Beautiful Things: Wedgewood Stove

Early 1940s (?) Wedgewood Stove. With oven and broiler (on the right) and storage (on the left). Four burners and a griddle. Clock, timer, and light (untested and unused).

I love this stove.

When we moved in, we had some things repaired — the oven door springs were broken and there was a small leak in the range. Luckily, we have a local stove repair shop that specializes in antique stoves.  I really wanted to figure it out myself, but the door springs were too tricky.  Also, the gas supply line was really old. I was going to replace that myself, but chickened-out when there was a slight discrepancy in bolt size connecting to the stove.  Better to call in the professionals.  (They also had spare knobs on hand!)

We spent as much on repairs as we would have buying something so-so.  About $400.

With the repairman here, he was able to show me how to take apart the range for cleaning (all exposed range parts are removable), and he told me more about the stove than I could possibly find on the vast internet.

This stove has:

  • Gas burners that light light up with force and power, much like I imagine an industrial range to have. We’re also able to get a nice low flame without it flickering-out.
  • Removable drip pans under the burners for cleaning.
  • A griddle between the pairs of burners which I’m in love with. Never has pancake-making been so effortless.
  • An oven, though small, which heats up quickly and steadily.   It’s sometimes a delicate operation working in a small oven; we have to rotate our goods if we bake more than one thing at a time.  And someday we’ll have the thermostat recalibrated, as the temperature is a little high.
  • A clock with timer, and a light. We haven’t plugged in the stove, so I don’t know if they work. I bet they do, but not interested in moving the stove out again to find the electrical outlet.  (The cord is in good shape, at least.)
  • A cupboard, which is pretty handy for storing all the cast iron. I wasn’t too taken by it at first — would rather have a larger oven — but it’s a good use of space after all.

Pancakes.

If you’re on the fence about buying or restoring an antique stove, it’s more than worth it.

The temperature gauge for the griddle. Not entirely useful, except when first heating up the griddle, as the food we’re cooking is normally a better gauge.  But I also know how hot the griddle will be by listening to the sound of the burners, and of course by the location of the knob.

You know what?  I broke the Wedgewood emblem when cleaning it (the knobby tabs that hold the emblem to the stove).  I’m going to MacGyver it though, don’t worry.

French toast. See the missing emblem? I haven’t been able to find a replacement, so I’m hoping I can fix it with some JB Weld and paperclips.  I am, after all, at least 25% grandpa.

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4 Comments

  1. Love this description: “at least 25% grandpa”!
    Haven’t checked the link yet – I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful story. My Grampa was a farmer all his life, and you *know* they all had to be at least semi-pro “MacGyvers”.

    Reply
    • Exactly! I think the link is a picture of him at 99 years-old mowing the grass. He could fix anything.

      Reply
  2. Gigi

     /  October 26, 2015

    Hey there! I have a very similar stove but haven’t ever used the griddle. My fear is I’ll just get burnt on grease spots in the shape of my pancakes or whatever! Do you just put down oil and use it like a large cast iron? What else do you cook on it besides French toast and pancakes? And how do you keep it clean? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Before we use it (which is probably only 6-10 times per year), we clean it really well, and then lightly butter it. Ours works like a really expensive stainless steel omelette pan or something — we’ve never had trouble with sticking at all. We’ve tried using it for burgers once, but it just made a greasy mess that I didn’t want to ever have to clean again. We normally just clean it with a sponge and hot water, sometimes a soapy sponge. About twice a year, I get all crazy and detail clean. I would probably keep it cleaner if I didn’t have young kids under my feet.

      Reply

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