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Trying to id a Portland Stove oven insert?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by mconsidine, Jul 23, 2011.

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  1. mconsidine

    mconsidine New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Vermont
    Hi,
    I've got a house that was built around 1959 and in the kitchen, on the other side of the fireplace, is what appears to be some sort of oven. Three people in the area are unable to identify it or describe how it was designed to be used. An image is attached.

    The markings inside the door say "Portland Stove Fdry Co, Portland ME, No 1216"

    If anyone here can help, I'd be grateful.

    Sincerely,
    Matt Considine
    Vermont

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,100
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Portland stove foundry cast the door.....they were a big foundry from the 1800's right through about the mid-1900's.
    Out of business now.

    It looks like the Portland part is only the door and frame - the inside looks like regular masonry. Many doors like this are used as cleanout for ash dumps, but since this is higher up it must serve some other purpose.

    Maybe it was for raising bread?
  3. mconsidine

    mconsidine New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Vermont
    Thank you for your reply. The unit is about chest high/four feet up from the floor and it has it's own flue. It looks like it's some sort of firebrick under the soot (though I haven't cleaned it off) and further up it appears to be regular brick. The regular brick seems to be a facing layer on top of cinder block.

    There is no ash cleanout or inlet for a draft, so I'm guessing that a small fire would have been built on the base and then the ashes would have been cleaned out once the brick was warmed up?

    Clearly there had been a fire in it at one time, as pictures from a digital camera propped up inside show soot further up. Couldn't have been that hot of a fire though. I built a retained heat brick oven in Pennsylvania and those bricks were always pristine after a full heating.

    Thanks again for your reply. And thanks in advance for anyone else's thoughts.

    Matt
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,844
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It clearly has had a fire in it or smoke passing through it. I am surprised to hear there is no air intake. How would one get a hot fire going? With the door open?
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