What’s in a name?
And ‘A stove by any other name…’
The names have it!
There are thousands of stove names for antique stoves, and even more models and sizes. I’ve heard there are 10.000 patented stove names. So, what’s in a name? Why did they choose the names they did? And, why did stove manufacturers choose to give names to their stoves?
It took a while for manufacturers to come up with that idea. Stoves made before 1880 often did not have names, but they often had the name of the manufacturer, a number referring to the size or the model, and sometimes a patent date. Before 1880, many remained nameless.
Considering the actual names, a couple things come into focus. First, it was free advertising to put an appealing name on the stove itself. It also made it easier for the manufacturer to identify stove replacement parts for customers. Having a name on a stove is still one of the best identifying factors in researching information about it.
Until central heating became available, the wood or coal stove was the focal point of the house, providing the basic necessities of heat, hot water, and cooking. So, the name on the stove also became an important focal point of the household as well.
Of course, all the names tend to bring up positive thoughts, virtues, qualities or experiences. So the name of a stove could serve to exemplify a statement of the owner’s values, or the superlative value of the stove: Champion, Cheerful, Winner, Golden Rule, Ideal Oak, Monitor, Puritan, Alert, Superior, Premium Grand.
Some appeal to a sense of home and hearth like: Radiant Home, Home Comfort, Cozy, and Parlor Glow.
Then there are the names that appeal to an appreciation of the qualities of nature: Sunshine, Glenwood, Red Cloud, Round Oak, Star, Daisy, Eagle, Acorn, Rome Eagle, Oak Leaf, Mistletoe.
Some are named after women: Florence, Stella, Hazel, Delia, Merry Bride, Kate Lee, Golden Bride, Martha Washington, Betty.
Or animals: Badger Oak, the Lion, and Beaver Oak.
Some names tell how the stove will help you out- I recently heard of a laundry stove named, ‘Magic Elf’.
Many are about royalty: Royal Oak, Victor Countess, Queen Atlantic, King Oak, the Regal, Majestic, Empire, as well as Princes, Duchesses, Princesses and Estates.
Others are about geographical places: Great Western, King Arizona, Columbia, Columbian-Ulster, Carolina Pride, Dixie, The New South, Bay State Gem, and Kalamazoo.
One that we know of is reminiscent of a musical instrument, and shaped like a pipe organ – named, ‘Organ’.
Whatever the name, antique stoves are a tribute to the beautiful and enduring workmanship of previous generations, and continue to provide self-sufficiency today, even as they did for our ancestors.
Visit us at http://gingercreekstoves.wordpress.com/ to see pictures of [some of these] unique antique stoves, authentically restored to their original condition.
Published by Ginger Creek Antique Stoves, May 25, 2013