Victorian-era household amenities: the Range

Home on the range. Where the Scullery Maids and wives laboured over dinner. There were many different types of stoves before the Monarch Range of 1896. Like the Oberlin Stove of 1834, a small slender stove that used coal and was more of a heated room appliance (the room with the stove was often referred to as the 'Stove', rather than the appliance itself.) The Benjamin Franklin stove was of epic proportions, build with bricks into the wall, and not for common household use.

Even the White House still had an Franklin-type of stove in 1873, but it's the detached compact stove, like the Monarch, that made today's kitchens what they really are. Philo Stewart's Oberlin wood-burning stove, patented in 1834, took off (as much as it could back then) like a rocket. It was the first truly un-attached stove.

 

 

This particular Cornish style stove was found in the authors cottage up until 1839, and can you just imagine trying to use this beast? No. We can't.

The Victorian era proves to that the mother's invention drove innovation in kitchen technology. Our Great-Great-Grandmothers' kitchen was truly revolutionized with the industrial revolution, and, as I saw at KBIS 2011, we can very much look forward to kitchen-tech making it's way from the tablet to your interactive cooktop in the coming year(s).

Editor's note: Part of the reason for such vague and rudimentary commentary is that there are virtually no sources online or in print for this type of history. A lot of the sourcing is contradictory, confusing, and this is likely why no one writes about this stuff.