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Kitchen Wood Stoves

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by nate379, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Wondering if anyone would be familar with this setup?

    My memere (grandmother for you english peoples) had a big kitchen stove. I'm not sure on the age, I'd guess 50s-60s but I know it was used till the early 2000s when house was sold and remodeled.

    It looked similar to a modern stove, Had a white finish, 4 burner cooktop and oven. All that ran on propane.
    But then on the left hand side was a "box" about 12-16" wide and the height of the stove. It had a cook surface on the top, but for that to work you would have to burn wood in the "box". I'd imagine it would also provide heat for the house as well.

    Kinda looked something like this, just not as modern of course: http://www.number1direct.com/produc...nding-Electric-Range.html?trackcode=AmazonAds

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  2. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    They come on the market around here from time to time. The local stoves I think were made in St Louis. White porcelain with wood fire box on the left. We have never had one, but pepere used one in the river cabin. Not uncommon in these parts. Likely still found in fishing and hunting shanty.

    Used, they are cheap, so I thought about one for the basement for long power outages. Bottle of propane and stack of wood - good for the long haul. Wife had more sense and said no. She was right. Things are big, ugly, and not UL. Would have been a waste of our time.
  3. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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  4. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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  5. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    that's a beauty! I have an early 1900's Home Comfort cookstove that I plan on redoing someday (hoping to build a small camp on the mountain) but just too many projects on the burner right now! :)
  6. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    The combination wood/gas ranges were made at least as early as the 1920s. Perhaps even earlier, I don't know. I once read a book about cooking on wood ranges, and they had a history of this stuff. Don't recall the title. Anyhow, I wanted one badly for my house when I built it back in the 80s. Never found one, so I went with a wood-only range and gas countertop burners.

    Anyhow, what I read was that the combination stoves worked ok but the wood range portion was a compromise, with a small firebox that needed constant tending. A real pain, but probably not a big deal for a cabin used part time or something. I eventually did run across some in antique stove stores. They were priced quite reasonably and much less expensive than a wood-burning range.
  7. Wade A.

    Wade A. Feeling the Heat

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    I've used wood burning ranges, and my grandmother and mother did as well. Grandma held out a long time after rural electrification happened in that part of the country (Shen. Valley of VA). After that, she moved it to her smokehouse, where she canned all her vegetables on it for decades longer. She was very comforrable with the technology, to say the least. All experienced cooks of her generation could tell the approximate temperature of a stove by opening the oven door and putting a hand inside. There is even a formula, based on counting the seconds you could comfortably hold your hand there, that would give you the temp within about 25 degrees...crucial when trying to cook baked goods. Other models of course have door thermometers. Wood stoves are only incidentally wood heaters. Mostly, the excess heat is seen as a real negative when cooking in the warm months. In winter, the size of the firebox and the non-airtight construction make it near impossible to heat anything but the immediate area.

    Back when I was into metal detecting, around VA and Maryland, I'd always find numerous wood stoves parked in the back corners of old fields, grown over and covered up. Some of the iron work was really impressive. In my current house I have a couple of warming shelf brackets off an old stove holding up a granite kitchen counter. I tell you though, when the women got a chance to retire their woodburners, they jumped on it. That tells you alot about the labor saving properties of the modern gas or electric range.
  8. bsj425

    bsj425 Burning Hunk

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  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Ah Memeres . . . if I was a betting man I would guess she made some fantastic ployes . . . and even today you may enjoy eating poutine. ;)
  10. Clodhopper

    Clodhopper Member

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    I had a Bengal Blue Jet that I burned for about 12 years. We never did hook up the propane because all the valves needed to be re doped. We bought it for 3 bushels of tomatoes. I ended up giving it to a friend who has it in his sap house now when we decided to go with a stove that could burn all night and didn't take up so much space. Here is a pic.

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  11. burleymike

    burleymike Feeling the Heat

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    My Grandma had one in her kitchen and she cooked on it until she moved in 1984. My dad has lots of stories growing up with that stove.
  12. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Yes, looked very much like that model other than it had 2 doors at the bottom instead of what looks to be 3.

