Posted by: gingercreekstoves | September 27, 2017

Rust jacking! What’s that? ?

Or:  Why Should I restore my antique stove?

You like how it looks.  It looks pretty good the way it is, and it’s supposed to look old, like an antique, right?  Well, some antique stoves have been kept so well, and used so little, that they really are in very good condition. That would be more the exception than the rule, though.


Most antique stoves have not been kept in a dry, indoor environment for the past hundred years or so. They usually have been stored in a shed or barn, or worse, outside on the porch or somewhere out in back of the house. Or in the garden.


When the new stove came in, the old stove went out. Probably just a matter of space in the house, and limited number of chimneys to hook up to.

So, back to rust jacking.  Antique stoves were made of cast iron and sheet iron, or sheet steel. Cast iron is unique among metals because although it is very dense and durable, it is also porous. So, it tends to soak up moisture and water and even humidity from the atmosphere and that starts oxidation, namely: rust.

Ok, but it’s just a thin coating of rust, and can be sandblasted off. That’s correct.

However, in terms of an antique stove, it’s when rust builds up on the surface and over time starts to migrate down and settle in the seams where the stove parts join together. There is already dried sealant in the seams, competing for space there.


Gradually, the rust continues to build up and expand within the seams, along with the old sealant.  Eventually it creates enough pressure to crack the cast iron, which is held together with steel bolts. The bolts are probably ‘frozen’ in rust as well, so the more brittle cast iron succumbs to the pressure before the bolts do, and cracks to relieve the pressure.  That is known as ‘rust jacking’.



Cracks in an antique stove will decrease the value because it will take more work to restore. Also, some cracks can be welded, or recast more successfully than other parts.  Cracks can also happen for other reasons than rust jacking, such as overheating, and over tightening a bolt or screw, or simple damage from moving or shipping the stove incorrectly.  Cast iron is dense and strong, but it is also brittle.

Notably, the cast iron from a hundred or more years ago was of much higher quality, higher carbon content, than the cast iron of today. So, once the rust is off and the cast is protected, it can easily last another hundred years. Can’t say that for the cast iron in new wood stoves.

Grand_Glenwood_103 (1)

Also if you want to use the stove again ….it needs to be restored to clean the rust and old sealant out of the seams. Then painted with high heat stove paint, and reassembled with new stove mortar in each seam, and  appropriate new screws or bolts.  Otherwise it will continue to collect rust in the seams and spring new cracks. Also, without new sealant, the stove could leak smoke through the seams into the house, also draw in air through the seams and burn too hot.

coal fire glow

While a quick sandblast or wire-brushing of the exterior, along with a coat of stove paint can make a stove look somewhat new again, it doesn’t make it safe to use . To be safe to use again, it needs to be re-sealed. And, that means a full restoration. There is a lot going on under the surface, in places you can’t even see, that need attention for a stove to work safely, as it was intended.

So, how to protect your antique stove for many years to come?  Get it properly restored!

Then, keep it  and use it in a dry,  indoor environment. An antique stove cannot be used in a screened room, or patio, or outside, unless you want to ruin it within a year or two.  So, use it in your house, and  use a magnetic thermostat on it so you don’t overheat it, and you will be set for at least another 50 years.


Posted by: gingercreekstoves | June 18, 2014

The Plating Process

Ever wondered what it takes to plate different metals or cast iron in nickel or chrome? It is quite an interesting and complex process.

Click the link below to see the 22 minute video.

Watch a video about the plating process by our associate, Brian Spandl, of Mill Lake Metal Finishing, in Long Prairie, Minnesota.


Posted by: gingercreekstoves | May 31, 2013

How to Start a Coal Fire

(This article was contributed by our friend Pierre of Quebec, Canada.
We asked him for his expertise on how to start a coal fire in an antique coal stove, using anthracite coal. Anthracite, (‘ant’ for short), is the hardest variety of coal, and although it is a bit more challenging to get started than wood or soft coal, it burns hotter, cleaner and longer once it gets going.) He is using a Golden Bride No. 12 coal stove, made by Mt. Penn Stove Works, of Reading, PA.

