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Vintage Stove Questions – Kenmore circa 1950

The fixer-upper that we're buying has a cool old stove that we'd like to keep and use– it has four gas burners and a griddle on the top, an oven and a broiler. The emblem of the brand was removed, but we figured out that it's a Kenmore, circa 1950 – the same one is shown on these pages:


Here are my questions:
1. Does anyone have this stove or a very similar one and want to comment on their experience with it?
2. Does anyone know of any special instructions for lighting it? Is there a pilot light for the burners?
3. Ventilation– currently the kitchen has no hood. There is evidence that there use to be a stove pipe behind the left side of the stove, but now there is a back stoop added to the house there and the pipe is filled in and covered by one of those things that looks like a paper plate. Behind the right side of the stove is a window, so that's not the easiest place to add a hood either. Are the ridges on the back piece of the stove part of what should be a ventilation system? To be honest I didn't look close enough, but now I'm looking at the pictures I took and I don't know why else there would be little vent-looking things behind the stovetop.

I tried uploading pictures but it didn't let me. If you can help me figure it out I'll have some better pictures.

Re: Vintage Stove Questions – Kenmore circa 1950

I'm no expert but I'm thinking that is a '40s range. You will definitely want an exhaust hood, But the holes you see in the old flue were for a wood or coal stove that long predated the Kenmore. This type of range would typically have a 42" canopy hood. I just finished renovating a house that came w/ a vintage Vent-A-Hood and that determined the direction of the kitchen. I bought an old Tappan range and finished it metal-look cabinets, red formica w/ metal banding, etc. Heat from the oven on mine vents out just under the front of the control panel. There should be standing (always on) pilots under the top between the burners on each side. The ovens may or may not have a standing pilot. Mine thankfully did. Otherwise you light it w/ a match. Or these days a butane charcoal lighter.


Re: Vintage Stove Questions – Kenmore circa 1950

A word of caution, The gas stoves of that time had unsupervised pilots , that means that if the pilot went out the pilot continued to put gas in the pilot assembly. Today stoves have supervised pilots that means if the pilot does go out it shuts off the gas going to the pilot assembly . Check to see what type of pilot it has. I would not touch an unsupervised gas stove as pilots can go out anytime. If the pilot and the burner goes out due to wind in the kitchen for example then the kitchen will fill with gas and a little spark say goodbye to your house.

Re: Vintage Stove Questions – Kenmore circa 1950

Sounds like a retro-look new stove would be safer.

Re: Vintage Stove Questions – Kenmore circa 1950


I understand that by buying a fixer upper your main goal is to save money, but listen to Bill's advise here: don't mess with an outdated risky stove. The same is true to old heaters.

You can still make money in fixing or flipping and avoid those horrific disasters we occasionally hear about. Remember: SAFETY FIRST.

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