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.

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.

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’.

Organ_doors_open

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 gingercreekstoves.com to see pictures of unique antique stoves, authentically restored to their original condition.

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Responses

  1. Great job on the stove names Chris! What other additions to the blog do you have planned? Here are a few stove names that I’ve come across: Gold Coin,Ranger,Homestead,Perfection,Hickory,Indian,Jewel.

    • Glad you like the article! More interesting stove names there, too.
      Next we have an article coming up about How to Start a Coal Fire, which is contributed by Pierre Boucher of Quebec, Canada. After 20 years of using wood, he now uses only coal, and says he would never go back to wood.

  2. Very instructive about antique stoves, not many can give us so much informations on a single thread.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Chris — nice piece — you might like to check out a couple of postings of mine, http://www.dur.ac.uk/h.j.harris/stoves/stovenames.htm [Albany and Troy stove names, 1875] and https://sites.google.com/site/stovehistorystuff/home/the-naming-of-stoves [an update after I’d found a couple of wonderful late C19th sources online].

    • Hi Howell, wow, great articles and research. Very impressive. and, Talk about stove names – that’s quite a list. Lots of interesting leads there for stove history, too, thank you!

  4. i found a Gold Coin #08 laundry stove for sale online. I thought it may have been manufactured by the Gold Coin Stove Co from Troy, NY (formerly Bussey & Mcleod stove Co.) Then I read online from Worthpoint that it may have been manufactured by the Union stove Co from Boyerstown , PA. any ideas of the true maker of this stove?

    • You are probably referring to Boyertown, PA (?) If it is a Gold Coin stove, then it should say either Gold Coin, Troy, NY, or Bussey & McLeod, Troy, NY on the stove itself. I’m not sure of the exact history of that company, and would have to research it.
      Or, maybe Union stove could have named one of theirs ‘Gold Coin’ possibly, and then it should have their name on it, instead. Sometimes, like with the ‘Bride’ stoves made in Royersford, PA, by Grander Stove Co., the name was borrowed by another company and the one would sue the other to stop using their patented name. (for example, Mt. Penn Stoves used the name ‘Golden Bride’ for one of their stoves, and Grander Stove asked them to stop using the ‘Bride’ name. Mt Penn didn’t put their name on the Golden Bride stove itself, though, even though they made it. But, they did advertise it in their catalog at the time.) Why did Worthpoint believe it to be Union Stove Co?
      Anyone who has more information about this question is certainly welcome to comment.

      • thanks for your reply. I don’t think it had any other markings besides Gold Coin and No. 08 on it. I have a few Gold Coin Stoves and the older models have Troy, NY on them. I am leaning toward thinking that this company “borrowed” the name gold coin.

      • Good evening — Bussey & McLeod began in Troy, NY just before the Civil War — Esek Bussey (b. Hoosick, 1826) entered the business in 1859, from a background as a hardware store and tin-shop owner, Charles Anderson McLeod (in partnership with two colleagues called Higgins & Martin) in 1861, when he was 26 (b. Phelps, Ontario Co., NY, 1835, moved to Troy 1855). In 1863 Bussey & McLeod formed their lasting partnership with one another. They were “young men of energy and industry,” according to a New York Times story in 1867, and evidently very successful quite quickly — built the Oakwood Stove Works in 1863, expanded it in 1866, and had branch houses (for assembly, distribution, and service) in Chicago and Milwaukee by 1869. Their USP was a galvanized cast-iron water-heating reservoir permanently fixed to the end of the cooking stove furthest from the fire, rather than the tin or copper reservoirs in common use before. Bussey had a lucrative patent on what became a standard feature of cooking-stove design, and after six years of constant litigation against infringing competitors they established their sole right to use it and began to draw $20,000 a year in royalties and licences from firms wanting to use it. The patent “poured a fortune into the pockets of the inventor.” By 1872 they employed 250 men and made about 20,000 stoves a year, grossing $350,00. They started using the Gold Coin trademark in 1878, incorporated in 1882, and changed the company name to match the trademark in 1899. (McLeod also established and ran the Chicago Stove Works, which eventually grew larger than the Troy firm.) The company remained in business until 1920 — McLeod had died in 1898, Bussey in 1914.