How to Start a Coal Fire

About starting a coal fire, there are many different ways to do so. One I like to use is: open the manual pipe damper(if the installation has one), open completely the primary air control (the ash pan door can also be opened to help). Put many crunched up newspaper balls first, then place a few slices of econo logs on the paper and some charcoal around them.

first step

The econo slices can be replaced with small wood, just like when starting a wood fire. Light the paper, when the charcoal ignites and and the pieces of econo logs are burning, start to put a few pieces of anthracite over the fire, not very much, about a scoop, this step is one of the most important with coal because the base must be burning strongly and you should take the time for it.

get it going

Then wait until the ant (anthracite) starts to produce blue flames. Blue flames indicate the fire is going on. Then add a light layer of ant, wait for the blues.

wait for the blue

Read More…

Posted by: gingercreekstoves | May 25, 2013

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?
and ‘A stove by any other name..’
The names have it!

There are thousands of stove names for antique stoves, and even more models and sizes. I’ve heard there are 10.000 patented stove names. So, What’s in a name? Why did they choose the names they did? And, why did stove manufacturers choose to give names to their stoves?

It took awhile for manufacturers to come up with that idea. Stoves made before 1880 often did not have names,but they often had the name of the manufacturer, a number referring to the size or the model, and sometimes a patent date. Before 1880, many remained nameless.

Considering the actual names, a couple things come into focus. First, it was free advertising to put an appealing name on the stove itself. It also made it easier for the manufacturer to identify stove replacement parts for customers. Having a name on a stove is still one of the best identifying factors in researching information about it.

Until central heating became available, the wood or coal stove was the focal point of the house, providing the basic necessitities of heat, hot water, and cooking. So, the name on the stove also became an important focal point of the household as well.

Of course, all the names tend to bring up positive thoughts, virtues, qualities or experiences. So the name of a stove could serve to exemplify a statement of the owner’s values, or the superlative value of the stove: Champion,  Cheerful,  Winner,  Golden Rule,  Ideal Oak,  Monitor, Puritan,  Alert,  Superior,  Premium Grand.


Some appeal to a sense of home and hearth like: Radiant Home, Home Comfort, Cozy, and Parlor Glow.

Radiant Home

Then there are the names that appeal to an appreciation of the qualities of nature: Sunshine, Glenwood, Red Cloud, Round Oak, Star, Daisy, Eagle, Acorn, RomeEagle, Oakleaf, Mistletoe.


Some are named after women: Florence, Stella, Hazel, Delia, Merry Bride, Kate Lee, Golden Bride, Martha Washington, Betty.

Florence Hot Blast

Or animals: Badger Oak, the Lion, Beaver Oak.

Beaver Oak

Some names tell how the stove will help you out- I recently heard of a laundry stove named, ‘Magic Elf’.  : )

Many are about royalty: Royal Oak, Victor Countess, Queen Atlantic, King Oak, the Regal, Majestic, Empire, as well as Princes, Dutchesses, Princesses and Estates.

Others are about geographical places: Great Western, King Arizona, Columbia, Columbian-Ulster, Carolina Pride, Dixie, The New South, Bay State Gem, Kalamazoo.

Dixie pot belly

One that we know of is reminscent of a musical instrument, and shaped like a pipe organ – named, ‘Organ’.


Whatever the name, antique stoves are a tribute to the beautiful and enduring workmanship of previous generations, and continue to provide self-sufficiency today, even as they did for our ancestors.

Visit us at to see pictures of unique antique stoves, authentically restored to their original condition.

Posted by: gingercreekstoves | April 22, 2011

A Stove Restoration in Progress – King Arizona

This is the King Arizona, not yet restored

King Arizona

King Arizona

The King Arizona is an unusual stove in that it is basically a cast iron furnace inside a cast iron filigree jacket. It’s similar in design to the Moore’s Air-Tight Heater 403B, except smaller, and has four large mica windows.
The entire stove was spray painted with silver paint, including the mica windows. Actually, that may have helped to preserve the cast iron from rusting.
On the other hand, it does make the sandblasting a bit  more difficult! It’s either the rust or the paint, it would seem!
One of  its other unique features is that it has an image of a leaping fish in the middle of the filigree design on both sides of the stove.

