Parts of a Pot Belly Stove - that ring around the perimeter

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Feb 7, 2013
I am in the process of making a pot-belly stove for a theatrical prop, because the real ones are to heavy to be moving around. But, this has perked my interest in these things.

Many pot-belly stoves have a ring around the perimeter, that has many holes in them. On some they are chrome, but on most it seems to be cast as part of the main body. At first, I thought they may be a place to hang pots, but most pots don't have hooks on them. The only other think I though would benefit from a place to hang things, is laundry. Though, like the pots, you would need something to connect to the pot belly stove, such as a clothes-pin.

Finally, another possibility may be to prevent a piece of wood furniture from getting hot enough to catch fire. The ring would provide a slightly cooler touch-point, and also reduce the surface area a bit, that is in contact.

Of course, this could just be an ornamentation.

I tried searching the internet for an old photo that showed such a stove in use, but didn't find any that even had that feature. Most of the pictures I found were of very large ones, that seem less likely to have the feature.
Pot Belly Stove.jpg
Pot Belly Stove-straight sided.jpg

Any other ideas?
I don't have your answer but I think the trim on the stove on the right looks kind of like a tutu.
Footrest to dry your boots on after coming in from the snow.
Most boot rings hook on in sections, they hang on the stove and are not fastened with any hardware. The all black stoves were cheaper. This gave the stove a different name such as adding”Royal” or something similar to the name on the fancy stoves. Design and style changed through the years and you will be able to tell Victorian from more modern after studying them. The silver is nickel plated iron. Nickel gets harder from heat, chrome peels from heat.

A little stove terminology;
The fancy top is called a finial. Most set on a pin and swivel out of the way for cooking. You remove the lid with a lifter for cooking to have flame in direct contact with pot, pan or kettle bottom. The lids on the stoves pictured were also removed to pour coal in called stoking the stove. That's why a coal hod has a pour spout.

These are coal stoves that get air from under grate. The number cast into most is the diameter of burn pot. Cook stoves used different numbering system for length of firebox and oven size. The glass before we had high temp glass is from a clear rock called mica. It is still available and comes in many grades by the color or clarity.

The stoves were not painted, the black is stove black or stove polish. This is for cast iron, not machined cast iron tops or steel.

The air intakes that turn are called bell dampers, shaped like a bell. The bottom intake below fire is the main or primary air and the upper is for secondary air above fire to allow coal gas from fresh coal to burn off above the fire with blue flame. For wood you only open top, to prevent too much air coming up through wood fire making it burn fast.

The actual types vary from pot belly (on left) to parlor, some made with an easy replaceable cylinder like a thin can, (second pic called cylinder stove) to base burners and more efficient base burners with a recirculating pipe coming out the back at top and going back into the intake at bottom. Lots of info on collector sites such as (see History of stoves in America)

They are actually very lightweight compared to newer stoves.
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