                    I have an old Chambers Model A stove.....I'm trying to sell it. It works and is in pretty good condition. It came with my apt. when I got it. It seems to have all of its parts. I can forward pictures if anymore is interested. The stove is in Bronxville NY. You can email me at dronan920@gmail.com

                                                    1. cassoulady Oct 13, 2009 08:44 AM

                                                      this is not a pic of my stove but I just did a search online and found this pic-I have basically the same one, a Garland from the 60s. I love it. nothing boils water faster and the salamander is amazing. It will never have that gleaming stainless look, but I think it has so much more character.

                                                       
                                                      1. s
                                                        spicemistress Jul 27, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                        We have a vintage Hardwick stove in our basement and we
                                                        would like to sell it. Do you know where we can get it
                                                        appraised before we attempt to sell it? We live in NJ about 18 miles from NYC.

                                                        Many thanks!

                                                         
                                                        1. e
                                                          ellnn1 Jun 4, 2009 07:19 AM

                                                          Hi Chowhounders. I have a vintage stove dillema that I need to resolve asap. There's Royal Rose 36" from the 50s (4 burners, w/ proper oven & storage sides) that resides in an apartment my parents are renovating. It's been in the place since at least '55 and has basically never been used (i.e.: in perfect condition). I would love to move it into my place but it's the wrong size, & I live in a rental so no renovation lies in my immediate future.
                                                          My question is this: Would it be ridiculous to put in storage for a year or two? We're in all here in NYC, but I suppose I could search out a storage place slighty upstate for a cheaper rate. Or, should I sell this one & just hope that another comes my way at a good price when I have the space & means? I have no sense of how hard these are to find vs. their cost vs. cost of storage. Any advice would be great.

                                                          Also: someone gave me a tip on Kaufman Studios in LIC.. a place that buys such appliances for movie props, etc. If anyone here has heard of or used them, word on that would be appreciated as well. Thanks!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ellnn1
                                                            Will Owen May 12, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                            Last year I bought a fine '50s Wedgewood from a man who lives down the block. He'd bought it fifteen years before and had it sitting in the tiny garage of the tiny house he owns, waiting until he could move to somewhere larger... but then he went and fell in love with someone and moved into HIS house, which is also tiny! So he asked me if I'd pay $1500 for it, which is dirt cheap - it's in almost-new condition. Now, our kitchen remodel, when we intend to tear out the built-ins and relocate the cooking and pantry areas, is at least five years away, but this range is as close to perfect as it could be (short of being a Chambers!), and THEY AREN'T MAKING THESE ANYMORE. So it's covered and dry in our garage - hey, this is California, so the cars don't go in there anyway! - until we're ready for it.

                                                            For the record, our first vintage range, an early '30s Sears Prosperity side-oven, had been in storage in a Chicago attic since it was new. Aside from the corroded pilot tubes (they'd been wrapped in newsprint, which has a high acid content) it was in perfect condition, and is still ready to go whenever we might want to hook it up.

                                                            Not a direct answer to your question, and a year late, but what it comes down to is if you have a good and rare piece you're better off hanging onto it if you can.

                                                          2. toodie jane Apr 23, 2009 11:11 AM

                                                            Since this thread has had varying replies, I'll add my 2 cents:

                                                            There is a vintage stove restorer in Ventura, CA. Just saw an add in the Santa Barbara Independant.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: toodie jane
                                                              p
                                                              paprkutr Apr 26, 2009 06:19 PM

                                                              Do you happen to know the name of the store? TIA

                                                              1. re: paprkutr
                                                                g
                                                                glc Apr 26, 2009 10:07 PM

                                                                It's called the Antique Stove Shop. It's on Laurel St. in Ventura.
                                                                805-641-9227 I have a 1955 40" Gaffers and Sattler that is the original stove that came with my house I bought in 1986. I love it and am going to have them restore it sometime in the future. Hope this helps.

                                                            2. k
                                                              kate in NH Apr 11, 2009 08:46 PM

                                                              I've just got up and running a 1959 Lady Kenmore gas stove, it has the rotisserie, four burners and a griddle. Of the four burners, one is a thermostatic burner, another has a larger footprint for large pots. I love the flame that is finer, easier to adjust and far more efficient than the 1980's Tappan stove that I happily took to the scrap yard. Also, the thickness of the metal and the porcelain finish is fantastic and everything comes apart for easy cleaning (unlike the modern stoves I've used).

