Saturday, January 30, 2016

Vintage Kitchen Stoves

Here are some postcards advertising kitchen ranges from early- to mid-twentieth century. The card above advertising the Quick Meal Range is circa 1909-10. This range was apparently made of iron with ornate embellishments.That looks like a coal bucket next to it. Both wood and coal were used for cooking at that time.

The next two postcards advertising "modern" Monarch ranges are probably from the early 1930s. No mention is made of the type of fuel used by these stoves. The first model looks like a modernized version of an old wood or coal burning stove. It was a "balanced design" incorporating "adequate equipment for heating and cooking."  and was available in either Ivory-Tan or Nile-Green porcelain enamel finish. The second model looks closer to the more modern ranges of the last 75 years. It had a practical "4-in-line" top, a large bake oven, a warming compartment, a light, and a timer clock. It was available in Ivory-Tan, Nile-Green, or White.

There were big changes in cooking stoves in the thirty years between 1910 and 1940, but not many obvious changes from 1940 until now.

Early electric stoves were unsatisfactory for several reasons. "By the 1930s, decreased cost of electric power and modernized styling of electric stoves had greatly increased their acceptance. Electric stoves and other household appliances were marketed by electrical utilities to build demand for electric power." (source: Wikipedia)

The 1940s Frigidaire models illustrated on the next two postcards don't look very different from today's stoves. The 1940 Frigidaire Special Model B-15 on the first Frigidaire card has features comparable to more expensive models — 5-Speed Surface Cooking, Twin Unit Oven, Thermizer well cooker, High-Speed Broiler,  and Cooking Top Lamp.

The 1953 Crosley electric range also still looks fairly modern. Crosley also manufactured automobiles, and the back panel reminds me of an auto dashboard. This range has two "Bake-Best" ovens, and "Automatic Mastermind," and Pushbutton controls for seven surface heat speeds.

Appliance company ads seem to emphasize electric ranges and appliances. When a gas range is shown, the ad is often promoting the use of gas rather than a specific brand of appliance. The ad below promoting modern gas ranges is from the December 1939 issue of The American Home magazine.(This image can be enlarge to an easy reading size)

To See more Vintage Images


  1. I like the second to last advertisement with the stove superimposed on the huge strawberry shortcake.

  2. That second Monarch advertisement shows an interesting arrangement of burners lined up in row across the back which is different than I've ever seen. When I was growing up we had a four-burner gas stove with two ovens and the burners split left & right with an empty space in the middle which was a very convenient arrangement. I cook now on a smooth-top electric range which is easy to keep clean, but if your pans are even the least bit warped they tend to twirl & skip around which is frustrating. I wish we had a gas range as we live in an area where the power tends to go out with some frequency & if I had a gas range I could still cook when that happens. Oh well. We keep a small camp stove in the garage just in case. When we used to heat our other house with wood heat, I'd cook on the woodstove when the power went out, but now we have central heat. Too bad.

  3. Love the cooking top lamp too - what a hoot!

  4. I too have a great liking for vintage advertisements - my favourite the first one - there is so much detail in the drawing.

  5. Those old stoves had so much character. We had a double oven in our previous house, which was handy if you were cooking fir a criwd, though I didn't do that very often.

  6. I had to smile with the quick meal range! I like the ones in colored enamel, I can not see why I could not cook on one of those, now. I must say my in build glass top is very efficient,quick and easy to clean. It is quite interesting to see how kitchens have developed over the years.

  7. We had a range with that light and salt/pepper arrangement at the top. My oven now has convection baking, convection roasting, plain convection, self cleaning, a proofing setting, standard broil and dual broil. Self cleaning of course and it has a probe and a delayed start timer. We use it to keep our plates warm! Once I stopped working in the food business, we began to eat very simply and I really have little need for all the fancy equipment I have. I love the Crosley with the dash board.

  8. I love the vintage advertisements too! It makes me wonder what changes our grandkids and their kids will see over the next 100 years?

  9. Those two Monarchs are great -- I do love old stoves, especially the old wood or coal ones.

  10. A super tour on the evolution of the central appliance of the kitchen. The first cast iron stoves required so much work to polish, reducing grease and rust, that they brought about the enameled metal stoves, which were prone to chipping and rust, which led to modern all stainless steel surfaces. Most of those "improvements" are invented solutions to problems most cooks never knew they had.

  11. These were wonderful to see. Reminded me of the very old stove I had in an apartment for 12 years. It had four burners of which only two worked. It had a wonderful white porcelain finish. I cooked many a good meal on that late 1940s stove. I wonder if it's still working. It had charm.

    1. I have a white stove in my apartment that is less than ten years old, and it looks almost like the old ones except for the digital clock.

  12. I really enjoyed the pictures of the old stoves. I have started collecting Victorian Trade Cards which has included advertisements for Stoves and Ranges.


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