        As far as I know, no other firm used the Gold Coin trademark, but Gingercreekstoves is correct that “borrowing” of established trademarks was not uncommon — just as with imitating stove names and designs, and infringing on patents, it was one of the customs of a very competitive trade. I know nothing about a Union Stove Co. of Boyertown, PA (in fact, I don’t know of any stove makers there; then again, I don’t have a comprehensive list between 1892 and 1922, though I do have more regular coverage through the 1870s and 1880s). There was a Union Stove & Mfg. Co. of Pittston, about 85 miles north, in business in the late 1870s-early 1880s (when it became the Pittston Stove Co.), but its trademark, 1892-, was the pretty obvious name Pittston.

        There’s a good profile of the Bussey & McLeod firm, with a nice picture of their works on p. 284, in Arthur Weise’s _The City of Troy & Its Vicinity_ (1886), available on Google Books, and more in his _Troy’s One Hundred Years_ (1891), also available online, pp. 271, 401. Biographical information on Bussey in Rutherford Hayner, _Troy & Rensselaer County Neew York_ (1925), vol. 2, pp. 620-21, and of McLeod in Cuyler Reynolds, ed., Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical & Family Memoirs_ (1911), vol. 2, pp. 547-9.

      • In researching ‘Union Stove Co’., it seems there was a ‘Union Stove Works’ in NY. On their stoves they generally say just that; ‘Union Stove Works, NY’, and not a town or city name. I did find an article referring to them from the NY Times written in 1896 which says they were in Peekskill, NY, along with a few other foundries.
        http://bit.ly/1aa8YNb
        We have a ‘Red Cloud’ pot belly stove by Union Stove Works, NY, with the date of 1918, so they would seem to have been there at least during those dates. As far as I know, there wasn’t a Union Stove Co. in Boyertown, PA, -I couldn’t find any reference to one, anyway.

      • Yes, the Union Stove Works was one of the oldest in the country, and stayed in business from 1867-1932 under the same name. It was founded in 1834, at least that was the date that it claimed for itself — probably the date of Reuben R. Finch’s entry into the New York stove trade as a dealer, rather than of his later establishment of a stove foundry in Peekskill. The best things I’ve found about it are John J. Curran, _Peekskill_ (Arcadia Publsihing, 2005), with a good picture of old Reuben http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8G0PaF6qtakC&pg=PA22, and an 1896-1897 Catalogue that’s in the New York State Library in Albany (the source for the 1834 claim). Finch’s long-term partner and successor, Uriah Hill, entered the stove business in 1842.

    • The very first stove that I restored was the stove your talking about, It only said,”Gold Coin”, and #8. No other markings of any kind, except for each part had a #8 on it. I looked all over the web, and no luck. I called Clifford Boram. He had already sold his Catalogs to Dave, but he was sure that it was the Union Manufacturing Co., out of Boyertown Penn. I then called Dave, and sure enough, it was. I still have the catalog cover, and page, if some one needs it. And pictures of the stove as well.

      • Thanks for the information Joe.

  5. Can anyone tell me more about the “organ” stove? I am on the Board of a small museum, we were just given one and would like to know more about it. Thanks!

    • Hi Kitty – I posted a photo of our Organ stove on the post, which wasn’t there before. As you probably know from what is written on the exterior of your Organ stove, it was made by Pratt and Perkins, Boston, Mass. Ours is dated 1859. While most of the stove is in great restored condition now, even with its fire-fence intact, it has a shallow water pan under the swingtop which was cracked. We welded and repaired it, and had it recast, but the recast came out warped, because it is a long, thin piece of cast iron, and the original moulds for that stove no longer exist. So, sandcasting, which is the only realistic option nowadays, made it warp like a potato chip. So, that one piece of the stove has not yet been restored. Hence we have not offered it for sale.
      It is, at present, a decorative piece. Someday, we hope to get another, and maybe the water pan will be in good condition.
      As for historical reference, I haven’t researched it that much. For 1859 there were probably no catalog advertisements available. The farther you go back in time, the harder it is to find information about these stoves. It is a very beautiful and historic stove.
      If anyone knows more about the Organ stove, please feel free to comment.

