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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VINTAGE ALASKA, c. 1920s

Stirring the Pot: 1948

Stirring the Pot: 1948

New York circa 1948. "Homemaker stirring double boiler on gas range." The lady with the tiled kitchen last glimpsed here. Photo by John M. Fox. View full size.

 

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Range emblem

It's a Magic Chef stove. The "escutcheon" symbolized a gas regulator. Their mid-40s magazine ads boasted about an accurate Red Wheel Regulator for better cooking results.

Burner Cover/Shelf

We had a very similar range in our home a few decades ago. On ours, the back panels had three positions: retracted as shown in the Shorpy photo, burner cover as mentioned, and halfway between forming a shelf. This last position was convenient for temporary storage of ingredients or utensils while cooking, but wasn't really useful as a warming shelf since it was not close to the heat.

Lighting up the stove

That's a light on top of the range. My aunt Ruth had one of these beauties. They are coveted by old house lovers these days.

Does She Know How to Whistle?

This lady rather resembles the sultry late-1940s Lauren Bacall. I wonder how she would look sitting on Harry Truman's piano.

The Cadillac of cookstoves

The oven door escutcheon makes me think Mercedes-Benz.

In the early 1970s I lived in an elegant but crumbling house that was once occupied by a single family. There were back stairs and speaking tubes and a large kitchen, pantry and laundry all finished with what we now call subway tile. In its heyday,such a house required a staff of three at a bare minimum, so in a sense it was an institution.

World's smallest range hood?

Or perhaps a very Art Deco work light, on top of what has to be the world's largest (in 1948) range.

Double check those burner controls before closing the lids.

Faux pas

Is that a finger in the lower right corner?

Swing Out

The back panels of the stove appear to have hinges that allow those panels to be opened. Could the 'shelves' thus created have been used to keep something warm while other cooking is done?

[As noted below, they are burner covers. - Dave]

Gotcha! Thanks.

Nice white tiles -- not

Would this have been in a home or an institution of some sort?

Six-Burner Beast

Wow! I would trade my "modern" smooth glass cooktop and electric oven for that incredible double oven, double broiler, 6 burner gas-powered beast in a heartbeat. I love the flip-down burner covers.

Educated Guess

Possibly a Tappan 40-inch double oven. Also appears to have fifth burner in the center, possibly convertible to a griddle. I cannot read the escutcheon on the oven door.

That didn't help.

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