Chambers Stove Restoration
There’s lots of great retro stoves out there, and we’ll restore any one you like, but we’re especially fond of Chambers: Drop-dead gorgeous, amazing features, cooks great. With all things considered, we feel they are the most fun, practical and carbon friendly.
Retro Stove & Gas Works offers fully restored Chambers brand stoves for purchase, as well as a large variety of “rescued” Chambers, ready for restoration. We can also restore a Chambers you already own.
Pricing to restore a model A, B, BZ or C Chambers depends on the starting condition of the stove, it’s color, it’s rarity, and the level to which you’d like it restored. A full restoration may take between 5-8 weeks. Contact us for further details.
Chambers Stove History & Technology
In the early 1900's, previous to Chambers ranges, “Fireless Cookers” were a separate small cabinet kept near a cook stove burning wood, coal or gas. A pot of soup would be put on a range, and the contents brought to a boil. Then a tight fitting lid was put on, and the pot would be removed from the stove and placed in a form-fitted cavity in the Fireless Cooker. The Fireless Cooker was insulated with packed “Excelsior” (finely shaved wood) or, ultimately, Mineral Wool (spun molten rock, with the consistency of densely packed sheep's wool).
The Chambers range negated the need for a separate Fireless Cooker, by super-insulating both the oven and a “deep-well” on the cook-top. So, a roast placed in a Chambers ThermoOven is brought up to a high temperature for a certain amount of time (dependant on weight). Then, the gas is simply turned off, and the roast remains in the oven and “cooks with the gas turned off” for another weight-determined period. The deep well (ThermoWell) functions in the same way.
Although Chambers ranges were sold on the basis of economical cooking, they weren't cheap. Quite the opposite: with commercial-grade components and cutting-edge features, a Chambers was a pricey appliance. This was back in a time when “paying more now to pay less in the long run” appealed to pre- and post-Depression sensibilities. The men and women of Chambers' sales force went to great lengths to demonstrate to customers how a few years' worth of fireless cooking saved enough money to not only compensate for its' higher price, but end up cheaper than any other range. Through home dinner demonstrations, Chambers also emphasized the performance, quality, beauty, and features unique to their ranges. Despite stiff competition from many other range manufacturers, the Chambers brand sold well throughout the United States.
The most popular Chambers models are the B, BZ, and C, manufactured from the late 30's to the early 60's. The B and BZ came in many configurations and a few colors. The C offered expanded color choices, but only two configurations: Highback and Lowback. While the B and BZ have a bit more “character”, the C is esthetically more “modern” looking, and possesses a more efficient ThermoWell that enables it to function as a mini-oven.
At first glance, there are a few things about a Chambers that may seem strange to present-day consumers. First, the oven seems quite small, compared with the cavernous ovens of modern stoves. Also, the appearance of only 3 burners on the surface of the cook top may seem limiting. In reality, the oven can fit a 40 lb. turkey roaster, and it's no problem cooking 4 pies at once. The 4th cook top burner does exist, though it sits at the bottom of the ThermoWell, which simply requires a fitted pot and a little getting used-to. Otherwise, a Chambers is totally adequate for a family of four or more, and can be much more fun and satisfying to own and operate than a modern stove.