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Everything Fisher

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by coaly, Feb 24, 2010.

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  1. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    I notice a lot of threads started with Fisher Stove questions.

    My intention of this thread is for anyone wondering what model they have, or selling one, to be able to identify their stove, and then be able to learn the history behind it and find more technical information if they need it.
    Bear Series (single door stoves)
    Papa Bear ; Single door, two air intakes, takes up to 30 inch log. Heats up to 2250 sf.
    Mama Bear ; Single door, two air intakes, takes up to 24 inch log. Heats up to 1750 sf.
    Baby Bear ; Single door, single ait intake , takes up to 18 inch log. Heats up to 1250 sf.

    Fireplace Series (double door stoves)
    Grandma Bear ; takes up to 20 inch log and uses 5 bricks across back. Heats up to 1750.
    Grandpa Bear ; takes up to 24 inch log and uses 6 bricks across back. Heats up to 2250.
    Flat top doors were painted black, cast iron. They are pre 1980.
    Arched top doors (Cathedral Style) are after 1979. They were available black, nickel plate, brass plate, and later brass and glass.

    All stoves made to go into a hearth or fireplace are called Fisher Fireplace Inserts. (no bear name given)
    They were available with solid cast iron doors, or brass and glass doors for heating up to 2000 sf.
    Later, a smaller Insert with brass and glass or solid cast iron doors called the Honey Bear Insert was made to heat up to 1200 sf. The Polar Bear Insert was for fabricated metal or "zero clearance" fireplaces.

    The first Freestanding Pedestal type fireplace / stove was the Mobile Home approved Goldilocks (Logs to 16") with outdoor air intake up through the center pedestal, no air intake through the doors. By 1983, two more pedstal type stoves were offered called Teddy Bear (same size as Goldilocks) and the smaller Honey Bear (logs to 14") These models were also available in a configuration for HUD and mobile homes with outside air intakes. (a freestanding, 4 leg mobile home approved, glass and brass door Honey Bear was also made).
    More about these models will be found later in this thread. Size, and heating capacities can be found as well as dating your stove and much more.

    ALL Fisher stoves are welded 1/4" thick steel plate, most having 5/16" thick tops. ALL steel plate construction is specified to be HRS or Hot Rolled Steel. Shield material is 22 gauge cold rolled steel.

    A note for people restoring their Fisher Stove and paint that was used;
    Early single door stoves were available black or brown.
    That is now today's Stove Bright "Bark Brown".
    Black was not metallic. First ones were brush painted. DeRusto Bar-B-Que Black was used on many and is not as black as Stove Bright Satin Black, today's choice. Here's an article about painting over DeRusto;
    http://forrestpaint.com/uploads/images/stovebright/09 Trouble_User guide.pdf
    Stove Bright "Metallic Brown" (by Forrest) was the first stove paint other than black made for the stove industry. Formulated for Fisher Stoves for a trade show, brown became the color used on literature and registered trademarks.
    Stove Bright does make a Honey Glo, that is NOT the brown that was used on Fisher Stoves..
    Stove Black, or Stove Polish is for cast iron, and not used on Fisher Stoves.

    Maybe some articles I post can be added to the Wiki Fisher page as anyone sees fit. I'm not good with capturing web pages to make viewing easier, but I have some documented information, personal experience with my own stove collection, and trivia to share.

    To learn about the Man who invented the air tight stove, this book gives a good understanding of the trials of a home grown business;
    This book will be referenced in the thread. Click the Attachments Tab; Enjoy !
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/bob-fisher/


    l'll start with one of the questions some have on their mind about the 10 inch flue "Unknown Bear".

    This is actually an XL Fireplace Series stove.
    Here is an ad from August 1979 that depicts the Fireplace model. Yes, that ïs correct it heats up to 3000 square feet ! Notice the Western style logo in the ad.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=FokqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dlsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4240,4159075&dq=fisher goldilocks stove&hl=en


    Here is the best copy I could find near the beginning of the Fireplace Inserts dated December of '79. Notice this not only gives the dimensions and heating capacity of the new insert, but some other models in the line at the time as well. Wouldn't it be nice if every stove was listed in that Wiki article, and no one had to ask "What Bear is this" again ? I don't know how large a Wiki article should become and what information is considered pertinent.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ktIvAAAAIBAJ&sjid=LPkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4126,1850967&dq=fisher stoves building&hl=en


    Owners Manuals for Fisher Stoves can be found at the bottom of this page;
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/Fisher_Stoves/
    Paul

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  2. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    I sent this news article to Craig and he was able to take a screen shot to add to the Fisher Wiki page. Thanks Craig! This article gives some information of company changes once Bob Fisher stepped out. (From Earl Wing, to Brian Vik and back to the Wings)

