Through the fire: Origins and History of the Woodburning Cookstove

1 Feb 5

From its roots as an 18th-century innovation to a kitchen essential and creative catalyst, the woodburning cookstove boasts multinational origins, world-renowned developers, and revolutionary efficiency. And as the cookstove enters something of a renaissance, Elmira Stove Works leads the way with enhanced styling and performance of this appliance icon.

Focusing the flames

The wood burner comes from humble beginnings in the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine region of northeastern France. The first woodburning cookstove patent was established in 1557 in the city of Strasbourg.

In the earliest stages, these stoves were considered luxury items, due to the expense of materials. It would take the arrival of the Industrial Revolution — some two centuries later — to make iron affordable enough for the wood cookstove to spread in availability and popularity.

The design was simple and sensible: a closed, solid cast iron or steel fire chamber atop a ceramic base with an adjustable mechanism for air control. This mechanism, the damper, allowed the user to adjust the amount of air feeding the fire, thereby controlling the heat output and fuel consumption. Fueling the fire was wood fuel — such as firewood, charcoal, chips, sheets, and sawdust — or, later, wood-derived biomass material — such as wood pellets (lending it the pseudonym ‘pellet stove’).

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A restored 18th century farmhouse in the Dordogne region of France (Photo courtesy of Style-Files)

Advancements in America

In the 1740s, the woodburning cookstove received a series of enhancements at the hands of politician and inventor Benjamin Franklin. His design added a hollow baffle to the rear of the stove that subsequently increased heat intensity and slowed smoke circulation.

Despite the fact that he refused to officially patent it, Franklin’s version has retained many of its original features throughout the years — including the ‘Franklin stove’ designation.

As the general understanding of the chimney concept improved in the late 18th century, the addition of the slanted fireback and adjustable flue damper allowed the wood burner to be operated in smaller spaces. When Philo Stewart patented the Oberlin stove in 1834, sales boomed across the United States and Europe.

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An 1807 museum house with woodburning cookstove (Photo courtesy of Historic New England)

Beyond the growing pains

The development and eventual legacy of the woodburning cookstove was not without its challenges. Ironically, the surging popularity of the appliance revealed its inadequacies.

As the public looked to stoves as a main heating source during the oil crises of the 1970s, air pollution became more of a concern; as did potential fire hazards and the amount of wood required to operate the stoves. Another round of innovation and redesign eventually created a new generation of much more efficient models that featured lower levels of pollution and longer burn times.

From the past, we see the future

With a connection to vintage appliances dating back four decades, Elmira Stove Works stands as a thought leader and tireless champion of style, performance, and innovation in the industry. We began in 1975 in Elmira, Ontario with the Findlay Oval cookstove, eventually expanding into a full line of gas and electric ranges while developing relationships with retail businesses across the continent.

Since that time, Elmira has come to symbolize the finest in vintage-styled appliances to meet every home environment. Elmira has built a world-class portfolio of product offerings that boast leading-edge technologies in that signature 1800’s or 1950’s vintage-inspired styling.

And as Elmira looks ahead, the brand will continue its mission of enhancing product style and performance, while maintaining authenticity and craftsmanship.

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Antique-styled woodburning cookstoves from Elmira Stove Works

New Year “Revolutions”

4 Jan picture1

The New Year brings about a clean slate, a sense of hope, and motivation to take on new and exciting initiatives. Resolutions often come and go… so why not plan for something you can commit to, like a New Year’s “revolution”, instead? One way many people embrace this time is by giving their kitchen a mini-makeover that doesn’t break the budget. Let’s explore some ideas on how you can make your dream a reality.

 

Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of paint does wonders for a kitchen. Whether on the walls or the cabinets, a little bit of paint goes a long way. This one-day project is affordable, fun, and highly effective in breathing new life into your kitchen. Painting your cabinets requires more work than painting the walls, but if you want the ultimate kitchen makeover, make a whole weekend of it and paint everything! Painting the walls a neutral color, like Sherwin Williams’ 2017 color of the year, Poised Taupe, and the cabinets a lighter shade, makes for a stunning, modern look.