King Arizona jumping fish

In the center on both sides of the stove, a jumping fish is part of the design in the filigree cast iron jacket.
This part of the stove was never silver  or nickel to begin with. Originally it was black cast iron.
We can tell, since when Russ sandblasts the parts,  it goes down through the layers of whatever was there originally.
The stove will need to be disassembled entirely, in order to restore it properly. In that process, we find lots of things that might not be evident on first look at the stove…

Click Here to See the Full Restoration Process

Posted by: gingercreekstoves | February 13, 2011

New Globe Hot Blast

The New Globe Hot Blast No. 718 is still a marvel of thermodynamic engineering, even though its design is at least 100 years old.  Probably at least 110 years old,  as of this writing in 2011.

New Globe Hot Blast No. 718

New Globe Hot Blast No. 718

Made by The Globe Stove & Range Co., of  Kokomo, Indiana,  circa 1900 -1910, the New Globe Hot Blast is an exemplary heating stove, for any era, and also very handsomely designed.

Standing 70″  high, it is a commanding presence, and even more so when it is fired up, with the fire visible through its eight mica windows, and reflected on the upper reflector and two side wing reflectors.

It is certainly capable of heating a large area.  In its past, it may have been used to heat a church or meeting hall, and today,  it would be an excellent heater for an open concept home with a high ceiling, or a large recreation room.

There have been some questions about understanding the ‘hot blast’ feature of this stove.  Here is a picture of the interior of the New Globe Hot Blast:

Interior of New Globe Hot Blast

Interior of New Globe Hot Blast

While you can’t see the hot blast fire holes in this picture, you can get an idea of how the fire pot is supposed to be.

The wall there is the interior wall of the fire pot, with the grates below it.  Of course it was originally intended for use with coal, and burning it efficiently. In the original advertisement, the New Globe Hot Blast is said to be much more efficient than the Globe Hot Blast, as it “has been subjected to over eight thousand rigid and severe ..tests..and was proclaimed the victor in each and every instance.”

New Globe Hot Blast_firepot

New Globe Hot Blast_firepot

Here you can see the holes in the fire pot where the extra hot blast air comes through to enhance the fire.

The original ad says:  “We claim that our new heater will burn any kind of fuel more economically, will consume the smoke and soot more completely, will heat the base, floor and room more thoroughly, and will hold fire just as long as any heater ever made”

And, here is the special ‘hot blast door draft’  to open in order to engage the hot blast feature:

The Hot Blast Draft Door

Hot Blast Draft Door

Hot Blast Draft Door

This is the special door which opens by a lever to the right.

As you can see, it says right on the door, “Pull the lever to open hot blast draft”.

The original ad says:  It can be operated by a novice with better results than the old-type stove can be operated by an expert with his bound volume of rules for operation.”

The Hot Blast Draft Door, open

Hot Blast Door Open

Hot Blast Door Open

Here, you can see the door opened by the crank lever. There are several notches on the lever to allow more or less air into the intake draft.

When opened, the air goes directly into the double-walled fire pot, and feeds in around the inside of the fire pot, directly to the fuel.

It is sort of like having an automatic interior set of bellows fanning the fuel, and without any smoke or soot coming through, outside of the stove at all.  It burns the fuel as completely as possible, meaning that your heat is staying in the stove and radiating into the room,  and not creating smoke going up the chimney, and the fuel is completely and efficiently used,  and not left half burned.

New Globe Hot Blast

New Globe Hot Blast

The New Globe Hot Blast was offered in two different versions.

With a Steel Jacket and with a Cast Jacket.

It was also offered in several different sizes, from a 14″  fire pot, to a 20″ fire pot.

The weight of the stove from smallest to largest went from 210 lbs. to 470 lbs.

They usually transported these stoves by horse and wagon. (off the railroad)

(And, we thought the USPS and UPS was bad enough, right?  : )

Well, the stoves got there, and were used.  Glad there are some left for us to appreciate!