                                                              My only gripe at this point is finding parts. I found another person that was advertising one nearly the same age on a buy/sell list serve, I sent a parts list, we agreed on a price and they gradually parted their stove out for me. I'm still going to have to ask them for other parts now that I've got mine running, such a thermocoupler for the oven pilot.

                                                              Overall I'm very happy. Especially considering I got mine for free -- salvaged from an old abandoned house that a realtor had just purchased, I was estimating for doing some remodeling work. She said to me, "By the way, do you know someone who can get rid of these old appliances?" and there sat that Kenmore, calling my name. Of course I arranged for the removal of the appliances, gladly. The junkman got the not so old fridge and got the vintage stove.

                                                              So, all in all, so far I've got about $200 invested in parts and help from a local appliance man to get her all lit up and finally running after I cleaned her up thoroughly and inventoried needed parts.

                                                              Call around in your area before going hog-wild with these advertisers online when looking for a stove or when looking for someone to repair one you might have or find. Most older appliance repair men will have some familiarity with the older stoves and some (like the guy I hired) might even be tickled to find someone interested in one.

                                                              I've seen many neat stoves advertised on Ebay and Craigslist. I'm from the Boston area which seems a pretty dry area for old stoves, seems more interesting stoves are in the west and the midwest.

                                                              Anyone know of an old 50's era kenmore, please post here.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: kate in NH
                                                                a
                                                                adamshoe Apr 23, 2009 05:00 PM

                                                                Hey k in NH.... just found a great website last week when my 1959 GE electric oven died. They STILL sell the element (or the equivalent) that i needed. I'm sure they'd be a great resource for you. www.appliancepartspros.com adam

                                                                1. re: adamshoe
                                                                  k
                                                                  kate in NH Nov 17, 2009 08:59 PM

                                                                  Thanks Adam for your suggestions. I've just about got everything perfect with mine, I'm going to have to install a dedicated circuit to run the small secondary oven that is electric and also has the rotisserie, no biggie and I've narrowed down the oven problems to the thermostat which thankfully, I have a secondary one on hand.

                                                                  Without the help of the local guy I found, I don't think I would have had it together. He was patient enough with me to answer my questions, look at parts as I brought them in, test them out and steer me in the right direction and his advice has always been right on.

                                                                  Most importantly is that I'm not made of money so he was fair with me and for my hard work and efforts I have a pretty nifty stove.

                                                                  It also has a "thermostatic burner" which works perfectly as well -- a Robert Shaw invention that will actually monitor and control the flame to the temp that you preset. Pretty cool, it will adjust so things don't scorch or over boil. I just have to get the thermostat in and running or my a** is grass for this T-Day -- my daughters are coming up to cook and they have stated they want the stove working or else!

                                                                  1. re: kate in NH
                                                                    m
                                                                    mlooska Jun 22, 2010 09:58 PM

                                                                    Hello kate in NH. I think I have the same stove as you. It was purchased in 1960 (I have the owners manual). It is 36", has 4 burners, griddle in the middle w/bacon well, also a rotisserie attachment for the middle. I also have another attachment for the middle for "flame broiling". The top right front burner is called a "burner with a brain" and has a knob with "degrees" on it. There is a large oven on the right, and on the left, when you open the door, there is a glass door, oval on top, with an electric oven in there. Also has a clock, timer, and a florescent light. Everything works, although the pilots are all weak and I have to light them, including the oven, with a match. I haven't tried the clock or timer. Best of all, I was given this stove almost 25 yrs ago by a lady who was renovating her kitchen. I think roper actually made the stove. Let me know and I wil post a picture, I love this stove, it is the focal point of the kitchen and a real conversation piece.

