FISHER Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear Details (Bear Series)

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
They were not rated by BTU since wood species across the country would vary widely.
Keep in mind they were designed in an area where there is soft woods only.
Fisher literature for Mama Bear stated; " Heats Approx. 1500 sf " or " up to 1750 sf " or " 1250 - 1750 "
Here's one of many calculators; https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/burn_time_calculator
 

Dell

Member
Dec 3, 2012
13
SE PA
I like the Fisher Ad. "Will last longer than you will" - true.
 
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hotinhere

New Member
Nov 25, 2013
1
Piedmont VA
HI folks, My poor Papa Bear is in dire need of fire bricks, but my father-in-law and husband can't seem to find the right "pattern" for setting them. Is there a diagram or something out there? Also, can someone tell me exactly where I can find my stove's number? My hubby and I have both risked sweat, burns, hot mirrors and flashlights trying to find where the number would be on our woodstove, all because I found this site last night and got ALL KINDS OF EXCELLENT INFO! We promise to wait til our stove cools down overnight to look again in the morning before we bank it again for the day. lol
I have to admit, I never knew the joys of wearing tank tops and shorts in the winter or having to open your front door to cool off your house in the dead of winter with a good piece of oak and a cranking woodstove! I'm hooked, I tell ya. ;)
 
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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
Welcome to the Forum;

You must be looking for this thread;
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/papa-bear-firebricks.89792/

I had a lot of questions about brick replacement so finally titled a thread for Mama , Papa and Baby complete with the original drawing pictures showing brick size and placement. You should always measure the inside first to be sure it was built to the exact size it was supposed to be. You'll be able to tell by the measurements if the brick sizes given add up to what you have.

If the stove came from the state you're in, it would be from the Dunn Brothers. Not sure how methodical they may be numbered if at all. It would be a "stove number", not serial number.
Stoves from the east coast that I can tell you were numbered were from PA and GA both numbered on the bottom in weld. Others like NY and NJ stamped the back in the upper top corner.

Ace Hardware has bricks by the box about 3.00 each. I found them at a local masonry supply for $1.50 each !

All us guys with Fishers have hot wives ;). And yeah, we don't put the summer clothes away.
 
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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
The first post of this thread shows the early doors and draft caps.

The first stoves had steel plate doors, then a cast iron door was suggested by Bob's father Baxter. A few cracked between the air intake holes and the trees were added to make the door thicker. This is an early three piece top before the tops were bent from one piece. The draft caps were pipe caps with a half inch bolt "plug" welded in the center. The draft caps with fins were invented by Bob's father, Baxter as well.
For a time line on the stoves development you can read The Fisher Stove Story here; Click on attachments tab for PDF of the scanned book
https://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/bob-fisher/

Original draft caps;
Fisher Original Draft cap.JPG Original Fisher Draft Cap.JPG The pipe cap was drilled in the center and welded through the hole to the top of bolt head.

First style cast door; (and also the door style pictured on the Fisher Stove Story cover)
Notice bent handle and solid chrome ball as well.

Early Papa Bear door.jpg Notice top plate detail welded with 3 pieces.
 
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Cormier

New Member
Jul 4, 2015
1
Palermo, Maine
Hi Coaly
We just moved into a new house and there is what we believe to be a Baby Bear in the basement. No patent number or shield plate on the back. Guessing it is an early model. No baffle. We are wondering if it is worth welding in a round baffle plate. Is this worth restoring to use as our main source of heat? We live in Maine and survived a very cold winter with a small box stove last winter but need something larger for the future. The past owners said this stove would heat up cherry red, stove pipe too, and didn't think it was very safe to use for the main source of heat. We are curious if a baffle would make the difference.
 

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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
Welcome to the Forum;
It would help prevent overheating the pipe. If any part of the stove or pipe begins to glow, it is being over fired. They should have closed the intake more or slowed the draft with a pipe damper. Sounds like it has an excessive drafting chimney that needs to be controlled. The baffle plate will do that to an extent, but a damper makes it adjustable. The stove was designed for only up to 1000 s.f. So size the stove according to heated square footage.
For a main heat source, I like at least a Mama Bear in case you're gone for 8 hours. They hold more fuel in case you need longer burn times.
Yes, that's an early one, '75 or '76 ?
 
