Vintage History: a fascinating circa 1935 Chambers Model A gas range

In our Vintage History blog feature, a Community Forklift pricing team member tells us about something in the reuse warehouse, with particular attention paid to its style, history, and function.

This vintage circa 1935 Chambers gas range (Model A (11-A-22)) sold quickly in the reuse warehouse, but it’s such a fun appliance that we wanted to share it on our blog anyway. Revered by vintage stove and cooking enthusiasts for their amazing burners, well-insulated ovens, and built-in griddles and broilers, Chambers ranges were manufactured in Shelbyville, Indiana, from about 1925 until 1955.

Chambers stoves are known for their quartet of burner jets or ‘daisy burners’, which provide excellent heat spread and control. Later Chambers stoves have a designated warming burner in the center, but this model has its pilot light set in the middle of the four burners instead. This can be used to melt butter and keep coffee warm, among other things.

One of the burners is in a deeply recessed space called a Thermowell. This feature is great for cooking stews in a kettle pot that fits down inside the space below the lid. Since it is so well insulated, food can cook inside after the Thermowell is heated and the flame extinguished. Different accessories like the Thermobaker were manufactured by Chambers and provide added flexibility, making it suitable for baking or cooking multiple dishes at once.

An innovation of the Chambers range was the well-insulated oven. Coming out of the era when people still cooked on iron wood stoves, this insulated oven retained heat and resulted in lower gas bills. It also ensures more evenly cooked foods. As an added bonus, a small mica window enables you to see that the flame is on.

The range worked when removed from the home it came from, but was sold in as-is condition and would benefit from a rehab or restoration. All the stove and oven control burners have beautiful enameled thumb locks, though not all the locks on this range work properly. While definitely a cool feature with some vintage flair, these safety devices also make it difficult for children to turn on the burners.

The white cooktop cover is another beautiful and functional feature. Double-hinged from the back of the range, the cover provides some splatter protection when up and extended counterspace when down. It also hides a messy cooktop!

Another fun feature of Chambers ranges has grown over time: their dedicated following. If you’re interested in these fascinating appliances, check out the many online forums and articles dedicated to discussing how to best take advantage of their many features. And you can also try your hand at a vintage dinner recipe while you’re at it!


While this Chambers range has already sold, we do have some other vintage ranges available at the reuse warehouse. Check out the links to their Marketplace listings below or visit the warehouse in person any day between 12 and 5 pm to see them in person!

1970s Vintage Avocado Green Crown Gas Range: $135
1950s Vintage Robert Shaw ‘Fair Lady’ Range: $150
Caloric Circa 1938 Vintage Gas Range: $225


RELATED POSTS

June 2022: Vintage History: 215-year-old steamboat berth bed
December 2021: Vintage History: Mid Century Paul McCobb Desk
September 2021: Vintage History: Carved China Cabinet & Sideboard
March 2021: Vintage History: A Beautiful Arts and Crafts Sideboard


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Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse.  We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.