                                                                    1. re: mlooska
                                                                      k
                                                                      kate in NH Dec 31, 2010 08:47 AM

                                                                      Mlosska! I don't know if you'll get this message, but for others out there as well .. I still am using my stove and I love it everyday! I love to show it off as well so if anyone wants pics I'm game. Mlooska, you look like you have more gadgets than I do, if you would be willing to make a copy of the owner's manual, I'd pay you for your time and postage because I've been looking everywhere for a manual. As for everyone else's comments about the gas burners in older stoves -- the heat generation and quality of flame of the burners on this stove far exceed anything I've ever cooked on. Also, the "burner with a brain" feature is awesome for sauteing while multi-tasking. I also love the rotisserie which I've used; awesome for small game and whole chicken!

                                                                      I wouldn't give up my Kenmore for anything!

                                                                      1. re: kate in NH
                                                                        m
                                                                        mlooska Dec 2, 2012 09:38 PM

                                                                        Hi kate I just found your mesage although almost a year later ! I had someone from the local Gas Co come out & adjust the flame on the pilot lights. I use my stove every day & would not trade it for anything. I would be glad to send you a copy of the owner's manual. I've uploaded a few pics (hopefully they came through) of my stove. You can contact me @ mlooska@yahoo.com.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                              2. s
                                                                spycygrl Apr 10, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                                I just moved into a house with a gorgeous 1940's Gaffers & Sattler stove (I think it's probably circa 1948).
                                                                You can see a pic of it here:
                                                                http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2013/2390113531_6c2d5b3450_o.jpg

                                                                So far, I'm really enjoying cooking on it, but had to be walked through how to turn on the oven! Apparently, it had a "Cook-O-Matic" clock on it that had to be set to "Manual" in order for the oven to work. Apparently, you could set the clock on "Automatic" and have it turn on and off automatically (like a "timed" cook). I found an old Sunset magazine ad on eBay (which I purchased) which says essentially that.
                                                                Here's a closeup of the clock, if you're so inclined:
                                                                http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2342/2390945900_30486a25bb_o.jpg
                                                                And the ad:
                                                                http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/Jadecloud...

                                                                Wish I could find the missing S&P shakers for this guy or even a reprint of the manual! I did make sure my fancy roasting pan would fit in the oven for Thanksgiving and it only fits if you remove the oven rack! Yeesh.

                                                                Round pizza pans and pizza stones do not fit and we had to give those to Goodwill.I did bake brownies the other nite and felt like the temperature was pretty "right on," honestly.

                                                                My only question is about the care of the porcelain finish. What should I be cleaning that with? My landlord said to use Windex, but since that has ammonia in it, is that too harsh? There is some very old staining in a few places that I imagine are there for good (unless we get it refinished), but would love to know just for daily stains, what to use.
                                                                THOUGHTS???

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: spycygrl
                                                                  pikawicca Apr 10, 2008 04:43 PM

                                                                  A friend of mine has a vintage stove, and when the oven is on, the top of the stove is hot enough to burn a carelessly placed hand (I know.) I would certainly worry about the insulation of these stoves.

                                                                2. h
                                                                  Hollie Mar 5, 2008 03:46 PM

                                                                  Hi I was looking around the internet trying to figure out what kind of stove is in the new house that I am moving into when I found you guys and I'm wondering if any of you could help me. I don't know the brande name for sure...I didn't think to look last time I was in the house...duh. I think it's a Kenmore. I have a picture of it although it's not the best. I attached it. I think it's from the 1960's. It's gas for sure, I know that much. The burners pull out from underneath a hood. It's pretty neat. It's similar to a Fridgedair Flair and also to a Tappan but it's not the same. If anyone could help me I would love to know more about this thing. Thanks so much.

                                                                   
                                                                  1. n
                                                                    nivek Jan 26, 2008 06:24 AM

                                                                    Hi
                                                                    I just recently came across a Chambers gas stove and oven. It has is raised off the floor and has bowed legs. It is mint green and white. If interested I'll send a picture.

                                                                    Thanks,
                                                                    Nivek

                                                                    1. w
                                                                      windbozo Jan 5, 2008 09:38 PM

                                                                      I'm a lousy cook and brand new to this group, BUT, I do know something about old stoves.
                                                                      Early gas and electric stoves, from the 20's and 30's for example, do look great, but beware................ The insulation in the ovens has usually all fallen to the bottom of the oven enclosure (making for a really hot stove surface and using lot's of gas), the thermostats are generally not very accurate and the ovens can be really small.