Nothing like this is being made today.  And, it is a gift from our collective ancestry in this great nation of ours to still have some of these wonderful stoves to be restored and employed as they were meant to be.

Once restored authentically,  these stoves  are in original working condition for the next 100 years.  What a legacy!  And a truly great heirloom to give to posterity.

Posted by: gingercreekstoves | December 6, 2010

Stella – 1882 Parlor Stove

Stella Parlor Stove 1882

Presenting the Stella, an 1882 Parlor Stove, which is in really excellent condition, and hand-painted to highlight all of its beautiful decorative design.

The Stella is an early parlor stove made in 1882 by Favorite Stove Works of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Stella also has a very unique lower front door, with photographic imagery of its namesake, Stella.

This is a one-of-a-kind stove, and a nice size parlor stove:  56″ high by 28″ wide, with original finial.

Here are some  close up pictures of the Stella:

Stella - loading door

It has a wing motif above the vent door, and an Egyptian lotus motif below it.

Very authentically enhanced designs in high-heat stove paint, by Brian and Brianna Spandl.

And lotuses and reeds below that.

The ornate door hinges are nickel plated, as is the handle for the loading door.

What a very special antique parlor stove the Stella is!

Here is a picture of the photographic imagery on the front of the stove:
Stella Parlor Stove - unique front door

Stella Parlor Stove - front door image

There are not many stoves made with this much detail attached!

Favorite Stove Works was a large stove manufacturing company.

Click here to see their factory in Cincinnati, Ohio.

And, yet, they seem to have dedicated this particular stove to ‘Stella’.
I would love to know what was behind that.  Maybe she was the woman who inspired the stove, and perhaps even worked on the design of it.
And more detail:

Stella rooster

I think it was also about their everyday life, and how much they appreciated the simple blessings of every day.

Just like this rooster, waking you up at the break of dawn!   – Ok, that could be a blessing, or not…depending on your schedule!

No matter what time you get up – this stove is an inspiration!

And, there are not likely any more of these around!
Stella Parlor Stove 1882

Stella Parlor Stove 1882

So, this is the Stella, restored by Brian Spandl, and  available on Ginger Creek Antique Stoves.

Posted by: gingercreekstoves | November 19, 2010

Pilot No.55:——– a pot belly stove with history!

Pilot No. 55 pot belly stove

Pilot No. 55

This is the Pilot No. 55,  just restored after about 127 years!  Lookin’ pretty good, huh?

We couldn’t find anything about it, except what it said on the stove itself: “Penna Stove & Range Co., Spring City, PA. ”  So, what’s it doing here in N. Carolina? And, why does it have a railroad spike for a door handle? 

Ok, it is a large potbelly stove, standing 52″ high, and with a big 19″ fire pot – the type you would expect to have seen in a general store, back in the 1920’s?   That’s what we thought at first glance, but, this stove has more history to it, even than that.  Just a matter of finding it!

Well, here is what the Pilot looked like when we got it this past September at auction:

Pilot - unrestored
Pilot – unrestored

The unusual mica windows had been painted over, and it was missing part of the vent door slider at the bottom, (which had a little daisy flower patterned into the cast iron). But, it did have all its other parts, including its bootrails. 

We later found out from its original advertisement, that nickel plating for the bootrails  would cost the buyer an extra 75 cents…!  These days it is way different, as nickel itself has become rather expensive, and preparing the cast iron for plating is a very specialized art.

We also found, from the Historical Society of Royersford and Spring City, PA, that the maker of the Pilot was the Yeager Hunter Stove Company of Spring City.  The original stove foundry was built in 1843, and after several different owner/manufacturers, was then destroyed by fire in 1856.  The people of the town of Spring City got together and rebuilt the stove factory in 1860, on the same site.

The foundry changed ownership a few more times, until finally Oliver Keeley owned it  completely by the Spring of 1881.  Unfortuately, once again the foundry was destroyed by fire in July of the same year. So, Mr. Keeley continued operations across the river in Royersford. But, in January 1882, he was killed in a train accident at age 36.  The towns of Spring City and Royersford, had both the Pennsylvania RR and the Reading RR serving their locale.