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Dishwasher Panels
If you’re looking for a project that requires less time than painting, switching out the panel on your panel-ready dishwasher is the perfect project for you.  Our Model 1957 panel picture1will enhance any retro lover’s kitchen. This pop of color in a modern kitchen will establish
a new focal point, and adding it to an existing retro-inspired kitchen, enhances the
authenticity even more.  The Northstar panel fits most 24-inch wide fully integrated dishwashers that accept panels. You get the look and feel of a brand new dishwasher without having to actually purchase one!

 

 

 

New Hardware

Small details are the cornerstone of incredible design. The big picture is important, but the details turn the big picture into a work of art.  Something as simple as installing new knobs and pulls on your cabinets can do a lot for the kitchen. If you paint your cabinets and add new hardware, it will totally transform the space! Opt for vintage-looking knobs and handles, for a unique retro look, or try something with clean lines that are a fit for a more modern style.  This project is also fun because finding the perfect hardware can be a great adventure. You can explore countless possibilities without having to spend big bucks. It’s also a project that requires very little effort in regards to installation so if you have a lot of motivation but not a lot of free time, this simple project is a great fit.

 

Hoods & Splashbacks

If functionality is one of the driving forces behind your new year’s “revolution”, look no further than new splashbacks and hoods. From extra light to ventilation, a quality hood goes a long way. A splashback, while not a necessity, is also useful. It protects the walls from cooking grease, soap and water, food splashes, and whatever else could potentially compromise the aesthetics of your wall.  Splashbacks also add a nice design element to
picture1your dream kitchen. With three different hood models (Model 1961, Model 1962, and Model 1963) there are hoods to fit your design style and preference. If your hood is wall-mounted, we also make a Model 1960 Duct Cover that fills the gap between the hood and the ceiling, maintaining a flow to the design. Tie it all together with the Model 1944 splashback and your kitchen mini-makeover will be beautiful and efficient.  As with all Elmira products, there are a variety of standard colors, and unlimited custom colors available.

 

Giving your kitchen a mini-makeover for the New Year doesn’t have to be expensive and incredibly time consuming. These products are budget friendly, easy to install, and most importantly, will help you kick off the New Year in style. So this year, join us in rejecting resolutions and instead embrace “revolutions.”  Happy redecorating!

 

For more information on dishwasher panels, vent hoods, splashbacks, and more, visit http://www.elmirastoveworks.com.

 

Holiday Gifts for the Cook

1 Dec northstar-with-bow-jpg

From exotic meals to yummy comfort food, we have no doubt the chef in your life is constantly going above and beyond to keep you full and happy. The ability to cook up great dishes gives them the opportunity to share with the people they love most. To repay them for all that they do for you, the holiday season is the perfect time to show how much they you appreciate them. This year, we’ve put together a short list of gifts that are unique and sure to please.

 

Homemade and Full of Love

For a gift that tugs at the heart strings, look no further than framing handwritten recipes from mom or grandma. This DIY gift is easy to put together. Start by hand-writing a few of their best recipes on scrapbook paper, and then mount each one in a unique frame. This beautiful, sentimental gift is one that just keeps on giving; a quick glance at the recipes will bring a smile to any chef’s face, and adds a very personal touch to the kitchen. With a thoughtful gift like this, your holiday guests will be asking how they can implement this in their own kitchens.

recipes

Source: Beautyandbedlam.com

 

Elmira Stove Works Appliances

A vintage-styled appliance with modern amenities is the dream gift for many great cooks. Give the chef in your life the ultimate holiday gift by helping them bring their dream kitchen to life with Elmira Stove Works appliances. With so many beautiful options to choose from, picking the perfect style and color will be the hardest part! If you want to try before you buy, design your dream kitchen here. From there, you’ll be able to have an idea of how the appliances and color options will fit in the space. You’ll even be able to change the cabinet colors to match your desired look. There are so many options, from the brand new 36-inch six-burner range, to keg fridges, and even antique ranges. Still having a hard time deciding on an appliance? Find a dealer near you and they’ll help to ensure that you find the perfect appliances for the ultimate kitchen.