                                                                      On the other hand, Chambers Model C ranges from the late 50's through their demise in the late 60's (?) have Excellent ovens, some call them the best baking ovens ever made in a production stove (but not as huge as new stoves), cook with the gas turned off (to quote the manual), and are chock full of cool features not found on modern models. They also will work when the power is out, since they don't have the glow rods found in new ovens, have great broilers, a deep well (but the pots are very pricey) and griddle - but keep in mind that these things were built at a time when aluminum was thought to be OK to cook on/in. ;-)

                                                                      The burners can be adjusted to produce a very adequate flame, but the outside diameter of the burners isn't exactly huge. Expect to pay $4,000.00 for a good one. I really like mine a lot, but I'm also a bit of a gear head.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: windbozo
                                                                        Glencora Jan 6, 2008 10:19 AM

                                                                        Could you explain more about the oven insulation falling to the bottom? I ask because I have an early gas stove and it does indeed have a hot stove surface. We turned the gas waaaay down, but the stove is still very hot above the pilot light and it hisses loudly. Is there anything we should do?

                                                                        1. re: Glencora
                                                                          w
                                                                          windbozo Jan 6, 2008 10:54 AM

                                                                          Sure...............

                                                                          Early ovens were insulated with a loose pack of rock wool, or mineral fiber. because this stuff(ing) has plenty of trapped air space, over time condensation causes the fibers to adhere to each other with water molecules and gravitate (literally) to the bottom of the oven enclosure. This leaves empty pockets at the top of the oven, which in turn, causes more condensation - making the fibers pack ever increasingly at the bottom.

                                                                          This can be fixed by pulling the oven apart, cleaning it all out carefully, and replacing the insulating material. It's a bit of a project, but well worth it.

                                                                          What makes Chambers ovens different is that they had sealed oven boxes that are very good at retaining heat, which has the added advantage of not allowing rodents access to the insulation material. For those of you that live in the country like I do, this has a lot of merit. ;-)

                                                                          1. re: windbozo
                                                                            Glencora Jan 6, 2008 11:07 AM

                                                                            Thanks. I had no idea.

                                                                      2. b
                                                                        backintime Dec 29, 2007 07:27 AM

                                                                        I am new to the discussion group, but in desperate need of more information. I've been reading the posts about cooking on vintage stoves....and need more, more, more.
                                                                        I am about to become the owner of a 1920's GE Monogram, but am having a time trying to get more info on the stove. Can anyone suggest where I might strike gold?
                                                                        Backintime

                                                                        1. t
                                                                          theabroma Dec 24, 2007 01:40 PM

                                                                          This steps outside of Austin to Houston: http://macystexasstoveworks.com/

                                                                          They are also stove brokers, and often offer vintage stoves, which are sold from their various locations around the US. They also have/find parts for the old guys. Hope they can help. I am, despite the small ovens, a devotee of Chambers.

                                                                          1. t
                                                                            teridoesntcook Nov 28, 2007 08:34 AM

                                                                            Hi

                                                                            I have a vintage Royal Rose 36" stove in excellent condition for sale. Make an offer. I live in Brooklyn. If you are interested, let me know.

                                                                            1. n
                                                                              NeilC Nov 3, 2007 05:32 PM

                                                                              Hi ,
                                                                              Have you found an old stove yet? I have a really cute old stove from the mid twenty's that I think you might like.
                                                                              Thanks ,
                                                                              Neil

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: NeilC
                                                                                l
                                                                                Leolady Nov 7, 2007 07:59 AM

                                                                                Thanks Neil, but I have just bought a 1960's era Crown double oven, double broiler, 6 burner gas range!

                                                                                I love it!

                                                                                My friends may be interested in your stove though!

                                                                                1. re: Leolady
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  cjb8846 Dec 30, 2007 08:08 AM

                                                                                  I also have a 1960's crown gas range with 6 burners, 2 ovens & a rotisserie.
                                                                                  I love it. We bought it new in 1977. Do you know a place to buy parts?

