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atarilbc

Vintage Stoves & Ovens

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Here's a few pictures of our 1952 O'keefe & Merritt stove. O'keefe & Merritt were a Los Angeles based manufacturer and these stoves were fairly popular on the West Coast. They came in a range of models and colors. The cool thing about these is that the design was heavily inspired by the U.S. auto industry of the day with chrome, dials, ornate emblems and the like. This is a larger model. It looks like it has two ovens but the left side is actually something called a "Grillavator." It is a grill like contraption where you raise whatever you are cooking upward to a flame in the ceiling of the compartment. It also come fully featured with a light, outlet, integrated salt & pepper shakers and a griddle (center chrome piece).

 

We've had the stove - which we call "Babz" - for about five years. When we bought our house - a 1920s craftsman - it had an ugly stove that didn't fit the mostly original kitchen. My wife and I had always loved these and thought it would be a good fit. Unfortunately, they are usually either cheap and in bad condition or completely restored and more than a new stove. After some sticker shock at area vintage stops and a few WTF moments with private sellers from Craigslist we were about to give up when, finally, I found our stove on eBay from a local seller. The guy I bought it from was moving to a new build and this old gal wasn't going to fit in an ultra modern kitchen. It had been fully restored just five years prior with the receipts to back it up. After some back and forth, I went to meet him. He delisted it on eBay and we agreed on a very fair price. He even threw in his old white refrigerator, which we also needed.

 

Very few people restore/work on these old stoves. A few years ago we met someone who restores them at a swap meet and kept his card just in case. This week the oven quit heating. When the guy gets here, he took one look at the stove and says "I restored this 10 years ago. Rechrome and porcelain. It's a 1952 model." We talked about how we got it and he said he was glad to see it kept up, in use and in a good home. Anyway, he did a full service, replaced the thermal-coupler for the main oven and checked temperature. It's working again like a charm.

 

Do you have an old stove or oven? Did you grow up with something like it in your home? If so, post it here and share your story.

 

 

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Edited by atarilbc

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Your stove is beautiful.  Looks very stylish AND functional.  And I like your tile floor too. 

 

Our house is modern, so a nice stove like that wouldn't really fit.  But I do have a funny stove story.  When we bought our house, we were the second owners, and the house was about 5 years old.  One of the burners on the stove was broken.  My wife wanted a new stove, but we really couldn't afford it since we just bought a house.  Well, I fixed it pretty easily with some new insulated wiring.  Since then, that stove has broken, and I've fixed it many times.  Broken ignitor.  Fixed.  Cracked gas line.  Fixed.  Broken drawer.  Fixed.  My wife has wanted a new stove...but that one still works!  One of these days, she'll get her wish.  But I think the sides will need to fall off that old stove first.

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atarilbc, this is the COOLEST THING I have seen this year! I'm jealous of your kitchen. That's just too cool! Money well spent to live that kind of retro lifestyle. That is in amazing condition, how awesome must it be to wake up every morning and have that in your kitchen? I hope your vintage stove serves you well!

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I was in a house yesterday with a vintage oven that made me think of this thread. I thought to take a picture of it to share with you guys. The home was built in 1965 but had a partially remodeled galley kitchen. The bathrooms looked like something out of Hairspray, lots of pastel pinks and greens. I'm not sure when the oven is from, but it's in near-mint condition and fully operational. Very cool vintage in-wall GE oven:

 

 

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When we were looking at houses many years ago, we found a house that had a wall oven exactly like that one, except it was mint green.  But the weird thing was....it was an 80's house.  Anyway, we passed on that house because the whole house needed updating.  But I always wonder what we would have done about that out-of-place oven.  It's not like they are easy to replace...they are so much smaller than modern wall ovens. 

 

I need to take a picture of my parents' kitchen.  It's a 50's house.  The kitchen has been remodeled, but they left the cabinets and countertops in pace.  Green and yellow tile.  It's very cool looking. 

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Actually that GE wall oven could very well be from the 80s. I recall we lived in a house that was built in the mid 80s and had an oven similar to that. We replaced with a new hotpoint that look nearly like that GE only it was black but still had the same clock/timer combo..etc.

 

As for older houses with wall oven's being tough to replace, you aren't kidding! My current house was built in '65. The Kitchen has been remodeled at least once in that time so I'm not sure what it originally looked like, but I suspect the wall over was added into a cabinet it would seem. We changed all the appliances out in the kitchen with newer. The current wall oven and stove top were early 90's Jenn-Air units. Replaced them with newer Bosch but it was really tough to get a wall over we both liked and had the features we wanted because the original space was only made for a 27" inch wall over. Most Wall ovens today are of the 30" variety. It was another reason we went with Bosch since they had a 27" in model that had the features we wanted. We still had to get it special ordered from Bosch, but they at least offered such a sized model.

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Here you go.  I purchased this fridge in 1986.  I think renting a fridge was $50 a year, and this one cost $99 brand new from Monkey Wards (if I recall correctly).  That's a solid financial decision right there.  Good job, me from the past! 

 

When I graduated, I gave it to my brother.  He used it for a few years.  It then was given to his wife, who used it as a classroom fridge for several years.  It came back to me about 12 years ago...once I had a house with a nice garage -- and it's been keeping my beverages ice cold ever since.  Over 30 years of continuous service!  Unbelievable.  Both sides are also covered in stickers. 

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