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Source: Elmira Stove Works

 

Wine Club/Box Subscription

The picture is familiar: there’s music playing throughout the house, a fire burning, while the smell of something delicious fills the air, and a glass of wine sits on the counter. Great food and great wine go hand-in-hand. If the chef in your life enjoys a nice glass of wine, think no further than a subscription to a wine-of-the-month club. Masters of the kitchen will not only be able to taste different wines, but can also incorporate them into their recipes. Making a little shrimp scampi? Use a white wine to add flavor to the signature dish.  Each month when the wine arrives, the chef in your life will be sure to think of you, and if you’re lucky, they’ll share!

wine

Source: Urbantastebud.com

Thanksgiving Retro Recipes

7 Nov

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it’s time to share great food with the people you love most.  Alas, another perfect opportunity to cook up some retro recipes in your dream kitchen!

The Northstar Model 1947 36-inch 6-burner range will be your best friend during the holiday season. You’ll be able to multitask in style, while cutting your cooking time in half! Six burners, a self-cleaning true-convection oven, and a storage drawer, make this range unstoppable.

We know each family has their own turkey tradition, so we’re serving up some side dishes that will blow your mind.

Enjoy the holiday season, and try some of our favorite retro recipes.  Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

happy-thanksgiving

 

Broccoli and Corn Casserole

Serves 10

Casserole:

1 16oz can creamed corn

1 10oz frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained well

1 beaten eggbroccoli-and-corn

½ cup Ritz cracker crumbs (about 12 crackers)

1 tbsp minced onion

2 tbsp margarine

½ tsp salt

Dash of pepper

Topping:

¼ cup Ritz cracker crumbs (about 6-8 crackers)

1 tbsp margarine

Squeeze all excess water from the chopped broccoli.  Mix all casserole ingredients together and pour into a casserole dish.  Sprinkle topping on top.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

 


Almond Asparagus

asparagusServes 10

1 lb fresh asparagus spears

2 tbsp butter

2-3 tbsp sliced or slivered almonds

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2-4 tsp lemon juice

Cut fresh asparagus into 2 inch pieces.  Cook covered in a small amount of boiling water for 6-8 minutes until crisp/tender.  Drain and remove from pan.  In the same pan, melt butter, and add the almonds.  Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms.  Cook and stir until tender.  Add lemon juice and asparagus.  Toss to coat the vegetables, heat through, and serve.

 

Frosted Cauliflower

Large head serves 8, small head serves 6

1 head cauliflowercauliflower

½ cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ dry mustard

1 ½ tsp dried parsley flakes

Steam the entire cauliflower head for about 15 minutes until it is crisp/tender. Blend the mayonnaise, Parmesan, lemon juice, dry mustard, and parsley flakes, then coat the cauliflower.  Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until the frosting begins to brown.  Remove and serve whole.

We’re Ready for Halloween Year-Round!

11 Oct

At Elmira Stove Works, we’ve been dressing up appliances for forty-one years, and we just love building brand new appliances that look old. So in the (pardon the pun) “spirit” of the season, here are a few of the fully-modern appliances we hide behind amazing vintage-inspired facades.  There are a few tricks in these kitchen treats!

Grandma’s Antique Woodburning Cookstove?

1865st_copper_heroYou might think so, with those ornate castings, faux fire door on the left, the “ash catch” underneath, and the warming cabinet above.

Gotchya! Take a closer look. Behind the false doors is a full-sized self-cleaning convection oven. The “warming closet” conceals feather-touch electronic controls, a powerful exhaust fan, and lighting for the cooking surface. The cooktop features four sealed gas burners – from 8,000 to 15,000 BTU’s; along with two high-speed radiant electric elements on the right.

Yes, the “costume” might look like grandma’s cookstove, but it’s all high-performance twenty-first century technology underneath!

 

 

A Fifties Retro Fridge?