                                                                                  1. re: cjb8846
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    Leolady Jan 6, 2008 09:55 AM

                                                                                    Try http://www.classicranges.com/contact..... He restored my range.

                                                                                     
                                                                                    1. re: Leolady
                                                                                      p
                                                                                      paprkutr Apr 10, 2008 06:22 PM

                                                                                      Leolady, have a 80's crown range and would love to get parts. Tried the email address above and didn't work. Is this the correct address and/or do you have the name and address, or phone number of store. TIA

                                                                                      1. re: paprkutr
                                                                                        f
                                                                                        foiegras Jan 15, 2010 07:53 PM

                                                                                        Here's a link that works ... he's in Sonoma, CA. http://www.classicranges.com/

                                                                                        1. re: foiegras
                                                                                          Paulustrious May 23, 2010 03:45 PM

                                                                                          (Switch off your speakers if in work)

                                                                                          You may mean this.. http://theclassicranges.com/contact.html

                                                                              2. l
                                                                                Leolady Oct 26, 2007 04:48 PM

                                                                                I had to bump this thread cause I just bought a "new" vintage restored Crown gas Range!

                                                                                I am thrilled to death about it.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Leolady
                                                                                  LeroyT Oct 27, 2007 01:39 PM

                                                                                  I've got a 50s Kenmore made by Roper. It has 4 burners (which I have adjusted to put out a lot of heat) and a good size oven on the right as well as nice adjutable broiler on the left which I don't have working right now(needs a safety). I prefer this to the chambers primarily because it lacks a well, which I have found to be not too useful(my mom has one) and it also has a large griddle in the middle with a separate grate to turn it into a 5th burner. it's 40" wide, but it replaced a 40" wide Maytag in my 1955 house which I sold cheaply to a new homeowner who needed to fill a 40" slot in her kitchen. To buy it and get it up and running (minus broiler, another $175) cost mee around $500 and I sold the Maytag for $150.

                                                                                  1. re: LeroyT
                                                                                    f
                                                                                    fuma Apr 4, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                                    LeroyT,
                                                                                    Does your Roper have separate broiler and oven? If so, how do you light your oven?
                                                                                    I have a 1953 Magic Chef and can light everything but the oven.
                                                                                    Thanks

                                                                                    1. re: fuma
                                                                                      LeroyT Apr 5, 2009 06:48 AM

                                                                                      Yes, separate broiler oven and regular oven. The reg oven has its' own pilot light. I've moved since and now have a redone 50s pad that has a smooth glass electric cook-top. UGH!

                                                                                      1. re: LeroyT
                                                                                        f
                                                                                        fuma May 4, 2009 09:52 AM

                                                                                        Thanks, Leroy. I have figured out my !950's stove now and it working like a charm. With the help of a great appliance guy, we saw that the oven control valve shaft needed to be replaced. The part was $75. It took about eight hours of the guy's labor to source the problem and fix it, but he only charged us $100!. It cooks so nicely.

                                                                                    2. re: LeroyT
                                                                                      o
                                                                                      oldsalty Oct 12, 2009 08:56 PM

                                                                                      I just traded for a 50s Kenmore that matches this description. Having it hooked up tomorrow. It needs a good cleaning and a new oven rack - the one it has it really rusted, but the burners are god and the broiler seems okay. We shall see. I love the way it all has folding covers that make it very handy as a counter if you're not using it. Do you have any idea where, or if, one can get a manual. Thanks bunches.

                                                                                  2. stellamystar Oct 11, 2007 12:49 PM

                                                                                    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but...
                                                                                    The gas one I had in my old apartment I had to light. At first, it was kind of kitschy, but then I got really tired of lighting my stove every time. It was also kind of scary.

                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                      janeer Oct 10, 2007 05:03 PM

                                                                                      In the 1970s I rented houses that had O'Keefe and Merritt and Chambers stoves from the '40s, the latter with two ovens, six burners, a well (a deep pot insert) and a central griddle/broiler that raised and lowered with ease. I have had many high-end stoves since, and I still dream about those old stoves--especially the Chambers.
                                                                                      www.littlecomptonmornings.blogspot.com

                                                                                      1. Miss Needle Oct 10, 2007 04:50 PM

                                                                                        My parents had a vintage Magic Chef. I loved the stove part -- I think they gave off more BTUs than more modern stoves. But the oven temperature was never accurate and I always had to light the pilot to get the oven/broiler to work.

