Oven Source

So I just spent the day shopping for a stove. We’re remodelling the kitchen in the new house. It’s vintage 1977 and really needs to be updated. Not that I have anything against avocado and almond, mind you.
Only one appliance needs to be replaced, and instead of buying a new stove, we decided to get a refurbished antique. Apparently stoves are the only appliances that aren’t better in the 21st century. They really knew how to make them in the good old days. So off we went to Johnny’s Appliances and Classic Ranges in Sonoma, California. And this is the stove we picked out…

Ain’t it a beaut?

It’s a vintage O’Keefe and Merritt. Johnny says they run rings around the new Viking or Wolf ranges. All the chrome and porcelain has been redone, the gas works reconditioned, the thermostat replaced. It’s really a work of art. The picture doesn’t do it justice. I have to say, I’ve gained a new appreciation of the art of stove manufacture!

Technology comes in all shapes and sizes, I guess.

33 Replies to “Oven Source”

  1. Now that. Is one sweet-lookin’ stove. If only I could get something like that in the apartment this semester… ^_^

  2. Lookin’ good, Leo! You and your family must be really excited about the new house. We’re all happy for you!!!

  3. I have a 1950’s Caloric Ultramatic gas oven/range that I would like to sell. It is a real beauty. All four burners work as well as the oven and broiler. There is a warming drawer and a pot and pan drawer. The clock and light are out. It is very clean. White and chrome. Open to all offers. Please call 973-243-2793 or send an e-mail.

  4. Hi Folks,
    I’m wondering if Rad ever found a way to have gas pilots retrofitted with electronic ones. I have a 50’s vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove that I love, but it is always hot to the touch and must burn a ton of gas. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know. Thanks, Toni

  5. I have a friend who is looking for a reconditioned Viking or Wolf range and ran across your site. Do you still have the one you showed and how is is performing? Would you deal with Johnnys again?
    My friends are up in Northern Calif. on the coast and hope to find someone in their area or in Southwestern Oregon. Any ideas?

  6. I am in the middle of remodeling a 1950s vintage house in
    Winter Park, Florida. Where can I find a similar range or a
    30″ professional model?

  7. OOOH! Gas stove! I haven’t cooked on one since my family moved from Kansas in 1984. Took a long time to get used to the electric.

  8. I have been searching for a vintage stove for my old house. We’re about to begin renovations on the kitchen. Your Caloric Ultramatic sounds perfect. I’ve heard these old stoves are the best … and I love to bake.

  9. I can’t believe it!
    When I was little (born 7-7-47) my mom had exactly the same stove you just bought!
    We moved into my grandparents home and got rid of their stove…an older model on legs!
    What’s old is new again!

  10. You’ll notice a griddle in the middle and storage on the left on this one, too. I wouldn’t dream of anything but gas, and I can’t wait to try this stove.

  11. I have gas. I mean my stove! It’s the only way to cook.
    Leo, I hope you aren’t going to tell all these already-swooning women around Leoville that you can cook too!!

  12. i wish ALL tech would be that way..well i do still use my atari 400,800 and ST and 2600

  13. I prefer older stoves not only for the brilliant cooking ability that comes from being made in a time before cutting every corner to make an extra dime… but also because they have a definite beauty to them that newer stoves dont have.
    Gas cooking is the only way to go! For years I was forced to use electric ovens and stoves and I hated it.

  14. Looks sweet Leo. I can smell the food already!!!!! Hey, maybe I can make it out to Cherry Hill next week. Anyway, Happy Father’s Day!

  15. My mom has a Caloric Ultramatic (model # W54AQXT) that need some repair. If anyone knows of a good place to call that can get me parts and perhaps do a litte phone assist, I would greatly appreciate.
    My mom lives in south Mississippi, so if you are within driving distance to, say Hattiesburg, perhaps you could make a house call.

  16. Aw, gee willikers Leo, the man in Mount Pilot could have gotten it for you wholesale!
    Gas is the only way to cook. I too was forced to use an electric stove and I hated it. I miss my old gas stove I had when first married in 1975. It was a huge thing with a griddle in the middle, (hey that rhymes doesn’t it!) and storage bin on the side. I hate I got rid of it, cause the one I have now is inferior.

  17. You’re going to update the avocado and almond? I suggest harvest gold and burnt orange. 😉
    Cool stove, Leo! Gas is indeed the way to go. Cooking with electric is an enormous pain, I’m having to do that right now and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t grind my teeth while I’m trying to make the stove/oven do what I want it to do. Plus, there are some hidden consequences to having all electric – like when the power goes out. Probably of particular importance in California just now . . .
    Vintage Smooches,

  18. Leo,nothing is made these days like the old days. I remember my grandmother had this old stove that was, I think a kind of a cream color with porcelain handles. The gas knobs looked like porcelain faucet handles. I think that’s what it looked like. I was pretty young, but you’re right. Nothing like a gas stove. My parents in Florida have an electric stove, and believe me, it takes getting used to. The first time I used it, I nearly burned water.LOL! But anyway, that stove you’ve got there looks real nice. Seems like you could cook up a storm on that. Enjoy, and have a good time in Chicago.