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Well, it sure looks like it, with the Chevy Biscayne or Ford Thunderbird Robin’s Egg Blue paint job, chrome trim, rounded corners, double doors, and compressor on the bottom, right?

Not so fast! It’s actually a brand new 25 cubic foot French door fridge. Up top, you’ll find 17.8 cubic feet of fresh food capacity, a full-width pantry drawer, Visi-shelving, and a filtered water dispenser. Down below where the compressor and motor used to be? That’s a 7 ½ cubic foot self-defrosting freezer, complete with an automatic ice maker. No need to chip the frost out of this fridge once a month.

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And to really get you into the Halloween spirit, how about…

“The Grim Reaper” FRIDGEangleGOOD.jpg

This killer chiller might be more at home in the man cave than the kitchen. Highly detailed flames and skulls are so three-dimensional and realistic that you can almost hear the flames roar and the skulls cackle!

Elmira teamed up with Studio Uneek to create unique airbrushed designs on our Northstar Model 1952 refrigerator. This new initiative is the best way to add a personal touch because no one else will have your design. We can even incorporate a photo of you on your hotrod or motorcycle into the airbrushing.

Smokin’ hot on the outside; totally cool inside.

 

Beyond just being eye-catching, choosing Elmira appliances means being able to have confidence that whatever appliances you choose will be not only beautiful, but also trustworthy, and built to last.

 

Happy Halloween!

For more information about Elmira Stove Works, visit www.elmirastoveworks.com.

Making Your Dream Kitchen a Reality

10 Sep

What’s the toughest part of renovating or remodeling your kitchen? For most people, it’s knowing where to start. Bringing your dream kitchen to life sounds great in theory, but taking the steps to actually make it happen can often seem overwhelming and discouraging.

Worry not; we’re here to help. If you can dream it, we can help you build it! So where do you start with such a huge project?

Think About What You Need

Before you dive into designing your dream kitchen, think about what you need from your kitchen setup. Kitchens are usually high traffic areas for most families, so it’s important to always remember how your family utilizes the kitchen. Is the kitchen strictly for cooking or are meals shared here? Is it homework central or is a chef’s paradise? These are all important questions to ask so that your dream kitchen goes beyond just being pretty.

Decide On Your Budget

When remodeling or renovating any room, it’s important to think long term. Renovations shouldn’t be looked at as an expense but rather as an investment in both your home and your quality of life. After you’ve asked yourself important question that helped you determine what you need from your dream kitchen, deciding on a budget is the next step. Consider how much you’d like to spend versus how much you can spend. Get quotes from contractors. Do research. The more you learn about the process, the easier budgeting will be.

Visualize Your Dream Kitchen                                                                                           

Elmira Visualizer1Once know your budget what you need from your kitchen, the fun part begins! Hop over to our website and check out our dream kitchen design tool. It allows you to design your kitchen by changing the appliances, colors, and cabinets. This tool gives you the ultimate control of your dream kitchen before you actually bring it to life. Feel free to build and rebuild as needed until you find the combination that’s perfect for you. With so many unique colors available, deciding on one or two may be the toughest part of your pre-renovation journey.

Consider Quality Materials

When renovating your kitchen, keep your budget in mind, but remember that the materials and appliances that you decide on will have a long term impact in your life. When you purchase an Elmira appliance, you do so with the peace of mind that you’ll be getting a product of the highest quality with an exceptional warranty, and customer service representatives who treat you like family. The same thought should also apply to other products and materials in your kitchen. For example, when deciding on countertops, considering using natural stone. Natural stone’s timelessness couples well with the retro kitchen design, and its durability ensures that it will last. When your dream kitchen has a foundation of quality appliances, materials, and products, you can be confident of your investment.

Ready, Set, Go!

Final1It’s time to make your dream kitchen a reality! You’ve thought long and hard about what you want, what you need, and how to make it happen so all that’s left is bringing your dream kitchen to life. Visit a local Elmira dealer for your appliances, decide on a contractor or do it yourself, and get ready for the exciting journey ahead. When your dream kitchen is finished, make sure you send us a picture and share your story via Facebook, Twitter, or leave comment below.