                                                                                        1. Freets Oct 10, 2007 04:42 PM

                                                                                          My parents are selling their 1920's GE Hotpoint (on legs) I love it, but I have both a nostalgia for all things of the past and a personal attachment to this stove. We used to play under it as kids (and get yelled at) while Mom was trying to get dinner on the table. She made many a Thanksgiving meal on it.
                                                                                          I'm now 30 and wish I had space in my house for it.
                                                                                          If you contact me I'll put you in touch with my Dad who will send you pictures and give you all the details on it. (They are located in Mass.)
                                                                                          Also I just found a place in Georgia that restores stoves like this one. Their site will make you drool! You'll have to Google it.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Freets
                                                                                            f
                                                                                            Flowerlady Aug 5, 2008 05:33 PM

                                                                                            Hi FREETS,
                                                                                            I think my rely above to Debbyred was meant for you!

                                                                                          2. d
                                                                                            Debbyred May 2, 2007 03:26 PM

                                                                                            I have a vintage GE Monogram gas stove with bowed legs. It's a very pretty cream enamel...in working condition; in fact, it's hooked up in my basement. We've never used it, though. It was in our house when we bought it 10 years ago. The previous owners were very proud of the stove. He was a retired gas company employee and hooked the stove up himself. I never wanted to part with it, but now we need the space in the basement. If you are interested, you can have this stove, free of charge. The only cost to you will be manpower to remove it from my property (it's EXTREMELY heavy) and shipping. (I'm posting this on the spur of the moment so I don't have a photo ready. If you're interested, I will gladly post a photo.)

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Debbyred
                                                                                              f
                                                                                              Flowerlady Aug 5, 2008 05:31 PM

                                                                                              I am bummed about selling the stove my mother used when I was very young. I have no idea how to price it or repair it. You said you knew of a place in GA that restored old stoves. Do you remember the name of the place? Hope you had good luck with your sale.

                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                            2. Ha_asfan Jan 31, 2007 02:47 PM

                                                                                              missclaudy, me thinketh you be be a perfect addition to the ChambersRangers. Not only are we nice with candy but we are also a bunch of hedonistic hellbent hopeless cooks. The only french twizzlin' happening is our heat test for using the Chambers griddle....

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Ha_asfan
                                                                                                p
                                                                                                pampchef Oct 13, 2007 07:29 PM

                                                                                                What state do you live in? I would love to take the stove if I could get it to Illinois.

                                                                                              2. Ha_asfan Jan 29, 2007 03:45 PM

                                                                                                lol, don't be afraid....we even have candy!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Ha_asfan
                                                                                                  missclaudy Jan 30, 2007 03:00 PM

                                                                                                  French candy? I ain't joining for twizzlers.

                                                                                                2. Ha_asfan Jan 29, 2007 01:03 PM

                                                                                                  missclaudy, us ChambersRangers, well, we're just simple people that love our fabulous and amazing stoves. The manuals are a must have for the Chambers and the cookbook has the specific cooking times for the oven. Please, join our forum, wehave loads of topics and you can initiate new topics easily. Also, there is a 24/7 chat room plus, a weekly group chat at 8pm central tine on Thursdays. I hope I didn't come down too heavy with my original post.......join us, you'll like us!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Ha_asfan
                                                                                                    missclaudy Jan 29, 2007 01:57 PM

                                                                                                    I'm afraid!

                                                                                                  2. a
                                                                                                    Alice Letseat Jan 27, 2007 02:34 PM

                                                                                                    Call 805 Stoveworks in Phoenix, AZ - 602.258.6991. They have a WAREHIOUSE of both restored and not restored vintage stoves (almost a thousand in stock) - and they repair, restore, refurbish - and USE them. they also carry refrigerators, washers and dryers. A phenomenal resource for vintage appliances and kitchen accessories and collectibles.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Alice Letseat
                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                      kfl61 Jun 30, 2010 11:26 PM

                                                                                                      I found this link on the web for them (they say they changed their name and location):
                                                                                                      http://www.rte66stoveworks.info/About...

