Thursday, November 18, 2010

Andrew Gets a New/Old Stove

The oven has not been working since I moved into my apartment this summer. I didn't like the range much -- It didn't look like a quality product and certainly was not cared for. Instead of repairing it or buying a new stove, I wanted to get an old stove, one from the 1940s, 50s, or 60s. I grew up with such a stove, which my grandmother, Milosava Petković, used to make many tasty meals. She was a great cook.

While I prefer old and used things to new ones, I can see their flaws. In a car, no matter how beautiful an old one may be, I would prefer a new one. They are (usually) safer. When it comes to gas stoves, however, there is
no benefit to having a new one. The old ones are sturdy, have a clumsy grace, and they seem to burn bluer (see top photo).

The search for an old stove wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. When I lived in San Francisco, there were salvage yards and used appliance stores that carried stoves of this age. They were esteemed objects.

Chicago is a more difficult environment for old stoves. The few stores that carried decades-old stoves have closed. An appliance retailer, who appreciates the old, says that Chicagoans seem to prefer certain homogeneous looks (currently it is granite and stainless steel everything).

Fortunately, I asked a friend if he knew where I could find an old stove. He had recently bought a century-old worker's
cottage in Chicago's Logan Square district. He told me that he had two stoves he no longer wanted (maybe he, too, was going for granite and stainless steel). In every case, Jonathan sold me a beautiful, (probably) 1950s, Cribben & Sexton Universal stove (see photo of it in the garage in Logan Square). It has an atomic-era logo that seems to promise that, if the stove cannot protect you from annihilation, at least it can cook as well as a nuclear bomb (see photo, second from the bottom).

Yesterday, the stove was loaded onto a truck, carried up three flights of stairs, and installed in my home. The flame burns bluer. A repairman is coming tomorrow. The oven do
esn't work (and that's fine).


  1. I must say...I was doing a search for this exact stove today, and found you. We had one exactly like this. 2 years ago, we had to replace it, as the oven no longer worked. I have regretted the decision ever since. Our home was built in 1863 and this stove just fit the period of it.
    Oh, how I would love to get my hands on a fully restored one of these.

  2. I have the same stove! It's a beautiful retro looking gem. I baked in it for the first time last night and imagined all the goodies it's seen.

  3. I have exact same stove, I just wish it did not have 3 pilots. I lost two knobs also, : (

  4. I have this stove in my basement and would like to sell it. Do you know if it is worth anything? Or a person/place in Chicago that would be interested in looking at it?

  5. There is a call for better support for many prison educators in relation to what they are able to teach and how they are able to do so.  One thing that seems to be getting the thumbs up is how Functional Skills qualifications are being taught in prison and the effect that they are having on the students/prisoners. | | | | | | | | | |