Ready? Go make your dream kitchen a reality!

10 Useful Kitchen Hacks

8 Aug

There is no room more central in any home than the kitchen. The kitchen is more than just a room where meals are made; it is now the heart of a home where families come together to do everything from sharing meals to homework. With so much activity in the kitchen, keeping the kitchen organized and clean is essential for a happy home.

With that in mind, we’ve searched far and wide to find the top ten kitchen life hacks to make your time in the kitchen even more enjoyable.

  1. Tissue Boxes for Storage

    PBH

    Source: architecturedesigns.com

Plastic bags are a staple in every kitchen, but storing them often provides a challenge. If you’re looking for an easy and cute place to store your plastic bags, look no further than empty tissue boxes! Tissue boxes are great for storing plastic bags because they’re
small, easy to access, and come in various colors and designs so you can pick out a box or two that look great in your retro kitchen.

  1. Boiling Water for Clogs

The kitchen sink probably gets used more often than any other sink in the house. It’s inevitable that sometimes things that don’t belong down the drain find their way down anyway. An easy way to avoid clogs is to pour boiling water down the drain every so often. This easy hack will ensure that your kitchen sink is always in good shape.

Sponge

Source: lifehack.org

  1. Binding Clips for Sponges

There are few things grosser than grabbing a sponge and having it be wet, stinky and dirty. A sanitary sponge is important, and an easy way to keep it clean is to use a binding clip to hold it straight up. This prevents the sponge from absorbing bacteria.

  1. Damp Paper Towels & Cutting Boards

Is there anything more annoying than cutting something on the cutting board only to have the board slip? It’s frustrating and dangerous, but putting a few damp paper towels sheets underneath the board will keep it in place. Quick, simple and effective – this life hack is a surefire way to save you some frustration.

  1. Hang Pots and Pans

    Pots

    Source: homeremedyhacks.com

Not having enough storage space in the kitchen is a universal struggle. No matter how big your kitchen is, more storage is always welcomed. A convenient way to free up some space is to hang your pots and pans. Not only will they be easy to reach and organized, they’ll also add some flair to your kitchen, especially if you have a designer cookware set.

 

  1. Tension Rods under the Sink
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Source: diply.com

Keeping your kitchen spotless is a top priority that often requires various cleaning products. With so many bottles, the cabinet under the sink is usually pretty full and tough to keep organized. You can gain some space and keep everything organized by adding a tension rod and hanging the bottles up. This simple trick is a great way to keep even the messiest cabinets in tip-top shape.

 

 

 

 

  1. Mason Jars

Mason jars are so versatile and a must-have for any kitchen. A good  way to de-clutter your pantry is to use them storage. Remove items from their original packaging, put them in a mason jar, label them if you’re feeling extra crafty, and appreciate all of the extra space.. Mason jars come in all sizes, making it easy to find some that fit your needs.

  1. Shoe Rack Storage

    Shoe

    Source: lifehack.org

If the mason jars didn’t free up as much space as you need in your pantry then consider using a shoe rack for extra storage. Re-purpose a shoe rack by hanging it on your pantry door and using it to store things like snacks and miscellaneous items that are scattered throughout the pantry. While not the most stylish solution, shoe rack storage will free up space, help keep your pantry organized, and make life a little easier.

  1. Command Strips and Baskets

Another quick and easy way to get a little more storage in your kitchen cabinets is to use Command strips and baskets. This hack is perfect for small, miscellaneous items. A small basket will keep items in one easy to access location as well as free up some much needed space. With this trick you’ll never have to worry about misplacing small lids, plastic straws, or can openers again.

  1. Magnets

    Magnets

    Source: Buzzfeed.com

Did you know magnets can be used for much more than adding a personal touch to your fridge? Magnets can be used to help you de-clutter your kitchen. You can make a magnetic rack to house your spices, knives, and even mason jars. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to finding creative ways to use magnets to keep your kitchen tidy.