Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Single Sentence about Cookstoves

Today I am substituting as the media specialist at the school where I used to teach full-time.  I truly enjoy substituting for the media specialist, but my love of books is a complete handicap to any speed I might develop when it comes to managing circulation.  One of the students asked me how my day was going this afternoon, and I had to honestly admit that I'm kind of exhausted because I'm trying to read as many books as possible.  Today I may have actually mastered the art of speed reading/skimming a novel--a talent I have developed about 25 years too late for it to be as useful as it would have been when I was in college.

Then while I was dusting shelves in the high school library, I ran across the 1970 history book which was written to honor Shelby, Iowa's centennial.  I student-taught in Shelby over twenty years ago, and I have always enjoyed the town, so I pulled the book off the shelf and thumbed through it.

Smack in the middle of the book, I ran across a picture of a lady standing at a woodburning cookstove.  I think it is a stock picture that I've seen before, but the text that goes with it is fun.  It is entitled "LONGEST SENTENCE IN THE BOOK."  And I quote:

     "The old cook stove was the most versatile of all household possessions, for it cooked our food; baked our bread; heated water for washing, butchering, dishes, family baths and general cleaning; heated our flat irons; rendered our lard; made our soap; canned our meat, fruit and vegetables; made jams and jellies in season; heated the kitchen; dried the clothes; warmed up new born pigs; dried off baby chickens caught in the rain; warmed a chilled foot or two; popped our corn; made our candy; kept the teakettle boiling to humidify the house; burned our trash and utilized cobs and wood raised on the farm."

. . . and they still can today.


  1. I am so thankful to have found your blog and blog post, “ Answer to a “Grate” Question”!
    We purchased a used Qualified range and after reading a book about wood cook stoves I thought we had a coal grate and should try to have something made to go over it for burning wood. Also, it cleared up why the firebox liner in the front is there. We’ve been loading from the side and top and I kept thinking I could fit bigger pieces in if loaded from the front and possibly not have as much smoke. The three holes over the firebox where the lid lifter goes are burned through. Can they be patched somehow? Also, the porcelain coated water reservoir box is rusted and I would like to find a new one. The nameplate on the firebox door says this stove was made in Fort Recovery, Ohio. I haven’t been able to find any information on it and we would like to know how old the stove is. Do you have any idea? Thankyou so much for your great blog. It is a tremendous help.

    1. Welcome to my blog, Nancy! I'm glad that it has been of service to you.

      It is good to hear from someone with another Qualified range. They are good stoves, and I enjoyed cooking on mine.

      To answer your questions, yes, the lid lifter holes can be repaired. I have seen that done on other stoves. Look for a good metal working shop in your area, and talk to them about what needs to be done. If you feel comfortable letting me know where you are, I may be able to help you find a stove repair shop that is fairly close, too. A stove repair shop would be your best bet in getting your water reservoir fixed/replaced.

      It is interesting that your Qualified was made in Fort Recovery, Ohio. The plans for the Qualified ranges changed hands many times over the years, but the basic design didn't change much at all for approximately 70 years.

      If you would e-mail me a picture of your stove, I would be better able to guess an approximate year of manufacture. I would also love to do a Readers' Cookstoves post about your Qualified if you would be willing to send pics and answer a few questions. You can see what those posts are like by looking under that label in the red list to the left on your screen.

      My e-mail address is

      Thanks so much for your compliments!