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Travis Johnson
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It is amazing to me how seemingly small changes to appliance design have impacted home life, in particular cooking, and even more specifically in food preparation. Maybe in a modern home the subtle design changes of modern stoves make them practical, but having just bought a 1917 gas cook stove, we realize now that for our farm family, our farm life, newer is NOT better.

For instance this new/old stove is 6 inches lower than the modern one it replaced. That makes for cooking in deep pots much better because you can peer over the top easier, and not have to lift heavy pots of water so high up. This is really convenient when a person is canning since the pressure cooker is tall to start with and there is lots of lifting, lowering and working high up. Having everything 6 inches lower helps!

Another thing about this old stove is that the grating area is huge, about 16 inches square. Again that makes for canning and boiling large posts of water really fast. This should not come as a surprise as in the old days, this gas cook stove would have been a replacement for a wood/coal cook stove. While I am not saying this one is better or worse then that, the truth is back in 1917 they had to heat big tubs of water for laundry and even being a gas unit, it had to have a massive grating area. For our family of 6...(2) adults and (4) kids, this is really nice.

Another thing this stove has over modern stoves is massive burners. Again, this gas stove was to replace a wood/coal cook stove so it had to have some serious output or the owner would be really disappointed. Our stove has that and more. The burners are massive and heats up a pan amazingly fast. I like to hand toast my bread for hot dogs, burgers, garlic bread etc, and by the time I light the burner, go to the refrigerator and get butter, then get back to the stove, the pan is hot enough to toast my bread. That is fast...that is some serious btu's!

Other small features are warming racks that allow bread to rise, legs that allow cleaning around the stove easier, and cast iron construction that just make it last longer...I mean it is 100 years old and is just as good as new.  All these things seem small until you actually use it. Considering this stove was $700, it not only is close in price to a new cook stove, it works even better.




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Linda Secker
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and it's a thing of beauty.....
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Now that's hot! I mean cool. You know what I mean. Great find there Travis!
 
David Livingston
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I' m with you on that one . My best cooker ever was a 1948 belling electric .
Oven with 24 hour timer went up to 450 f had two normal rings ,a large hot plate a toaster, plus wheels oh and it included a plug  ! extra bonus I got it for free in 1995
It was cream and green just the ticket I was so sad when it died in 2003
I got with a 1946 Rayburn type cooker/fire that is still going strong

David
 
William Bronson
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I have a Chambers gas stove that came with the house.
They were going to take it and sell it, but they didn't have enough strong backs!
The super insulated oven is the real feature.
With a thick steel plate at the bottom the oven retaining  heat I can turn it off and still bake a second batch of bread while I'm at church.
The tempature dial is off by about 50° . I can't peg top tempature because the thermometers I've tried burn out at 550°!
 
Travis Johnson
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Thank you everyone for your kind words.

We were actually on the hunt for a wood/coal kitchen cook stove. We found a few, but they just did not seem right because they just did not fit well in our kitchen, and it seemed silly to stick a kitchen range in the living room. So for whatever reason we did not end up buying them. But while I am not really an out of control, if the SHTF kind of preper; I like options, and being able to cook with wood is always a nice option when you have an ample wood lot. This one is connected to a 500 gallon propane tank so it has plenty of capacity and does not need electricity to run of course. But if we ever do need to cook with wood, we do have our pot bellied stove which has a burner on the top of it. We used a different pot bellied stove to cook on before, and while it is challenging to get the right heat, it can be done and is a back up cooking plan. As I said it is always good to have options.

But when we saw this stove, Katie fell in love with it, and it was just the right size to stuff into the cut-out in our kitchen cabinetry. Being propane, for an everyday stove it is convenient, but as mentioned, the older style lends itself to our lifestyle. I still cannot get Katie to heat up laundry water in a galvanized tub though and give up her modern clothes washing machine though (we have a 1901 washing machine she could use). Coupled to the 500 gallon tank, depending on how full the tank is, it could last years in a SHTF scenario.

This is the pot bellied stove that could be used for cooking in an emergency...


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D. Braun
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While some of the newer and current appliances may look nice to some, the stuff just breaks far too often.  Those glitzy control panels seem to self destruct quickly and are very expensive to purchase.  I am weary of the over priced and under performing offerings that are pawned off as wonderful in these times.  Seems the engineers are under a sort of "publish or perish" dictum from the manufacturers.  Sad.

Keep it simple and you will be far better off.  The more they complicate things the more prone they are to fail.
 
David Livingston
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D Braun - "planned obsolescence" check it out . It should be a crime
Travis - Can I make another comment to give you an excuse to show another picture of your charming partner?

David
 
Deb Stephens
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Travis Johnson wrote: I still cannot get Katie to heat up laundry water in a galvanized tub though and give up her modern clothes washing machine though (we have a 1901 washing machine she could use). Coupled to the 500 gallon tank, depending on how full the tank is, it could last years in a SHTF scenario.


Hey Travis, I have an idea. Maybe Katie could be reconciled to giving up her modern washer if YOU did the laundry. I'm sure she would be happy to watch you heat water in a galvanized tub and scrub everything by hand.
 
Travis Johnson
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I cook dinner sometimes, does that count? I could never do what my wife does which is cook 3 times a day all year, but once per week I cook a meal to make it easier for her, but I am an all out, 5 course meal kind of cook.

I have a photo of that old washing machine somewhere, but am not sure where. I will look and see if I can find it on my new computer. Right now I am in the hospital so I can't snap a picture of it. I should be cut loose today so I will see if I can get a photo of it either way. It is quite unique because even at the farm life exhibit at the Maine State Museum they did not have one. I talked to the curator and she was interested in it, but could not guarantee it would be displayed, but might be put in a warehouse. I was up in the air about it. It makes a nice display piece in my mudroom now!

