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Caol burner - B.C. Bibb Stove Co. of Baltimore, Maryland

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Starr-Point, Jan 24, 2006.

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  1. Starr-Point

    Starr-Point New Member

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    Hello, all - I'm new here. My wife and I just bought an 1897 Victorian home here in Maryland complete with two fireplaces and a coal stove. The fireplaces have been sorted out. But - we've never used a coal stove before. This is a very ornate stove, cast iron and nickel, with six mica glass doors and two porcelain inlays. Picture is attached. The model is "Lombard", probably made around the time the house was built - 1897. Although the manufacturer is listed as B.C. Bibb of Baltimore, that company was - at least at one time - located in Port Deposit, Maryland which is quite close to where the house is.

    Does anyone have any knowledge of this particular stove type? Any tips on using a top-feed coal stove? Your help is much appreciated!

    Attached Files:

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  2. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    The first thing I would hope that you did (at risk of sounding like a broken record) is either have the stove inspected or thoroughly inspect it yourself. You never know with those old stoves and the last thing you want to do is find a crack or some other defect while the stove is full of glowing coal.

    That said, using that stove will be similar to using any other coal stove. They are all very similar, and the primer regarding coal burning on this website is a good place to start. The best thing I can recommend is patience and charcoal :)

    Using hardwood kindling to start the fire works just as well, but I find using some pine kindling following by a nice layer of charcoal really makes lighting the stove easy. just avoid the matchlight and other self lighting charcoals. Also, the pictures is quite tiny, perhaps a better picture might help us help you with some of the specifics
  3. Starr-Point

    Starr-Point New Member

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    I did read the primer, thanks. The stove is in excellent condition - really quite remarkable. It is foitted in a solid marble mantel with a cast iron surround. Thanks for the advice. RS
  4. Starr-Point

    Starr-Point New Member

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    Sorry for the zillion posts, but let's try these pictures...

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  5. Starr-Point

    Starr-Point New Member

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    Wrong file - $$#@!

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  6. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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    Maybe the best looking coal insert I have ever seen.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    As you may find out, there are not a lot of antique buffs here - you can check some of the links at:
    http://www.hearth.com/partsplace.html (antique stove links there)....

    I would say the stove is more valuable if you don't use it! Meaning a nice electric log in it might be nice! Or even possibly some sort of gas coals, although you'd have to keep the doors open and make certain it was a legal install.

    Perhaps ask the people at http://www.thevictorianfireplace.com
  8. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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    The old unit in my home was about 110 years old. It was not safe to use.
    The iron in places was so thin you could see through it. It looked good from the outside.
  9. JAred

    JAred New Member

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    I was at my grandpa's house (circa 1912) the other week and was looking real close at The fireplace and noticed you could never fit any logs in it. I then noticed some sort of damper rods without knobs. the whole thing is cast iron. I came to the conclusion that it must have been an old coal stove thing that maybe had a screen in front of it at one time?...Asked all the family and even the gramps said that they never used it In all the time he's been there since 1938! An open coal fire? I'll have to get some picts.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Fantastic looking stove but I would not fire it up. Too many combustiables within 3', Including a rug just inches away.
    Is that a bed in the corner of the picture very close to the stove as well? Is it located in a bedroom?
  11. Starr-Point

    Starr-Point New Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I took these pictures the day we moved in - the rug is now gone (covering an oak floor), and that thing that looks like a bed is actually an old recliner with a cloth cover left by the elderly couple who previusly owned the house (also gone). They used the stove up until they left the house in late fall. It is in excellent condition, but before using it, I am having a chimney professional check the chimney and masonry condition.

    If I kept everything combustible more than 3' away from a stove or fireplace, I'd never use them. Is that really your recommendation? It seems a bit conservative; and I'm an insurance broker.
  12. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Elk is a licensed certified home inspector. He inspects stove, fireplace, and inserts for a living. What the man says can be taken for pretty darn close to gospel. Now, that being said, that sucker is so old it is grandfathered in, but would you like to explain to your homeowners insurance company that you lit a 110 year old coal stove, and didn't expect to have problems. Once they finish laughing, they might pay off your policy. Then again, using the reasonable man standard, they might not. Your gamble.
  13. Starr-Point

    Starr-Point New Member

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    I hear what you're saying, and had the home and stove inspected by a licensed inspector with 25 years experience. As far as the homeowner's policy goes, I've been in the insurance business for 18 years and already had the underwriter out to the house to see for himself.

    Having lived in a couple of homes 100 years old or more, if you use the 3' rule, you can't use the fireplace or stove is most rooms. Again, I know what you mean, but I referenced the age of the house for a reason.

    I was originally looking for information about the stove itself.
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    If you lived in Canada their rule is 4'. Sounds like you are being cautiuos(sp) Proceed that way get everything checked out
    On the fire place analogy the fire box is recessed protected by masonry but there are also codes that govern them in new construction. Make sure that chimney is in decent shape and lined. You might also want to pick up a carbon monoxide sensor or 2

    Good luck and keep the forum informed with progress reports. Very interesting stove you have there
  15. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Northwest New Jersey
    I'll tell you what. Don't burn in that stove. It is way too beautiful. I honestly think yuo should bring it to the Traveling Roadshow, or some such. You might have a buried treasure there.

    Good luck

    Joshua
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