After that, the people of the town got together once again, formed the Spring City Iron Association, and rebuilt the Spring City plant that had burned, on the same site.  In 1883, they built a large 4 story warehouse and foundry with a machine shop and offices. Yeager and Hunter leased the plant for the next seven years, from 1883 – 1890.  In 1890, they bought it and incorporated it as Yeager & Hunter, Spring City Stove Works. Today, it is known as “The Spring City Electrical Manufacturing Company”.  They make cast iron lamp posts and use electrical power for the furnaces.

Many thanks to Bill at the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society  for the historical records about the Pilot. Their website is:     Bill Brunner can be reached at

We thought it might have been used to heat  a railroad depot in Spring City. Bill sent us the picture of the Spring City railroad station:

Spring City Station

Spring City Station

The interior pictures didn’t show a stove such as this. But, maybe someone from there would remember it.And, in its restoration, we kept the railroad spike that was made to be a handle for the main door – for a couple reasons – it is smaller than a normal railroad spike, so we think someone at the foundry made it special. And, it is a railroad town, and that is part of its history. Also, it was put on with a rivet, which had the same amount of original rust as anything else on the stove, and lastly, it fits perfectly to open and close the main door.  So, it will stay, as someone intended a long while ago!
Bill also sends the original catalog page of the Pilot:
Pilot Catalog  Page

Pilot Catalog Page

It is slightly different in a few little ways, but, it is definitely the Pilot. 
Great to see it, as it was originally displayed for sale.
As it says, the Pilot was originally offered for sale for $26.00.  And,
75 cents extra for nickel on the bootrails…!
And, the stove also has a little extra door, just for poking the coals.
That door was completely gone, but Russ, who restores all our stoves at Ginger Creek Stoves, was able to make a new one, which functions perfectly.  Yay!  
Thank you to Dave Petricka, who helps us exponentially with our research on antique stoves, and also to Brian Spandl, who does all our nickel plating and whose beautifully restored stoves are represented on our site along with our own. 
Well, now we have another stove mystery to solve – because recently acquired a smaller pot belly stove, also with mica windows, and made in PA, by the Keeley Stove Co. — one of the owners of the original Penna. Stove Co, which was later -Yeager Hunter… so – this one is even older. Would have to be 1881 or 1882 , as that is the only time it was called The Keeley Stove Co., – before it burned….   Here we go again! 
We don’t know of a link between The Keeley Stove Co. in Spring City, PA (1882), and The Keeley Stove Co. in Columbia, PA, which we know was operating in 1909- 1910.  Columbia is about 70 miles west of Spring City.  If anyone knows what the connection is, please leave a comment. 
For more info on the Pilot , and all our other wonderful antique stoves, visit us at:  –
Posted by: gingercreekstoves | November 13, 2010

Welcome to Ginger Creek Antique Stoves!

What’s going on at Ginger Creek Antique Stoves!

We are all about antique wood and coal stoves.  We authentically restore unusual antique stoves to their original state.  (And also, some not-so-unusual ones, too)

We have a great selection of  restored antique stoves for sale, and, at the best prices available, as well.  Check our website:

History and Mystery!!

We will be presenting the history of some of these grand stoves, and trying to shed some light on the mystery of antique stoves.  Every stove is unique, and has its own ‘reason for being’,  its own functionality,  personal history and appeal. The ingenuity in the design of these stoves is also of continual interest and inspiration to us.  We started this blog to share that inspiration.

And, as usual – just talkin’ about stoves…!

We got the ‘stove fever’ awhile back,  – started with just one stove, which led to another, and another.. and we just kept going!

So, what happens when you get the stove fever?  You turn into a ‘stove nut’ !   Each stove is an adventure; to find, research, restore and ultimately enjoy.  They all have their own stories, and those stories link us all together through our  ancestors’  ingenuity in designing them so artfully, and our common interest in preserving them for posterity.   –and for ourselves!

Check back when you get a minute – we’ll still be talkin’, and we hope you’ll feel free to post a comment .