When we moved in here we all mocked the twee little 24″ stove (a standard is about 30″). “How cute!” We all said. “A stove for gnomes!” Then we cooked a giant turducken in it last Thanksgiving and I thought “Huh. Not so bad.” It has three small burners and one large burner but the oven itself is HUGE and is great for baking and seems to be turning out fantastic cookies. The home inspector made note of it on the report but his only comments were “suggest maintenance” and “no oven light”. One $2 light later and it was in perfectly good shape, except for the bone jarring SCREECH it makes when you open the oven door. In my mind we would one day get one of those fancy custom built cast iron monoliths of beauty but right now, hey, it works, whatever.
The stove is a McClary brand, which so far as I can tell is a brand that no longer exists and when you search for it on Google, you regularly get results like “www.antique-stoves-canada.com”. I managed to dig up some company history on the McClary brand, which was started by John McClary in 1847 here in good old Canada. Ready for some history? (from here)
“The earliest of the enterprises which are ancestors of today’s General Steel Wares, Limited was a tinsmith shop opened in London, Ont. by John McClary in 1847. Within a few years John and his brother Oliver progressed from door-to-door peddling of pots and pans to the purchase of a small foundry where they began the manufacture of stoves and furnaces. By the time of Confederation, McClary Manufacturing Company had become a well-established industry and McClary stoves were known far beyond the borders of Ontario….
In October 1927 three companies – McClary Manufacturing, Thomas Davidson Company and Sheet Metal Products – joined forces with three others – E. T. Wright and Sons of Hamilton, A. Aubry et Fils of Montreal and the Happy Thought Foundry of Brantford – to become General Steel Wares of Canada.
For the next 31 years, General Steel Wares consolidated its position as a producer of housewares and allied lines, and expanded into the manufacture of heating equipment and home appliances. In 1958 the company acquired the Easy Washing Machine Company, which manufactured a line of home laundry equipment to round out GSW’s appliance line. The most recent company to join the General Steel Wares organization is Beatty Brothers of Fergus, Ont., founded by George and Matthew Beatty in 1874 for the manufacture of farm equipment. In the course of diversification, this company produced, among other products, the first electric washing machine in Canada, the Forest City. Beatty Brothers remained in the hands of the Beatty family until 1961, when controlling interest was purchased by the present management of General Steel Wares, of which it is now a Division.”
Oh the exciting life I lead, I tell you. Anyway, the stove has seen some better days. The paint is mostly worn off the knobs and dials, the clock/timer doesn’t work (although those are never reliable anyway), and the thing still bears instructions for VEAL. Seriously. VEAL.
So, when I returned home from my soccer tournament in Squamish (which we came third out of 12 teams and won 5 out of 5 games! Woo!) to discover that the one larger burner had mysteriously given up the ghost, I started looking for a replacement stove rather than just replacement parts. Because twee this stove may be, but I’m not paying more than $30 to fix it and we should really just get a new stove and be done with it. If it’s more than just an element, then I’m out.
So, I’ve been on the hunt for a new 24″ stove. I’m used to the 24″ size – it’s actually quite useful in our kitchen – and to go any larger will mean a move for a cupboard and the need for a skinnier fridge. This is really the space I have for it so really, this is what we need. I am also looking at gas because gas, well, gas is what I really want.
Did you know they make 24″ gas stoves? Yes! They do! And they are less than $600! And they call them “cottage cookers”. Har har har. I mean, never mind that we will need a gas fitter and maybe a hood fan, but HEY I might be able to justify an UPGRADE.