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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    State of Jefferson
    Posts
    420

    little tiny stoves

    Greetings,

    I am looking for a small tiny stove in which to heat/cook once a day. I had noticed that on Smoke And Fire's website they have a small British officers brazzier which looked pretty good to me at $60, but I don't know much about small traveling stoves. Does anyone know something about a resource for reproduction mid-nineteenth century tiny portable stoves?

    All of the events I have gone to this year, I've not been allowed to dig into that nice tidy turf and build a fire, and a huge range is beyond what I can carry myself. And before some of you suggest that I just walk across to camp and borrow someone else's flames, I feel that is kind of rude to ask. Consequently, I need just a small period stove that I can use myself to either cook or heat with.

    Any suggestions?
    Mfr,
    Judith Peebles
    Last edited by ElizabethClark; 04-27-2004 at 02:36 PM. Reason: relocating for content

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    NoVa
    Posts
    40

    Re: little tiny stoves

    Hi!
    Panther Primitives used to sell an 18th Century brazier as well. You could check with them to see if this item is available. I don't know how PEC this item would be for a CW impression.
    Last edited by ElizabethClark; 04-27-2004 at 02:37 PM. Reason: removing extraneous quote for tidiness
    Jim Reynolds
    Sykes' Regulars

    "...General Jackson rode up & told them that they must look out, for those troops were the regulars & if they made the slightest mismove or wavered an instant all would be lost, for the regulars were devils & would cut them to pieces."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Posts
    2,284

    Re: little tiny stoves

    Rather than discuss what sutlers sell, perhaps a more useful discussion would be regarding what was used by actual non-military travellers of the time for above-ground cooking and/or heating.

    Potential research resources for above-ground "fire":

    Emigrant guides for the westward trails
    Accounts of outdoor living/cooking at religious camp meetings and the like
    Accounts of frontier settlers and other non-military people
    Accounts of peddlers and other travelling folks

    For minor cooking, what about a spirit lamp/burner? It's just enough to heat a bit of water for tea, etc, but not so much as a whole fire.

    Are there ways to re-examine the "set up" and alleviate some of the need for a fire at some events? Is it possible to arrange in advance sharing a fire with others, in exchange for some fire-tending duties? I can see a whole range of options, beyond owning (and having to port) a small stove.
    Regards,
    Elizabeth Clark
    Citizen Moderator

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tuskaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    1,613

    Re: little tiny stoves

    As I recall, The Village Tinsmith makes a fine little period spirit lamp to such a purpose, perfect for those times and events when maintaining proper 19th century reserve and manners is the order of the day.

    For less formal, more mainstream events, asking to borrow a small place on someone's fire is normally not considered an imposition (at least in the Deep South, where one often attempts to avoid making any more fire than absolutely necessary during most of the reenacting season), and is a prime opportunity to make new acquaintances in the hobby.

    Then there is the added fun of doing without, or asking 'in character' for some small favor from another human being--getting in return a partial cup of coffee, however gritty, to go with my hard cold bread, often makes me more 'in the moment' and exceedingly grateful than if I had packed all my creature comforts.

    As to the fine brazier offered by Panther, Smoke and Fire, Jas Townsend, and others, its appropriate to its period, but not as appropriate to the CW period. I've got one, because I do several time periods, but consider it an item of last resort for CW events. It stays in the "emergency box", to be produced only when the event has gone completely to smash due to excessive rain, there is no other way to feed or warm ourselves, and we are waiting on the tow truck to get us out of whatever field we've parked in.

    And even then, you've got the challenge of maintaining period charcoal in a manner where it has not absorbed so much atmospheric water as to preclude it lighting. And thus it also hides in the emergency box, nestled in its own little Ziploc bag-- just about as unacceptable as cars in camp.
    Last edited by Spinster; 04-27-2004 at 04:12 PM.
    Terre Lawson

    Wearing Grossly Out of Fashion Clothing Since 1958.

    ADVENTURE CALLS. Can you hear it? Come ON.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    157

    Stoves

    Cast iron stoves were pretty common from the late 1700s on. If you are "refugee-ing", however, what is your rationale for removing and toting the one thing from your home guaranteed not to burn when fleeing home to take temporary refuge elsewhere until the tides of battle subside and leave your home safe to return ( if still standing)?