  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Yes sir!

  14. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I have wanted a wood kitchen stove for many years. I always figured when we bought our next house I'd make sure it had room for one, even if it was in the basement. Well, I'm definately not fitting one in the Cottage, considering it's smaller than the Old House, and has no basement :( Now I am thinking eventually I'd like to build a summer kitchen somewhere on our property, and put a wood cook stove in it. I looked at a few of the new ones, thinking I might relocate the Temco and put one in the sunroom, but none are UL listed and I don't think my insurance company would like that very much.
  15. Grannyknot

    Grannyknot New Member

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    This is a random story and one that probably doesn't deserve mention here but.....

    Many years ago, my wife and I were hiking a short section of the Appalachian Trail in the middle of winter. It was very cold, and there were 4 foot snow drifts in many places, but we were trudging right along.
    One section on the TN/NC border (the max patch area for those familiar), goes right next to a very old mountain farmhouse.
    Outside the farmhouse was an older man, probably in his late 70s/early 80s, outside in the blowing snow, splitting wood. (They had a massive stash of seasoned firewood).
    Their old stacked stone chimney was smoking a bit, and the farmhouse looked very cozy.
    When we passed by, the man stopped his work and walked over to talk to us, we exchanged pleasantries and a short conversation, and at the end, he asked if we would like to come in for some coffee and a "biscuit".
    We quickly said we'd love too. The old farmhouse had electricity, but looked like most of the amenities hadn't been updated since the 50s, and had an old wood fired range/oven setup in the kitchen.
    Inside the kitchen, the mans wife was tending to some chores and working on a quilt. She opened the little door on the oven and threw a few small splits of seasoned oak in. They flamed up immediately.
    Then she did something that I had never seen before. She pulled open an old wooden drawer in the cupboard. It was very deep, lined with sheet metal of some sort, and full of flour.
    She made a little cavity in the flour, threw some butter in, poured some buttermilk in, and whipped up some biscuit batter right there inside the drawer full of flour.
    She pulled a pre-heated cast iron skillet out of the oven, dolloped some lard in the center, and watched it melt immediately. Then she dolloped the biscuit batter in 7 different spots on the skillet.
    The coffee left a little to be desired, but the biscuits were amazing, and I've still had nothing that was their equal. No butter or jelly was required....just plain.
    My wife asked her how she regulated the temperature in the wood fired oven, and she just replied "70 years of trial and error".
    Before we left to hit the trail again, she wrapped up two biscuits for us, each with a piece of country ham in the middle. We had those later in the tent....needless to say, they were delicious.

    I'll never forget that sweet old couple, their ways of living up on that mountain, and often wonder if they are still alive, kickin, and making the best biscuits i've had.
  16. pen

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

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    yea, it may not be directly related to what the OP is looking for, but since it's such a good story who cares.

    I hope someone, someday, can have such a good story about the wife and myself. What a compliment.

    pen
  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I agree Pen. What makes the story so wonderful is its simplicity and randomness.
  18. Wade A.

    Wade A. Feeling the Heat

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    Grannyknot....sounds like you were initiated into the glories of cathead biscuits, or "drop" biscuits, to use another name. The alternative method is to roll them out and cut them out, of course, and to be "regulation" the cutter should be the open end of an old baking powder can. Nothing exists that you can stick in your maw that won't be improved by a little pure leaf lard either! That piece of furniture you saw sounds like what is commonly known as a "Hoosier" cabinet. It was used primarily for baking goods and most had a flour hopper that had a built in sifter and an enamel top that could be used for rolling out pie pastries, etc., without sticking. This was an essential piece of equipment in a time when most kitchens did not have the wide open space and efficiency of countertops.

    (And, take it from an old AT bum.....don't eat ham biscuits (or any other food) in your tent! Right? Right.)