      • that’s the organ stove! thanks so much for your help, really appreciate it!

      • Has anyone found out anymore info on the “organ” stove?

  6. Any information on the Victor Oak # 514? Salem, Ohio was where the factory was located. Where might I locate the date? Thank you.

    Mark

    • The maker is the Victor Stove Co., owned by the Koll family (Charles, Daniel., and William) in the late C19th, active between at least 1868 and 1925. An “Oak” is a generic name for a type of heating stove that became particularly common in the 1890s (everybody imitating the Round Oak stove produced by the Beckwith company in Dowagiac, MI). I’ve looked in mid/late 1880s publications including many other Victor Stove Co. products, and there is n o mention of an Oak then at all. No idea when they’d have reached model #514 — I assume that it’s probably the 5th series of Oaks they’d produced, and the 14 may refer to the diameter of the firepot. The “bible” of the stove trade, the New York _Metal Worker_, is available online through the Hathi Trust for most of the late C19th. This 1915 paper (the Ohio Farmer) illustrates what the Oaks being produced in that year looked like: http://idnc.library.illinois.edu/cgi-bin/illinois?a=d&d=OFR19151023.2.69.1# and this 2007 auction site shows a #17 (17″) http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/victor-oak-cast-iron-pot-belly-wood-stove-no but the patent date must be 1901, not 1801.

  7. Any idea of the current value for a Grander Stove Co Royersford Pa Star Bride coal stove #38-20. I have one from when my mother was a child in very good condition. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Sorry, absolutely no idea about this sort of thing — your best bet is to act a dealer, or look online (anything similar sold recently?).

    • Hi,
      Normally we don’t do evaluations here on the antique stove blog because we would need to see specific photos to assess the stove and its condition, but we do offer appraisals if you are interested in that option, please refer to our website page ‘Info and Appraisals’ www,gingercreekstoves.com/info_and_appraisals.html
      and contact us on our website email.

  8. Has anyone heard of, or know anything about Alert Oak 17-A antique stove? I have one but no idea how old it is or what it might be worth.

  9. I’ve acquired a wood burning stove and cant find anything about it. What i do know about it is it has the number 136 on top close to the front. It either the name PLORA or FLORA in a banner on both sides, with some additional artwork that looks like wheat and a house, it has the vent pipe hole towards the back and 2 other holes. So theres 3 holes in a row. The back of it is rounded and blank. The box is pretty big. The deminsions are 33 in. long x 29 in. wide x 20 in. tall. Its a 6 panel box. I’ve looked everywhere and cant find anything about it on the internet. Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

  10. Hellow, i have an Organ Parlor Stove №1 manifactured by M.S. Minasian and Co, Galata. I did not finde any other info about it exept in that book (Google books entry)
    but it is only general information. I also saw one ORGAN like this for sale but it is again №1. In my opinion Organ and Galata is an idea for the GRAND ORGAN GALA in Royal Albert Hall, but i am not shure. It is getting more interesting because i live in Bulgaria and the history of my stove is conected with one Jewish family from Plovdiv (a city in South Bulgaria) who sold it to one friend of mine. On the other side i think that Minasian is armenian name!
    So friends pleas help me to finde more information about that Organ stove!!!Thanks!

    • The Organ No.2 stove referred to on this blog was made by Pratt and Perkins of Boston, Mass. So, it seems yours is not the same stove. We don’t have any information about Minasian and Co, Galata Maybe someone else here would be more familiar with stoves made in Bulgaria.

      • Thanks a lot. Mine is not made in Bulgaria but in USA:)


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