    The address given in the article is incorrect at 756. It should read 765 Conger Street Eugene Or.
    You can Google Map that address to see the building today. RSD is the building to the left at 701, Quick Designs Inc. is the building to the right at 775.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...WoVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=iuEDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6240,5948702

    UPDATE;Here's a news article that explains why Earl Wing did not move the operation to Port of Newport.
    (this would have taken advantage of Japanese steel being imported to his factory there)

    He was able to borrow $250,000 on a small business loan from the small business administration from Oregon First Bank.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...AAIBAJ&pg=6996,3475973&dq=fisher stoves&hl=en
  3. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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  4. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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  5. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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  6. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Mr. C Jones likes this.
  7. hareball

    hareball Member

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    Thank you Coaly! This is awesome stuff!!
  8. watchamakalit

    watchamakalit Member

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    Coaly you are the man. Thank you very much.
  9. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is another news article about the changes coming for different stove manufacturers when new laws go into effect in 1988. This gives some insight into a few other companies as well.

    September 24 1985, The Register Guard, Eugene Oregon;
    Earl Wing (Owner / President) of Fisher - Century Corp. had 35 workers in Eugene Stove Mfg. Works. Producing 18 models in 1985, stated they would be making only 5 models the following year.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...WgVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=duEDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5314,5786156

    The link takes you to page 72. The pages were scanned sideways, and the second page of the article (section D-2) is at the top right corner of page 73.

    The last 5 models made bore the Roman numeral VI, and this article states in 86 there would only be 5 models built. These are the numeral VI stoves, further convincing me that the VI models were design year designations. The Roman numeral III G/M and G/P however started in 1980. So the search goes on where this III designation came from. Since there are so many pre 80 G/M and G/P with the new door style, on the old box design…....... they may have considered that the second generation. When the box was redesigned and baffle added in 1980 they used numeral III for the third redesign of the stove. I can’t come up with any other reason for a III since they existed before 1983.
  10. hareball

    hareball Member

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    Coaly--Were the early Fisher doors made with the arch design? Mine has the block lettering with no arch. My Father thinks it was around 1975 when he installed it but i'm thinking more 77-79 area.

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  11. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    76 was the first year for a double door. They were straight with block letters. But it would have the stars and 76 on the doors if it was one of the first ones.
    The new style doors (arched) started late 79, December I believe. They were for the redesigned 80 stoves.
    Those springs look like the newer style. The older style is wound much tighter, lighter silver, maybe stainless because they didn't wear, and they are larger in diameter. They look like a tightly collapsed spring. They have more of an hour glass shape too. The newer ones are plated with space between each coil. I'd guess early or mid 79.
    Are the doors stamped deeply in the center upside down? It would be a G/M L on the left, G/M R on the right. That's just for my notes, still working on stampings. The new style was embossed (raised) and seem to be all the same.
  12. hareball

    hareball Member

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    I'm a little confused on where to look for the G/M L and R stamps.

    Here is a few inside door shots. Not much light so had to use a flashlight so pics suck.
    I think early to mid 79 would sound about right. The serial# on his old Homelite starts with a 79 and if that indicates the production year then the stove and saw were all bought around the same time.

    Thanks for the help Coaly!!

    [​IMG]

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  13. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Scrape the door clean on the inside, right in the center of the door with a putty knife or wire wheel. The pic of the old style door marking that I'm looking for on yours is highlighted with white grease pencil. The new style door markings are cast in, and look like this when new. :bug:
    Here's a pic of the old style spring. (you have the new) Fisher Int. sent doors and hardware to the fabricators, basically welding shops. So they didn't buy the hardware locally. Problem is to date one by parts, the welding shop could find a bunch of old style parts laying around and use them at a later date.

    Attached Files:

  14. hareball

    hareball Member

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    Great stuff Coaly! I'll have to pick up a wire brush and take a look.
    Thank you for your help :)
  15. watchamakalit

    watchamakalit Member

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    Your stamps should be almost dead center on the inside of the doors. (thats where I found mine) I am watching this very closely as your Grandma bear is almost identical to mine. Only difference I see is the handles...
    Sorry for the crappy pic. Its the only one I have uploaded. That was the first time I cooked on it. The eggs were good. Sorry to post a pic of it in such a sad state. I had a leak in the garage roof, but that is all getting fixed this summer before it goes in the basement. I will post some better pics later.
    [​IMG]
  16. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    this is easilly one of the more fascinating threads I have read since Joining: Its a little tour of stove History... coaly should do a spot on the History channel.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I agree. And to think, it all came about because Bob didn't want to burn his ####'s.
  18. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    I read the Fisher stove story a few mos back, it was quite interesting how at first he made them all, and then the dealers produced the steel stoves locally at the stove shops all over the country themselves, and he basically shipped them the cast doors and collected cash for each door (and thus each stove) that was produced under the Fisher name... It was like a $1000 dollar buy-in to get the blue prints, and he'd train the folks on how to do it at his own house. Very neat.
  19. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Hey Coaly, I recently saw an ad for a "coal bear" - what was the story with that one?
  20. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a coal burner, shaped like a Fisher but taller since it has a bottom door for an ash pan.
    Reversible grates.