    Great story. Those characters from that era are just about gone in that part of the world. I've known a few, and they genuinely knew where deep satisfaction can be found.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I was in that area a few times in the early 70's. The best way to describe it is that it was like time had just stood still. I met folks there that had no electricity or even central plumbing. Inside of their home it was hard to tell if it was 1870 or 1970. They were good folks, with a peculiar accent, yet they were kind and helpful to me, a stranger. I wonder if it's still like that.
  20. Wade A.

    Wade A. Feeling the Heat

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    Not so much anymore BeGreen. The old timers who lived through the depression era are just about gone from the landscape, and the ethic they had goes with them. I'm always wary of getting romantic about another's self-sufficiency though. To live like that takes a lot of stoop labor and long hours of drudgery. Most don't do it for its quaintness, but out of necessity and out-and-out material poverty. Certainly out of a lack of alternatives as well. But, still, you can't overlook the positive benefits of that life. Shoot, I guess everyone here knows that.

    What I regret is that these people took with them many, many useful skills that were not passed on. The good news, sort of, is that we're going to be needing those skills again as we come down the long descent that goes along with the depletion of cheap energy sources. There are many people hunting around to try and rediscover the tricks of living that way.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    For sure they were very poor. It was an eye opener for me as a young lad coming from an affluent NY county. But there was a humble respect and dignity there too.

    I'm currently reading a fascinating book about a pioneer in Colorado. It starts back in England and how the wars forced many Scots out of their country. They went to jail or they were sent to the colonies as indentured servants. The NC hills are full of Scots too. After the hardships they endured in England, those that survived became remarkably rugged individuals.

    http://www.amazon.com/At-Home-Range...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328210258&sr=1-1
  22. Wade A.

    Wade A. Feeling the Heat

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    Talkin' about my people there, for sure. The Scots-Irish are pathologically self-reliant, and as fractious and belligerent a group as this continent has ever seen. I've noted that this heritage is shared by the majority of posters here, not a coincidence, I'm sure. With the passage of the Queen Anne's law, divesting the Scots-Irish Presbyterians of most of their property and religious rights, they took to the New World in droves, bringing their distrust of the Crown with them. (It is no small accident that the U.S. Constitution draws heavily on the Presbyterian Book of Order) As long as they kept the Shawnee and Cherokee W. of the Allegheny, they were free to practice their peculiar Presbyterian rites, without interference from the Anglican church, and to cook their whisk(e)y and generally go feral. Thereafter, the law of unintended consequences kicked in...big time.

    I'd highly recommend Jim Webb's: "Born Fighting" if you want a good summary of the entire history, going all the way back to the border conflicts in Northumbria, the Ulster plantation, the siege of Derry and all points in between.
  23. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I don't know...whether or not the skills are needed, it would be nice to know HOW to do certain things. Have you ever gone to an estate sale, auction or the like and come across a tool that is obviously old and you can't determine what it was used for?

    I think while we may not NEED to know some things, it might be better to do them the old fashioned way sometimes. Ok, I prefer the splitter and chainsaw over a maul and axe. But for example-we made brownies from a mix last night. Ever read those ingredients?! I think it's probably better (health wise) to know what to throw together to make your own.

    I finally saw Wallie (the movie..or was it Wall-e) the other night. Seems like the path we could be on, forgetting how to do the simpliest things because we CAN. Scary.

    I don't think I'd want to live like Noah John Rondaeu (the Adirondack Hermit), in a tent in the mountains, but I would like to be able to can my own fruits and root cellar my own veggies. Although I'd need a cellar first, lol. I had to read up on raising chickens. I've never cooked on a real wood cook stove. I'd like to go to a "continuing education" class on that, instead of the latest in social networking.


    ANYWAY, OP, I've seen stoves like that on Ebay. They look basically like a regular 40's or 50's era stove (maybe a little more basic).
  24. StuckInTheMuck

    StuckInTheMuck Member

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  25. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I just wasted a disturbing amount of time at that wonderful website.

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