                                                                                                      karl

                                                                                                    2. Ha_asfan Jan 27, 2007 02:19 PM

                                                                                                      The only problem with vintage stoves is the next phase....vintage refrigerators. We dumped our new JennAir for a 1955 Hotpoint. The first thing we noticed was food stayed fresher longer then the electric bill came....only $11 LESS than the previous month. The electric bills have remained consistently lower than previous years and our kitchen is now 100% vintage.

                                                                                                      1. k
                                                                                                        Kelli2006 Jan 27, 2007 10:35 AM

                                                                                                        Lehman's hardware in Kidron has vintage style stoves with modern gas burners and ovens. Lehman's is well known for non-electric appliances for the Amish. The prices are higher than what you will pay for at many stores, but the quality cannot be surpassed.

                                                                                                        http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?itemT...

                                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                                          tomato Jan 27, 2007 08:26 AM

                                                                                                          I think I have sort of the training wheels version of what you want, which is a Royal Rose from the 40s maybe? --> it's been in the apartment I live in forever and ever. It is not perfect, but I have to admit I love it; it's just so nice to cook with. I think the main thing l like in terms of function is the design of the burners; there something more even and efficient about the way the flame works. What I am less crazy about is the oven --> too small and takes *forever* to heat up. If you like those old stoves though, the poet Elizbeth Bishop had a fascination with them and did a bunch of drawings and watercolors of them, which are totally charming and you can see in the book Exchanging Hats.

                                                                                                          1. Ha_asfan Jan 27, 2007 07:51 AM

                                                                                                            Hi, I am a new member and joined just so I could reply to this link: I cook, a LOT and bake, a LOT on a 1951 Chambers Model C. I could not disagree more with missclaudy as to the performance, oven size and ease of use/cleaning of the Chambers range. The Chambers Ranges are designed and engineered to COOK WITHOUT THE GAS ON. The hyper insualtion allows you to preheat the oven, put your food in, cook for a specified amount of time, turn off the heat and allow to cook undistrubed until finished. As examples: a 15 pound stuffed turkey goes into a 500 degree preheated oven and cooks with the gas on for 45 minutes. At the 45 minutes mark, turn off the gas and four hours later when you open the oven door, the meat is literally falling from the bone. A four pound chicken cooks to perfection with ten minutes of gas and onehour of retained heat and a four pound roast cooks off with ten minutes gas about 40 minutes retained heat. The cooktop burners are all daisy design, four small high output heads creating one head. This stove out performs the state of the art Gaggeneau which I had prior to the Chambers. In addition, there is a Thermowell, a very high output burner recessed into the stove top. This Thermowell functions as a deep fryer or an oven or simply an additional burner. The well is designed to hold one large single pot, two double pots, three triple pots or a Thermobaker for baking 8" round pies, cakes or whatever. The brolier/griddle is on top of the stove. The flame height and the broiler plate to flame height are both adjustable. The broiler is amazing and my favorite part of the Chambers. Please, visit the Chambers website to find out a lot more @
                                                                                                            http://chambersrangers.proboards74.co...? I would have to ask missclauddy if she has the Chambers cookbook and whether she knows the full range and abilities of this marvelous stove.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Ha_asfan
                                                                                                              pikawicca Oct 10, 2007 05:07 PM

                                                                                                              Who wants their turkey "falling off the bone?" That's way over-cooked, in my book.

                                                                                                            2. toodie jane Jan 6, 2007 08:53 PM

                                                                                                              ahhhh....for those old O'K&M inner simmer burners....but the darned thing put off so much heat in the summer from its 5 pilots--3 stove-top and 2 ovens--that I'd have to turn most of them off in summer!

                                                                                                              Why doesn't anyone build a cooktop with those two-stage burners anymore?!

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: toodie jane
                                                                                                                johnb Jan 7, 2007 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                Someone does---DCS specifically. DCS is also sold as one of the GE Monogram series (the SS ones).

                                                                                                                DCS is actually about the best performing stovetop with sealed burners there is. I researched this fairly carefully when I remodeled my kitchen a few years ago. In my new house I have a Bluestar, which is even better, but that is unsealed burners, which I prefer anyway.

