1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

History & Photo archive of Crane Stoves - Pic Heavy and Slow Loading

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by Crane Stoves, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    Since I was requested by several people to try and dig out some old photo's of my fathers company "Crane Stoves" and or "Crane Stove Works" I will try to take some time to add photo's here which will give some great examples of these stoves as well as the work my dad did prior to the downfall of the industry in the late eighties.

    Im sorry to say that my father passed away many years ago, during the final ten years of his life (the nineties) he did successfully complete building his 30' Bristol Channel Cutter, literally starting with tree's and zero money (a herculean feat that even surpassed his stove Company!) His boat was called NoKiDo short for Norma Kim and Dougie (his family).

    Upon the stove industry collapse years ago my family lost everything (including our home) and my father at some point turned, closed the doors and never looked back... I regret so much not being old enough or wise enough or mature enough to have helped him more at that time or helped ourselves rather by saving, storing, archiving all i should have (I was a 19 year old idiot more concerned with girls and party's). My dad at that point did not have the strength or will to attempt saving or salvaging or even cleaning out the last location of his company (whoever went in their found everything as it was left the final day my dad went to work).

    I will try to lay out a photo portfolio starting from the earliest models then to later models, The last few years we started making stoker type models (I dont even have a picture of them or any info. so i would be at the mercy of others who may still have one). The latest stoker model was a very large and completely tiled (the top lifted open to expose a huge hopper), these units never reached the level of quality and performance and reliability of his original models 44, 88, 202, 404

    The Crane Stove Co. produced approx. 60,000 units in its 10 years. By far the most popular were the model 44 and 404. I will try to add to this history thread as i can and certainly dont mind answering any questions or requests for particular photo's if you know any dealers in particular that sold Crane Stoves back in the day....


    1980 Trade Show
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1981 Dealer Meeting
    [​IMG]

    1981 WHA Trade Show superdome
    [​IMG]

    1982 Int. solid fuel trade show Philli
    [​IMG]

    1983 National Journal trade show
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Winter dealer meeting
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lobster Dealer meeting yes, my dad was a nut...free lobsters for all and we will drag out 10 new stoves into the parking lot to cook em' all!"
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Disney Dealer meeting yes thats me my sister and our mom and dad behind
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ScotO, coaly, Pallet Pete and 4 others like this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,289
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
  3. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,112
    Loc:
    Old Lyme CT
    Nice, love the outfits. Which one is your grandfather? Think I know, just want to confirm.:cool:
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Wow....... That is a phenomenal story... In just the photos alone.

    Your father seemed to have a good company and you can't blame yourself for the downfall. Everything happens for a reason. You wouldn't be on the mission to meet Joe (Defiant) if none of this would have happened....


    There are still good people in this world. And you obviously found one of them... ;) Congrats. To both of you (Doug and Joe) for your efforts.

    Love this story.
  5. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    grandpa is not in these photos (though my grandfather did work for my dad many years... his job was making all the firebrick for model 44's and 88's) he did this in his basement and backyard all the years of my youth... i can remember the lines of pizza ovens and the racks of tables which held the molds.

    My father is the one in most of the photo's you see standing and talking to all the dealers and installers (the one on the stage). I wish i had half his brain and confidence... You guys might get a kick out of the sailboat he built (with almost zero money) in his final 10 years of life (truly amazing man for sure).
  6. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    What a truly amazing story to tell Doug ! Pictures are priceless and those are amazing pictures.

    Pete
  7. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,331
    Loc:
    Tuscola, IL
    Wow! Great story and pics Doug. Your dad was truly an amazing man. I hope his boat made him happy in the end. He had an amazing productive life. Sometimes life just catches up to us. Keep posting. Amazing story and wonderful stoves.
  8. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    Thanks for the kind words, its amazing how many people PM'd me about that overhead coal/wood railroad set from one of those tradeshows LOL. The train itself was just a Lionel Train, the plexiglass track and scaffolding was custom built in to elivate the entire train overhead so it did not take up space in the booth and people could see and hear the train from below (it was used as a "hook" to bring people into the booth and get them talking with my dad). I believe it was my uncle David Crane who put it all together.
    tfdchief likes this.
  9. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest


    Would've "hooked" me for sure!
  10. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,692
    Loc:
    WNY
    Cool story...

    Do you have any pics of the boat?

    And just because my DH has a habit of looking for "faces" in everything I do now too..

    There is totally a smilie face between the controls on the bottom of the stove at the b ottom of this pic group, as well as in the detailing on top.


    [​IMG]
  11. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    303
    Loc:
    NorthShore, MA USA
    Thx for sharing - great vintage photos.
  12. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    here is a photo of the boat my dad built from bare tree trunks during the remaining 9 years of his life after walking away from Stoves. He successfully built his dream boat (a Lyle Hess design, Bristol Channel Cutter) by hand on a budget of peanuts. He reverse engineered plans for it from Larry Pardey's book, he collected fishing weighs and lead for 5 years to pour the 8,000# keel from old bath tubs from the dump, i would explain and show photo's of all he did over a 9 year period to complete this boat without having income but thats a whole story unto itself and may not be proper for this forum? I reflect on my dad at times and to this day cannot understand how he did all that he did and how on gods green earth a man could be so smart and so determined at times (I wish i had a fraction of his intelligence). He did indeed get to enjoy one full season of sailing his dream before he passed away...

    [​IMG]
    webbie, jjs777_fzr and DexterDay like this.
  13. Jeff Ritz

    Jeff Ritz New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    I believe this stove is the one reffered to by Doug as being very large, tiled, hopper fed and the lasst model made. Does anyone know the model number or have a manual?

