photo from flickr.com
Years ago, when we first moved to West Virginia, I bought a used gas stove for my kitchen. The salesman at the used appliance store said, "This is an old stove, but I guarantee you'll like it better than these new ones. I bought the stove he recommended, a large, curvy white Tappan from the early 1950's.
He was right. I loved that stove. I used it hard for the next 8 years and slowly, things began to break--one burner would not work, the oven hinge broke, things like that. I decided I needed something newer and bought an avocado green stove that was smaller. I thought I'd made a good decision. Soon we went to an electric range because LP gas became so expensive. As the years past, I remembered my Tappan and realized it had really been a very good stove. I should have fixed it, I thought. Ah well, it was gone and that was that.
When we learned that we would have free gas, I thought about my Tappan. Could I find another stove like that? I started looking a few months ago, and found them all right--for prices ranging from $250 up to $3000! Apparently I was not the only person who understood the value of these heavy, well-made stoves.
I mentioned my quest to my son Aaron one day and he said, "You know, I've seen a stove like that up near my house. It's out under someone's gazebo with a for sale sign on it."
A week later, Aaron's wife Jaime called. "Okay, I'm standing in front of this stove. It has chrome burners, chrome trim and it's kinda rounded looking."
"That's it!" I said. "Will you see how much they want for it?"
"Says right on the sign, $50."
"Buy it! We'll figure how to get it here later."
Jaime bought the stove for me, and Aaron picked it up--along with another 3-burner gas stove that is really an odd little thing, but for $25 he figured we might want it for a canning stove.
Aaron delivered my stove today, and I am so happy! The gas isn't hooked up yet but the stove is ready when we get it done. Best part? These two stoves turned out to be my Mother's Day gift from Aaron. What a guy.
This one is a 1950 Tappan Deluxe. It looks like it has been used very little because it's so clean. The original owner's manual is still in one of the chrome drawers.
It has three chrome drawers on one side, one labeled "Crisper." The burner covers, with a pretty design on the reverse side so they can be used as trays, are stored on the side doors, ready for use.
One the other side is storage for baking pans, a slideout drawer for utensils, and towel racks for drying kitchen towels. The broiler pan is chrome and looks unused. There are slide-out trays for cleaning under the burners, and lovely scrolled cast iron burner grids. The burners and burner pans are chrome, as is the oven door and the bottom kickplate. On top is a clock, a scrolling list of cooking times for many foods, and a light that still works. Best part? When the light is turned on, the red glass behind the burner controls lights up!
Looking online, I found a blog called TappanTalk that is devoted to discussing these stoves; various owners post photos of their stoves, along with questions and restoration projects. There are, I have found, many devotees of this stove, and I am now among their numbers.
I am in love again with a Tappan Deluxe. I've got a little cleaning to do, but I can't wait to get it hooked up and start cooking.
The last red light eventually came on, Aaron said. Isn't she a beauty?
Welcome home, Tappan!