  19. Leo,
    Love the “Screen Savers” and all the TECH LIVE media you guys are doing … Tell Pat Happy Birthday, and I am going to sign his GUEST BOOK in just a few minutes. I am also going to send a V-MAIL. I just wanted to say thank you, for so many tips I have used and love, I am now BLOGGING and I am also using NET STAT LIVE utility. It is FANTASTIC to be able to measure my cable connection, to see what I am getting fo rmy money, and I have to say, I am getting a good connection, around 78 KBps ….. Lovin it….
    HEY LEO … CHECK OUT MY SITE one night when you are bored… 🙂
    Ernie Stevens
    Charleston, WV

  20. Wow…I thought I was a weirdo for not immediately replacing the 1954 gas Caloric Ultramatic (with clock, slide-rule timer, fluorescent cook light, pot storage on the left, and temp-sensing burner) that came with my 1925 house in Pittsburgh. I looked it over and decided (rightly, in retrospect) that it was just basically cooler than any other stove I’d ever seen.
    Now if I can just figure out how to do away with the pilot lights and retrofit electronic ignition, I’ll completely content.
    Thanks, Leo, for letting me know I’m not the only antique stove fan out there.
    p.s. The temp sensing burner looked like a gimmick, but makes the very best pancakes and omelets I’ve ever managed…

  21. Greetings,
    This is a note to Rad or anyone who might know where to get parts (handles) for the Caloric stoves. My neighbor is remodeling their kitchen and is kicking out this marvelous Caloric stove (4 gas burners and a griddle), which is missing handles and has offered to give it to me just to get it out of their house! I will have to rip out some of my kitchen floor to gun gas pipes, but that also gives me an excuse to tile the entire floor since it could stand some work too. Any help on finding parts would be appreciated.

  22. Greetings,
    This is a note to Rad or anyone who might know where to get parts (handles) for the Caloric stoves. My neighbor is remodeling their kitchen and is kicking out this marvelous Caloric stove (4 gas burners and a griddle), which is missing handles and has offered to give it to me just to get it out of their house! I will have to rip out some of my kitchen floor to gun gas pipes, but that also gives me an excuse to tile the entire floor since it could stand some work too. Any help on finding parts would be appreciated.

  23. Hey Ive got a Chambers gas stove. Not sure what year it was made. It has four burners in the middle a griddle on the left side, and a soup pot cooker on the right side it has an alluminun pot that sets down inside it. The oven is on the left side with storage door on right. Also it has a light, and the handles on all of the doors and nobs are silver like a latch. These handles havent been replaced their original. Any one with and idea when it was made please let me know. ALSO GAS HEAT FOOD STAYS HOT LONGER. We thank god for gas stoves.

  24. Greetings,
    I have this wonderful ultramatic caloric gas stove I acquired when I got married 26 years ago. The stove could well be over 50-60 years old. Features include 4 burners (with special adjustment for low flame for keeping food warm/low simmer),a griddle/fry top; oven, plus rotiserrie oven on the left, grill, timer, oven light, food temperature guide etc. etc. Colour – harvest gold.
    I have run into trouble with finding replacement knobs, and genuine replacement burner caps. The burners were recently modified, but the truth is that I would love to locate originals. Help any one?

  25. I am currently remodeling my kitchen and bought a brand new viking to replace the Caloric Ultramatic 36 in gas oven that has been in this kitchen probably since it was new I date this oven to be late 40’s early 50’s works like a charm. I found myself teary eyed when they wheeled this away I couldn’ imagine I would ever be so attached to an appliance. I am a good cook so the viking I am sure will do me justice but if anyone wants to look at this either for your retro kitchen (the chrome is beautiful) or for parts let me know. I can’t see throwing this wonderful piece away. I even think it would be a great prop for a movie or tv show.

  26. I recently bought an ultramatic off of e-bay.
    It is in nice condition with a room heater in the left oven area.
    I cannot get the oven to light or the back burners to work on their own.
    If anyone has any info-please help.
    It looks like a 1958 that I saw pics of.
    I cannot find a model # anywhere

  27. I just bought a house to use as a rental. The kids, all in their 60’s said their mother used this stove for the last 50 years.
    It a Caloric Ultramatic bought new by her Oct 23 1951 $199.50. ( The books are still with it.
    I was going to leave it in the rental, but realize most tenants would complain about the old stove and would probably do damage to it in order to get me to repalcxe it.It is in very nice shape.
    If anyone is intested make me an offer. I’m in northern Wisconsin.

  28. Hey Leo,
    I think I have the same model as you (O’keefe & Merritt) and I’m not sure what’s the best method for cleaning the center griddle. Did they give you and care instructions at the shop?

  29. l just moved into a new (old) house and inherited a Caloric Ultramatic range and wall-mounted oven. The oven looks great, but I have no idea how to light it or turn it on. The house was built in the early sixties, so I imagine the oven is about that age. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! I want to start baking!

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