                                                                                                                1. re: johnb
                                                                                                                  toodie jane Jan 7, 2007 07:35 PM

                                                                                                                  thanks for your comments. learned a lot about cooktops on the blue star site.

                                                                                                              2. Glencora Jan 3, 2007 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                I have an O'Keefe & Merritt that came with the house. I think it must be from the twenties. The oven is nice and big. Besides the oven and four burners, it has a wood burning stove with two other burners. However, I don't use them. If you do buy one, I've heard that having a clock makes them more valuable. The clock on mine is missing. I still love it, though. It gives the kitchen retro look and it works very well.

                                                                                                                1. Candy Jan 3, 2007 12:11 AM

                                                                                                                  I know there is a company which refurbishes the old ranges and brings them up to todays standards. Someone published on CH about it about a year ago when someone was asking about Rachel Ray's Chambers. The refurbished ranges are pretty pricy.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler Jan 3, 2007 12:30 AM

                                                                                                                    There are quite a few companies that do that around the country. You want to find a local one, because shipping one of these babies costs a fortune, and you want to be able to have them serviced.

                                                                                                                  2. Ruth Lafler Jan 3, 2007 12:07 AM

                                                                                                                    I have a 1930s Magic Chef (like the one in the upper left picture here: http://newhaven.craigslist.org/clt/25... ). Yeah, it has idiosyncracies, but I love it anyway! Mine has two ovens: one on the side and one under the burners. The side oven is big enough for a 9x13 pan and tall enough for a roast chicken, and the bottom oven is as big or bigger than a standard oven (I don't use it very often, though).

                                                                                                                    Unless you're a very serious cook, I don't think you'll be sorry if you buy one of these -- I enjoy cooking on mine, and I get nothing but compliments on how stunning it is.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                      pitu Jan 3, 2007 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                      Magic Chef here, on one of their earliest models from the 19teens
                                                                                                                      I've found it to be very reliable -- the gas technology is just too simple not to be.
                                                                                                                      The temperature regulation for the oven is non-existant, but I've found that easy to adapt to -- rather like cooking with wood. If you do alot of baking, my oven would not be for you. For what I do, it's fun to manage the challenge.

                                                                                                                      The oven is not huge, but again I have not found that to be a problem. I've cooked large turkeys in it. The cooktop gets as hot as a modern gas cooktop -- not a mega-restaurant stove, but fine for most things. I do find it cramped when I want to have lots of large pots going at once - basically I can only have two.
                                                                                                                      But's that's my "bachelor" sized model.

                                                                                                                      The thing is so charming to look at, I don't think I'll ever get rid of it. I might get a stand-alone countertop oven.

                                                                                                                      They come up on craigslist, or Brownstoner.com occcasionaly since people rip old stoves out in demolition.

                                                                                                                    2. Zeldog Jan 2, 2007 11:40 PM

                                                                                                                      There was one in my house when I bought it. I second what Missclaudy said. Both the oven and top burners were hard to clean and the oven was inefficient. Also keep in mind that the stove top height probably will not match that of standard cabinets and they are much wider than modern stoves, so you will be taking up potential countertop space. Finally, the very old models have an exhaust stack for the oven. I don't know if you can simply seal it off, or would need run a vent through the wall or ceiling.

                                                                                                                      Needless to say, I don't have that old stove any more.

                                                                                                                      1. missclaudy Jan 2, 2007 11:15 PM

                                                                                                                        I have a 40's Chambers stove. I've cooked on it for 30 years. I LOVE the way it looks, BUT, if you cook or bake a lot, you will probably be disappointed in an old stove's capabilities. I ALWAYS wish the oven was bigger, especially for parties and holidays. The amount of heat the burners give off is not equal to that of a more efficient stove of today AND it is not easy to clean. A real drag actually. I built my kitchen around my stove so it stays put( it is cast metal and weighs a ton) but sometimes, I long for a brand new efficient stove. I drive old cars,listen to old music, live in an old house and wear old clothes, my stove fits my aesthetic but not my cooking needs.

                                                                                                                        Also, if something breaks, it is expensive and can be hard to find replacement parts.

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