Types of vintage gas stoves

Written by christine lebednik
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Types of vintage gas stoves
Functioning Gas Rangetop Burner (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Robert S. Donovan)

Many vintage gas stoves are still available for purchase in today's marketplace. Models range from fairly compact, simple stoves with only a single oven and a compact rangetop, to those with several ovens and larger cooktops. Most commonly, vintage gas stoves were manufactured by one of five different manufacturers: O'Keefe & Merritt, Wedgewood, Roper, Chambers or Tappan.

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Features

Vintage gas stoves come in many shapes, colours and sizes. There are single-oven, double-oven and even triple-oven stoves. Many come with grill/warmer drawers, in addition to one or more ovens and a rangetop for cooking with pots or skillets. Some ovens even have 'windows' for checking on the status of rising breads. Most windows are square or rectangular, but one brand offered circular oven windows that resemble the windows in some of today's front-loading washing machines.

O'Keefe & Merritt Stoves

One of the manufacturers of vintage gas stoves was O'Keefe & Merritt. This company specialised in stoves of almost industrial capacity. Most O'Keefe & Merritt stoves had two ovens, two grill/warming drawers and a large rangetop cooking surface; though the company did make a few smaller models with a single oven and smaller rangetop surface. At least one O'Keefe & Merritt stove had four separate oven compartments and four grill/warming drawers.

Wedgewood Stoves

Another manufacturer, Wedgewood, made stoves more typically suited for household use. Most of these Wedgewood stoves had only one oven and one warming drawer, though some offered storage-type compartments as well. Like O'Keefe & Merritt, however, Wedgewood did make larger stoves with double ovens and double grill/warming drawers.

Roper Stoves

Roper Stoves typically included two ovens and two warming drawers. A distinguishing feature of the Roper Stoves was that the "window" into the oven, in models that had such a window, was round rather than square, like other models of vintage gas stoves. One Roper Stove, in a custom green colour, boasted three separate grills, two ovens and eight separate burners with a centre griddle.

Chambers Stoves

Chambers -- like O'Keefe & Merritt and Wedgewood -- made stoves with double ovens and grill/warming drawers, and a good-sized rangetop. Chambers Stoves were, however, somewhat more compact than the double-oven models made by Wedgewood and O'Keefe & Merritt.

Tappan Retro

Although no descriptive information about the Tappan Retro gas stove is available at this time, an Internet search of "Tappan Retro" retrieves a number of pictures of this brand of stove available for purchase. Most are larger models, quite futuristic in appearance and offering four to six burners, glass doors and a cooktop light.

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