If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recall that back in May I shared a teaser photo of the 1951 Chambers 61C range I bought for the kitchen. Since then, I haven’t said a word about the stove because…. I wasn’t doing much with it besides think about how great it would be when I could move it out of my living room and into the kitchen.
Well, I finally have some progress to share and I’m really excited to show it off! But first, here is some background on the whys and hows of my vintage stove journey so far:
Why buy a vintage stove?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a lot about aesthetics– so many old stoves just look cool. But as I learned a bit more about vintage stoves, I discovered they sometimes included excellent features not found on their modern counterparts. This is particularly true for Chambers stoves.
Why buy a Chambers?
Because Rachel Ray has one! Celebrity endorsement aside, the Chambers is built like a tank (originally carried a 25-year warranty) and it has some super cool features. Perfect for my Saturday morning pancake ritual, the stove features an integrated griddle on the stovetop that also lifts to reveal a broiler. It has an insulated “thermowell” burner recessed in the top that can function like a slow cooker or a small second oven. The oven, though small by modern standards, is highly insulated and able to cook on retained heat with the burner turned off. In fact, Chambers marketed its stoves with the slogan, “It cooks with the gas OFF!”
What’s the story with this particular stove?
My Chambers came from a suburban home about 15 miles west of my house. The sellers told me the stove was a wedding present for its original owners, who also built the house from which I moved it. When the stove sellers bought their house, the Chambers was hooked up and working in a second/back-up kitchen in the basement. Later, when the sellers remodeled their basement and turned the lower kitchen into a bar, they posted the stove to Craigslist. And that’s where I found it.
When it came to the move, I removing the porcelain side panels and any removable parts that could jostle in transit. Initially I had planned to move the stove myself (with the help of friends and a truck), but in the end I hired some movers to get it door-to-door. I’ve never second-guessed that decision either because the 600-pound stove had to come out of a walk-out basement and up a hill over a gravel path at the seller’s house, and then up15 steps to the front door of my house. That would have killed me for sure.
With the moving dust settled and the thrill of the hunt passed, I still really feel like I hit the jackpot with this one. I didn’t think that I would find an affordable Chambers nearby–let alone one in such excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition. It is exactly what I wanted, but figured I probably couldn’t get.
In my next post, I’ll write about the work I’ve done on the stove since it arrived in my living room getting my Chambers ready for its kitchen debut.