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Travis Johnson
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David Livingston wrote:D Braun - "planned obsolescence" check it out . It should be a crime
Travis - Can I make another comment to give you an excuse to show another picture of your charming partner?

David


Oh I don't mind posting another photo of Katie, but the interesting thing is, she does not mind me posting them either. On another forum about woodstoves, the people on there helped me install a boiler and they had seen Katie and jokingly said, "Hey post a photo of your boiler installed, no wait, post a picture with your wife with the boiler so we can decide which is better looking." They were only teasing, but I told this to Katie and she shocked me when she said "sure, why not", so she went and got dressed and we did a photo shoot in front of the boiler.

A friend of Paul Wheaton posed on a rocket stove once that was artistic, so Katie in front on a boiler is okay too I guess. Obviously I would never post anything she does not wear in public. I will say however, she was wearing this dress one time when we were in Home Depot, and this guy walked into a cart of lumber from watching Katie and not where he was going.





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Travis Johnson
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Deb Stephens wrote:
Travis Johnson wrote: I still cannot get Katie to heat up laundry water in a galvanized tub though and give up her modern clothes washing machine though (we have a 1901 washing machine she could use). Coupled to the 500 gallon tank, depending on how full the tank is, it could last years in a SHTF scenario.


Hey Travis, I have an idea. Maybe Katie could be reconciled to giving up her modern washer if YOU did the laundry. I'm sure she would be happy to watch you heat water in a galvanized tub and scrub everything by hand.


Hey I am home from the hospital...glad my Thyroid is out, but very sore and exhausted. In any case I found a picture of that old washing machine. In this case the photo only shows it half set up. In a real washing situation the other half would be unfolded and the clothes would go from one soapy galvanized tub, through the hand cranked wringer, to the other clean water rinsed galvanized tub. I am sure you can picture it.

I have seen a lot of scrub board washers around (we have one of them too hanging up in our mud room, but not a washer like this one.

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Todd Parr
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Heal quickly my friend.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Now Your Cookin' with Gas, as the saying goes.  You have a really great place, Travis.  It pretty much looks like you transported it, or preserved it from a century ago.  I like your model too.  She looks like she really enjoys the lifestyle, and any lady that is willing to give up the washing machine is definitely a keeper in my mind.  Wow.  You are a lucky guy to have such a place and such a great partner.  Godspeed on your thyroid removal recovery, Brother.  You've had a challenging year, with that chainsaw incident in April.  Wishing you well.
 
Travis Johnson
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Thanks Robert regarding your kind words about Katie and this house. She is a good woman, and is pretty motivated as long as I keep her supplied in shoes

This house has been a work in progress that is for sure, and never stops! It has been good though. Our kitchen alone took 5 years to build, but in those years we got a lot done, and changed things so that when it was finally done, it really works well. There is not a lot we would really change.

Katie did surprise me last week though. She wants to make the living room into a cathedral ceiling. It is doable, but means more beams because we have a trussed roof now. It is not something I am going to run out and do because we got a few bathroom things to do first. We have (4) daughters aged 4, 10,11,and 12 so we need another bathroom and a double sink in the existing bathroom first. Teenage daughters need big bathrooms, mirrors and sinks!

Most of the stuff in this house though came from right here on the farm; the wood, the slate, the concrete, etc. We try and do as much as we can for ourselves.





 
Maureen Atsali
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Cool Travis,
I hope your recovery is going well. 
Am just wondering, with the big burners and whatnot, how much gas is it using?  Is it more or less economic than modern models?  We have just a two-burner stovetop (no oven) and we go through one 13kg tank of gas month.  Is there any possibility of converting it for bio gas?

We use firewood and a primitive three stone cooking fire for "slow foods" like dried beans, dry maize, sweet potatoes, cassavas, taros, etc, just to save on gas.

And I wash all our laundry by hand.  I HATE it!  We are also a family of six, and I don't have any gadgets or gizmos.  Just my hands, a scrub brush, and the soap.  I ring it out by hand and hang it on the line to dry.  I get grumpy and resentful every time I do it.  And I do not get things as clean as the locals can.  I suck at it, and I hate the time it consumes😛.
 
Todd Parr
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I don't know if I should thank you or not.  Since seeing your stove, I'm on a quest for one.  It's just beautiful.
 
Travis Johnson
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I found one this one for you, similar to mine, but much better and of a different brand (Estate and not Crawford). The grates are lower and there are two (but smaller) ovens.

By the way, I was laughing at your comment because in two weeks my inlaws are coming up and they HATE old things. They give us a lot because they are well off and think we are poor (depends on the perspective) and will think we wasted our money on this. We will be getting a lot of grief, and Katie is already nervous about it. She loves the stove, just not thrilled about being reamed out for buying it.





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Travis Johnson
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Maureen Atsali wrote:Cool Travis,
I hope your recovery is going well. 
Am just wondering, with the big burners and whatnot, how much gas is it using?  Is it more or less economic than modern models?


It is the same because a BTU is a BTU is a BTU. It is flowing more propane, but the water comes up to boil faster too so you cook less.

The burners are controlled by orifices anyway, so it is the size of that thimble that controls how much fuel is going to the burner. They could take biogas as you suggest, but because it has less btu's then propane per gallon, it would take bigger orifices to get the same btu's. That is easy to do, just take them off and drill them out a bit, but I mean with a finger drill because we are only talking a thousandths of an inch or so more in size. A cutting torch tip drill works best!
 
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