An Oven with a History

I’ve been sitting on these photos for a couple of weeks now and just finally got around to editing them. That being said, this was from a location shoot! The house we were in had such a lovely old oven that spoke of a different time in which all ascetics ย could be traced back to cars.

In fact, the design of this oven was very clearly influenced by said cars.
In fact, the design of this oven was very clearly influenced by said cars.

I love the product design of that now lost era. It’s awesome just by the fact that though everyone would stare at the beauty of your oven’s badge, no one would second guess its being there.

The left was for roasts and the right was for casseroles and other side dishes.
The left was for roasts and the right was for casseroles and other side dishes.

As you pull out from the initial ย trance the badge has held you in for so many moments you begin to see a device that is not only very pleasing to the eye, but built with extreme purpose. And that purpose was to feed the nuclear family. The left oven has one low rack and only one other spot to move that rack in case you have a smaller roast because the kids are eating at the neighbors. The right oven has a number of racks so that you may prepare all of your side dishes at the same time in a timely manner.
The gas stove protecting from the high cost and lack of reliability of an electric one. (Electric stoves were slow to catch on, especially in rural areas due to the high cost of electricity. The patent however, was granted in 1897, at least one with a dial.)
If you’re in need of more counter space, then the green back moves down to cover all of the burners, both child proofing and providing that extra counter space that you need.
Finally, for convenient storage, there are to pull out drawers beneath the respective ovens to keep those pans close at hand!

Complete with dials and timers that could have been pulled out of any car at the time
Complete with dials and timers that could have been pulled out of any car at the time

They even thought to include a little tick mark for every other minute on the inside of the larger numbers so you could make your dinner a perfect golden brown! I think that an oven like this provides more of a definition of what the 50’s – early 60’s design and family life in America than just about any other object.
On from the design itself, the brilliant white plastics have long since yellowed from all the meals made within. Over the years they become stains that won’t come out with any amount of scrubbing, just adding to the over all mystique of the thing.

The weather knobs still ready to be turned to make dinner
The weather knobs still ready to be turned to make dinner

I think that it’s always interesting how much history an object like an oven can have when given the attention that it so rarely receives. This is true not just for ovens, but for just about any object, especially those of antiquity. What a neat place we live in. If you made it this far, thanks for reading though my babble or quickly scrolling though the pictures and catching the last sentence!

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20 thoughts on “An Oven with a History

  1. I’d LOVE to have a stove/oven like that! Thanks for sharing! It’s so true that you can tell a lot about society and the way we live by examining the things we use and how we use them.

  2. Oven photo brings back memories. I was a little kid when those were in vogue. Thanks for the like of my post “What January is Supposed to Look Like.”

  3. Great post, very interesting, and wonderful photos. I love that oven, wow. Many years ago I had an apartment in an old, urban brick apartment building in Hoboken, NJ – across the river from NYC. There was no central heat in that building – none. The oven provided the heat – it was an old gas oven with a big element burner on one side (and regular burners for cooking on the other side). You took the cast iron plates off, lit the element, and the hot air shot up to the ceiling and stayed there. We set up a fan to move heat into the bedroom. The oven was white enamel (I wish I had a photo) and it had one of those simple lever things you use with wood stoves to take the hot plate off the top. I hope this is semi clear!

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