    They must have been tested with (soft) Bituminous Coal because they sure don't work well with Anthracite. This information is from a local fabricator / licensee / dealer in NE PA in the Anthracite Coal Belt. They tried one on their showroom floor. In their own words (today's terms, long after Fisher has been out of business) "don't pay anything for one, it's a boat anchor". This is an honest dealer with a history of making and selling Fisher Stoves. They are still in business, and I would recommend them to anyone needing a new stove today.

    New model introduced approx. August 1981
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=qXIQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=EYsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4679,960583&dq=fisher coal stove&hl=en

    Wish I could put my hands on the brochures I had when I first went to look at the stoves back in 81. I jotted the prices down on a brochure, and mulled it over until I probably malled the thing to death.
    I remember going back for the one we chose, a Goldilocks in the winter of 82. I was wandering around the showroom before telling the salesman which one we were taking home. My wife kept telling me, get over here, we're taking one of these ! Since the coal units were too big for our need at the time, I only drooled, but couldn't dwell on it. It was the coldest day of the year, well below 0 f. at Factoryville, near Scranton, PA. I had a full size Chevy Blazer (brush painted rustoleum hunter green !) and all the boxes wouldn't fit in the back. Had to drive over an hour with that big tailgate down, boxes on top of it. The stove came with a corrugated steel base plate 4' X 4' that was called The Air Chamber Support. Over that went a brick pad. Both in 4 foot square boxes. Then the stove in box (420 lbs), then a huge Dura-Vent chimney kit. Included one double wall section 3 feet long for inside, chimney support box, 2 pieces of triple wall chimney, and stainless cap. That squatted the truck hanging out the back and we froze all the way home driving with the windows open in front for fresh air from the exhaust fumes that curls up into the truck ! Replaced that chimney last year. Came with a 25 year warranty back then too.
    There was a coal burning kit for most stoves, but since there was not much room under the grate you put in, don't remember if it had a removable pan........ and your wood stove wouldn't have the air intake under the grate, only the draft caps in the front, the dealers were honest and said they didn't work well.

    There's been a Coal Bear on Scranton /Wilkes Barre Craigslist for a while $600.

    Coal Bear without coal grate 6.jpg Coal Bear without coal grate 1 sold for 695.jpg
  21. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Making a Living with hand-made stoves

    Bob's cousin Barbara Jorgensen and her husband Frank visit Bob's home. They want one of his stoves. One week later, they're building stoves. 10 years later, they've built 30,000 stoves !

    Another cool news article;
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...AJ&pg=5253,6090982&dq=fisher bear stove&hl=en

    Update 4/2/10; This article is how I was able to Google Map the second shop and see it as it stands today with the Street View feature. Google Maps lists it as; 1822 42nd st. Springfield, Or
    Calvin likes this.
  22. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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  23. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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  24. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    And then came the BEAR FACTS

    Who sells stoves before the hearth shop existed? Anyone with a retail business !

    Check back for cool ads added as I add them. You can find these in archived pages of Mother Earth News (a big advertiser of Fisher) and Homesteading Magazines as well.
    Enjoy;

    Buying a new stove ? STOP / Bear in chair reading the Bear Facts Book. This may start the Papa or Grandpa debate.
    Sold even at Western Auto ?!?
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...BAJ&pg=3960,260302&dq=fisher bear-facts&hl=en

    Just the FACTS 1,2,3,4,& $5.
    Sold at Furniture Stores;
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...BAJ&pg=2936,265521&dq=fisher bear-facts&hl=en

    AND ON THEY WENT
    Masonry store;
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...AJ&pg=2666,1235859&dq=fisher bear-facts&hl=en

    Hardware store;
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...AJ&pg=2866,2501896&dq=fisher bear-facts&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...VAcAAAAIBAJ&sjid=i1EEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3618,5085455

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...AIBAJ&pg=1466,85048&dq=fisher bear fact&hl=en
  25. hareball

    hareball Member

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    Coaly--All these ads are too cool!
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