A modern or retro-style kitchen can be completed with an authentic or reproduction 1950s stove. Designs of the day were often large and made from porcelain and chrome. Options were fairly limited, but colours were not. Homeowners could choose from standard white to an array of candy-coloured pieces, including blues, yellows and reds. For an authentic 1950s stove, some brand names were big in that era. Though functioning models are scarce, certain brands are available at auctions and online.
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O'Keefe and Merritt
One of the largest manufacturers of stoves in the 1950s, O'Keefe and Merritt produce a large selection of appliances. Its stoves were a consumer favourite, as several sizes were available--a small "apartment" stove or a larger range for home kitchens. They were most often made from porcelain and featured large chrome handles and knobs. Consumers could choose from a rainbow of colours and today most restorers will provide any colour imaginable. Functional O'Keefe gas stoves may be difficult to come by as of 2011, though a few companies across the country specialise in restoring them. Cost varies considerably, as do the costs of repairing and refurbishing.
Chambers is another antique that is a collector favourite. Chambers was an innovator in the industry and featured some of the most creative designs of the period. Its stoves were some of the most insulated models available, meaning lower gas bills and heating costs. Most of its pieces came with a full 25-year warranty, and the stove offered a compact look with large cooking area. The C-Series, for example, included a single-, double- or triple-boiler, as well as three tiers of cooking space and a "service cabinet" to hold pots and pans. Chambers products were offered in small or large models and came in several colours. Today, these stoves may be difficult to find, but can be refurbished to work and look good as new.
The Wedgewood Co. began producing stoves as early as 1910, and continued into the 1940s and 1950s. The company was one of the most popular during the time, but is not one of the most collectable today, though a well-refurbished model may sell for as much as £650. Wedgewood models were one of the most durable, and came in a range of sizes from 36 to 60 inches across. Depending on the model, customers could select gas burners, build-in warming drawers or a hob griddle. These stoves can still be found from antique dealers or from professional restoration companies.
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