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sara926

New Member
Jul 11, 2015
1
Weymouth, MA
Hello everyone! I have read so many things on this blog since stumbling upon it. I've loved learning so much about the Fisher stove. We recently just purchased a home in Weymouth, Mass and there was a Fisher Baby Bear in the living room. On the back there are a few numbers engraved in it. I believe they are K239 and 3806 2. Any idea what those mean or what year this Baby Bear was made? There is no rust on it and it really looks great. We were looking to sell it, but now I think I want to keep it for forever! Thanx everyone -sara
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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
I'd say the welder was using the #1 stamp to make a K for his initial, and it's the 239 th stove from that fabricator. (or 1239 ?)
No idea of the other number. Don't know of a serial number on them before tags started in 1980.
It's not a part number since Baby Bear was 237 on drawings. The drawings start with the first page called "Assembly" that shows entire stove drawing number 237-100. Then the drawings have each part drawn on a separate page. (Baby Bear is 18 pages) The Back drawing number that was sometimes considered a "part number" was 237-102, and the Top is 237-105. So those numbers are not from the drawings.
I'm guessing there are no markings in weld on the bottom, since it's stamped on the back. That could give you the state on bottom if it was PA. If it's a single piece bent top, I'm guessing '76 from Mass. I find no fabricator licensed in Mass. in '75.

The draft cap bolt is adjusted out too far. It should only be even or stick out enough to get a wrench on when the cap is closed. Sometimes when people have too large of a chimney or poor draft, they back the bolt out farther to be able to open the draft cap more for more air to make up for the poor draft. It also gives it too much air as shown by the discolored paint on the back around the vent. That's the hottest running part of the stove and a place to look for hairline cracks around the outlet. Normally the discoloration doesn't harm anything but the paint.
 
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AZNHMack

New Member
Dec 2, 2015
1
NewHampshire
Hey. New to forum. Bought a house with stove in it. Thinks it's mama bear from info I've seen. Looking for more info. Year? origin? Can't seem to find markings on it. Any help would be nice. Thanks image.jpg
 
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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
Welcome to the Forum, yes it's a Mama bear.
Wire brush the inside of door. Some have date stamps, but that is the door casting date, not stove fabrication date.
Your area started manufacture in 1975 in NH by Arnold Dunagan who later that year purchased license for ME and VT as well. May '76 the Bow NH plant changed ownership and was only in business until the new owner decided to make his own stove very similar to the Fisher he was licensed to make. A A patent infringement lawsuit failed miserably and All-Nighter was formed Feb. 1977. That's the time frame it was made as long as it was local to that area. If made elsewhere, after '77 it would have different draft knobs and door handle spring.
The judge in that lawsuit claimed no customers were frauded by misrepresentation or belief that the All Nighter brand was a Fisher product. 38 years later there are ads on Craigslist for "Fisher All Nighter Stoves" :mad:
 
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King_Fisher

New Member
Dec 1, 2015
1
Arkansas
I bought a 2,800 sq ft mobile home in 2009 with a Mama Bear that heated the whole thing. I'd never had a wood stove before this & was so impressed I looked it up & became a Fisher FREAK. I've bought, restored & sold over 150 Fisher Stoves since then....31 since October 2015. I picked up a Mama Bear in OK a couple weeks ago that was bought in Springfield, OR from Fisher Stoves & Antiques, LTD and they still had the original paper work and thought I'd share it and ask this question: In the installed part you see circled it reads "me" do you think Ole' Bob installed this stove himself? I sold the Mama a couple days ago but kept the paper work. Also picked up this set of legs clearly marked Fisher Stoves. What do I have? Thanks
 

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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
Welcome to the Forum,
That was Bob's own retail outlet when they were made on a larger scale in Eugene. I'd frame that Invoice. Thanks for sharing.

The Warranty card I would say was filled out by the owner. First, the Invoice is marked "picked up". The card is marked that local codes were not checked. Bob would know them or mark them checked. I'm sure he would have signed the card, and taken it with him. Why leave it with the customer to mail to your company when you would take the card back with you? Plus by then Bob had many employees and was busy with UL Listing his stoves. Goldilocks had just been invented and certified for mobile home use, and corporately he would be busy running quite a large company by then. I would think his own installation days were over in 74 or 75.

The Bear Legs were an optional accessory to be installed in place of the bolt on "Straight" leg. The other optional leg was the "Furniture" style shown in this 1980 brochure.