    Attached Files:

    raybonz likes this.
  14. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    WOW... It that thing still functioning like that photo shows? This was simply called a "Crane Stoker Stove" (their should be a U/L label on the rear that would have a serial number on it). I cannot recall a "model #" per say for these units. It amazes me that one has survived 30 year!!! It was always the the stainless steel grate that was the problem, but this is proof positive that my dads brain was far ahead of its time HaHaHa... we now see so many company's with pellet feed stoves our here!!! This unit burned rice coal (it was made prior to the advent of the pressed wood pellets we see today) The hopper as you can see was HUGE and because it burned rice coal the heat output was mind blowing compared to wood pellets and the burn time was so MUCH longer! I still cant believe one of these survived (we built so few of them!), I think i may have some of the gearing and timer parts left in a box at moms house (god i hope i did not throw them away after now seeing one of these is out their still). PM me and let me know your ady, there is no manual for this but if you need to ask any questions PM me, If the reason for manual is for local inspector to know the makers spec's and U/L guidelines llet me know and i will try to speak to him.
  15. Jeff Ritz

    Jeff Ritz New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Hi Doug. Yes this stove is still working very very well. It heats my wood shop/garage and does a very fine job. You are right the heat output from this unit is unbelievable.I bought the stoveapprox. 10 years ago from the original owner, who bought it form Kellers Coal Co. in Northampton, PA. I believe they were friends of your father's as well as dealers. The unit was completely rewired because some wires were melted and the feed rate was not working properly. All wiring was moved to the outside of the stove and mounted on the wall as shown in the picture. The stove worked great until this year when the potentiometer and timer failed. Although I had some others, they did not work. I replaced them whith the Schneider timer you see in the picture. I try to take very good care of the stove, replacing fans etc. whenever needed. I was told when I got it that it was an EFM unit. Searched for years for pics or info to no avail. When my coal was delivered two weeks ago the delivery man told me he was sure the unit was a Crane and told me about your fathers company. I started my search for info again and found your blog. YEAH! My chute is cracked in the center but does not appear to affect the burn rate or quality of burn. I have a new second chute, but it is a little different than the one in the unit so I have not changed it. I believe there is nothing I don't know about how to service this unit and because of that I appreciate the design and workmanship of the unit. Afterall the unit is still working great and that is a testiment to your father's design. I would be interested in any parts you may have so I can keep her going for a long long time. The back panel is missing, so I do not serial nois. or model. It is a real honor having one of the last stokers in this model. Can't say enough good things about it. Thanks for responding to my post. My email is jritz@rcn.com. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
    IMG_20121224_113715.jpg

    Attached Files:

    jjs777_fzr, raybonz and DexterDay like this.
  16. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    gosh thats great! I can now see by your photo attached that you indeed have one of the units we made with the beefed up grate (those side panels of solid stainless and double layered deck with the holes in it are incredibly thick), the weight of that grate alone (if you ever unbolted it) would astound you! hahaha. I love seeing your idea of the remote mounted controls (fantastic idea and much better not only for safe function but convenience as well!). Im sure by now your probably far more proficient then I in terms of everything (I spent a freeeking year pulling my hair out to fine tune that stupid timer and trying to adjust for best slow burn, hot burn, etc. and never truly did get it to perfection in terms of efficiency and watching for 100% burned ash and even heat across that damb grate haha), It is so difficult to have a stoker hopper feed rice coal cooker in comparison to a pellet cooker (everything with coal needs to be heavier duty and the timing/feed unit has to be spot on) whereas a pellet burner just sucks up fuel like newspaper and it burns so easy you cant help but have 100% ash when done (except in the real low end china made crap). You have probably taken what my dad and I did to the "next level" and its great to see this unit working good!

    I will be at moms house over the holidays and will take a peek around for anything i can find that maybe around. Merry Xmass! Doug Crane
  17. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Doug great post about a remarkable stove and the man behind it! Are you related to the people that made Crane boilers? I had one in my last house and they are well made too..

    Ray
  18. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    Im afraid not, but i do agree that Crane Boilers were well made... Ive seen countless radiators and boilers from 100+ years ago functioning great to this day!
  19. Coalburner Don

    Coalburner Don New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    NH
    Hello Doug Jr.; I was a dealer for your Dad's stoves for several years. How do I contact you? My photo appears in one of your dealer pix. Coalburner Don
  20. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    Hi Don, always great to hear from people who knew my dad! dcrane@jackconway.com
    I always try to offer help here for Webby and my friends but im coal guy at heart so nepacrossroads is my daily stomping ground.
    raybonz likes this.
  21. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    I drive by Duxbury 5 days a week commuting to/from Boston.. Where do you buy coal around here and how expensive is it? Just curious..

    Ray
  22. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    the smart guys buy it in PA whenever they are in any sort of close proximity, the stupid guys like me buy it from boston coal, Williams coal (quality is always good currently supply blaschak), or for you try east coast fence (they are cheaper because they get shipments of fencing anyways and the coal is a stow away (quality is hit or miss thought). cost is from $350-$400 per ton bagged in your truck or delivered in bulk.
  23. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Wondering what a ton of coal is equal to in terms of wood cordage such as oak or hard maple.. Not going to burn but I am curious as to how it equates to cordwood..

    Ray
  24. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    probably should put this in a new topic so lets get into it to much here... but the correct answer is 1 ton of good quality anthracite coal is equal to 1.5 cord of good quality/seasoned Oak
  25. globalwb

    globalwb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    rhode island
    Hello Doug Jr. are you able to advise as to where I may be able to purchase a cast iron fire box for one of your dads stoves. This is the second Crane that I have with the first one being purchased in 1978. I truly believe that your dad built the best coal stove in the industry at the time, and in this size, and I still hold true to this statement today 8/16/14. You can reach me at globalwb@aol.com. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to offer.

Share This Page