Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

"Dairy", Robert Glisson 
     I bought this from the artist at the Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival, while I was on vacation in August.


A stove-sized hole. We will now begin the 5-week no-stove diet.
     There is a hole in the kitchen where the stove used to be. Our trusty 1954 O'Keefe & Merritt has stood in the space pictured above and performed steadfast service for at least 56 years. It had a few worn spots and loose hinges, but everything functioned until the capillary tube for the oven thermostat failed, due to metal fatigue. Since this left the oven with only one speed, being "furnace", we decided it was time to do some long-delayed restoration work.

     O'Keefe & Merritt had a factory in Los Angeles, and these old stoves are very common in this area.  These things are very solidly built, and can survive indefinitely. There are quite a few companies which specialize in repairing, refinishing and reselling them, and it is possible to buy one of these in nearly-new condition. They are also popular props for the film industry, and pop up frequently in commercials and TV shows.

This is the "before" picture
     This is what it looked like last week: There are four gas burners, separate oven and broiler, and a griddle in the center of the top. The upper shelf folds down to cover the entire cooktop, but that never really happens, as we need the shelf space, and there always seems to be a pot or pan in use on one of the burners.

     Other than light wear, scratching and spots of corrosion on the chrome, it is very good shape. We will have them do a thorough dis-assembly and cleaning, re-porcelain the burners, re-chrome the stove-top, and fix the thermostat, oven hinge springs and timer. Hopefully, replacing the insulation around the oven will also help improve the somewhat erratic and inaccurate oven temperatures that we have always had to work around.

Rustic stand-by power is available in the back yard.
     So, for the next few weeks, we will be preparing only what can be eaten raw, or cooked with a microwave oven, an electric tea kettle, our grill, or toaster (a 1958 Sunbeam T-20, but that's another story).

They don't make 'em like they used to: my toaster is older than me.

We may receive progress pix from the restorers, and I will post those as well as "after" photos as things progress.