Rear Bottom.jpg

I watch eBay very closely for them and if they came from there, I believe these pictures are others from the auction where you found them, I can tell you the story on them;

400 eBay CA bead blasted 2.jpg 400 eBay CA bead blasted 3.jpg

I can tell you these were sold from CA and first listed as only 2 "bead blasted and painted with Rutland paint from CO" for $200. The auction was only listed for a short time and I messaged the seller telling him they were only a half set. He thought they were only for the front since they face forward and back when installed, unlike the feet that can all face forward as if on the animal. He thought they possibly made a rear set facing forward, but I assured him that was not the case. The new auction listed was for 4 and he mentioned in the auction he was corrected that they were not only for the front, and added "but what do I know". When put back up again the words "bead blasted and painted with Rutland paint" was removed. I bought what was left over from production from the Woodland Park CO. fabricator years ago. There were a few sets of the Bear Legs, doors and bent tops quite rusty that I turned down. They would need blasting and I was afraid it would take away from the detail. For $10 each plus shipping to PA they were not worth it at the time. Nice sets were selling for 60 to 100 at the time. I never dreamed they would someday sell for $100 each........... The sets I cleaned up to sell went for $100 a set back then. The person who eventually ended up with what I didn't buy is in CA.
 
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vasten

Member
Nov 11, 2007
205
Upstate NY
out of curiosity I looked up what $300.00 in 1978 was equivalent to today. Surprisingly that same $300.00 would be equivalent to roughly $1100.00 today, dang.
 

Ignited

New Member
Apr 1, 2016
1
Kentucky
Hi all - and you especially, Coaly, who I've learned so much from over the last few months via endless reading of all these threads. I am however new as a user and just wanted to stop in and share some Fisher love. I grew up around these stoves - dad has three... A Papa, mama, and baby. I have attached pics of his mama and baby for your pleasure, nothing out of the ordinary but nonetheless special to me. I also bought a mama myself a few weeks ago; found a good deal in Ohio and jumped on it. It is rust free, just needs some light sanding and a fresh coat of paint. After reading through this forum and of course the book, I now have a next-level addiction to these things .. As if it wasn't bad enough already ;)

Thanks to everyone on here who contributes their knowledge about these stoves.
IMG_20160327_143456.jpg IMG_20160327_143312.jpg IMG_20160312_143811.jpg
 
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Garret

New Member
Jun 14, 2017
1
Burlington
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I have a mama bear with an arched door and the reinforced trees on the front. My wife and I recently moved into a new house that we are trying to get ready for our first child and she says the wood burner has to go! I am updating most of the house at this point and after reading up on this forum, I thought mine might be worth enough to help me get things done around the house before my son arrives in July. Can anyone tell me what I can reasonably get for this mama bear fisher stove with the bear feet it has attached. That is after I get it cleaned up. The lady I bought the house from has been using wood to heat the house since it was built in 69.. she doesn't know where it came from, as it was in the house already when she moved in in the early 90's. The place was built in 69, but the forum says this model is from the 80's is that correct? Also, wondering about the left intake, and where that may have come from. Thanks
 
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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
Prices are seasonal, now being the lowest until many seem to want them in October and November.

Yes, this door was designed for the 1980 newer model but it is a non-listed (not UL tested) old style box which was made along with the newer listed model for $100 cheaper than the listed model with shields. It was sold for hearth installation or installation on non combustible surface such as a cement basement floor with non combustible walls such as cement or cement block behind it where a listed stove was not required. So for many it can't be legally used where only UL listed appliances are now required in any installation.

The original left damper was removed to install the automatic thermostat that uses a bi-metal spring made by Condor. They worked well, but it is now a modified Fisher.
The feet are worth more than the stove as it is. (possibly $200 or more for the feet) Watch prices on eBay and sell accordingly unless someone makes you a really good offer on the stove with them. Otherwise you need to get a replacement air intake damper from Barr Castings in Oregon who has the original molds to make the stove complete. (online store)
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
Papa with pipe cap dampers which were the first air dampers before Bob's dad Baxter invented and patented air damper called EZ-Spin with fins.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,180
NE PA
All models were available left or right hinged.
The stove used on the Fisher Stove Story cover was a left hinge.

It was due to offering them vented top, rear or left or right side. The first original stove was built to set on Bobs hearth sideways with a side vent to prevent the stove from sitting out in the room too far. If you needed to have a left side vent to face the left side of the stove against the fireplace opening, you would need a left hinge door to open against the fireplace opening so the door wasn't in the way when loading.