    My recommendation would be to do either as others have suggested, or, learn to build a small, quick fire above ground for heat and cooking and learn to do as our forebears did...suffer. As odd as it may seem, a bit of suffering will certainly add to your understanding of the losses the South sustained during 4 years of campaigning on our home soil by invading forces ( not to mention 12 years of military occupation and the 140 years of political & cultural oppression that have followed.)

    But your expectations for your time in this hobby may differ.
    David Culberson
    The Rowdy Pards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    State of Jefferson
    Posts
    420

    Re: little tiny stoves

    Greetings, and thanks to everyone who has made a suggestion to this thread. The trouble I've found is that here in CA, many times I am not allowed a fire. I sometimes camp in a sutler area and none of the sutlers, except myself, have the slightest interest in looking authentic in outward appearance. I once layed bricks and cooked with twig branches which worked delightfully well, but now those parks are so @*&^^ picked clean that you can't even find twigs! And the very idea that someone would want a fire near a sutler area, oh what an outrage! Needless to say, I am forced to go the moree authentic road and freeze with quilted petticoats. I'd rather set my hair on fire than be like some sutlers and have a kersosine heater in my little tent. Don't even let me get started on those people who use a habachi!

    Nope, it has to be some sort of little stove for me, something I can use to heat a little water at my own convenience. Does anyone know if Patrick Cunningham is still making his patent camp stove? One of those might due, but I'd like something that I can buy and use soon. It wouldn't bother me what the size of the stove would be, just as long as one person could lift it. Since I don't campaign, I don't worry about the travel aspect, but I would like something that looks period correct and appropriate. They did exist as I've read about them, I just need to find someone who tinkers enough and makes them.

    Mfr,
    Judith Peebles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Posts
    2,284

    Re: little tiny stoves

    I can certainly understand reluctance for open flame on Merchant Row. Far too many burnable things (though the vast majority deserve to be burnt.)

    However--wearing my moderator hat here--Merchant Row in tents isn't something in the experience of the mid-19th century (it's a modern convenience at some events), and as such is out of the realm of discussion here.

    To continue the discussion, we need to focus on a topic of "how to cope with cool weather/fire restrictions, in manners consistent with the mid-century experience."

    The wood issue can be easily solved: bring some from home.

    At all but the coldest events (and I'm here in the Rockies--we get snow in July some years, and won't be out of the killing frost months until mid-June--we have "cold" here), it's possible to get by without a fire for warming, without sacrificing health. Brisk excersise is a good option, as are wool stockings, a hood for morning and evening wear, wool petticoats, possibly even wool flannel drawers if you tend to be chilly in the legs.

    My feet chill easily, and then the ache spreads to my joints; to prevent it, stock up on knit wool stockings (a longer length, to cover the knee joint), and change them out at least morning and night for a dry pair. Before donning the dry set, rub the feet briskly with a dry towel or cloth. This has helped so tremendously for me! If my feet are comfortable, the rest of me is fine.

    Wool accessories, such as a knitted sontag, wool coat, hood, undergarments, etc, take care of the problem without needing to invest in a stove or have an open flame.

    As Mrs. Lawson mentioned, simplifying food requirements relieves the need for fire quite a lot; while it's not "gourmet day at the camp," sticking with things that don't need cooking for the weekend would certainly make it simple... and that doesn't mean starving or using a cooler, either. Breads, hard cheeses, preserved meats, butter, jellies, fruits, veggies, crackers, cookies... there's a long list of no-refrig, no-cook foods that will provide a good diet without extraneous gear.

    One situation that could yield useful information is how the westward trails immigrants coped with open flame in the Wyoming area... the wind is nearly constant, and having a fire is problematic, both because it goes out, and because it jumps away and burns everything. Yet, the travellers still had fires for cooking. I would suggest reading up on California/Oregon trails information there, and seeing what was suggested. The Prairie Traveller is one first-line resource, as are the diary accounts of the trails, which give more details on what was actually used... PT is sometimes a little fanciful as to equipment.
    Regards,
    Elizabeth Clark
    Citizen Moderator

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    State of Jefferson
    Posts
    420

    Re: little tiny stoves

    Many kind thanks for all of the suggestions as to keeping warm. Just about everything you mentioned, I have done. It took me 15 years before I would even consider a tent, and I feel like such a toady to think of having a stove.

    It used to be old german custom to cook with these small dish clay stoves that used twigs for heat.(No wonder the black forest was so tidy) I found this a marvelous plan as I could do the same with brick and have very quick, short fires. Today people are so concerned about the environment and keeping the grounds nice that fires here are almost a thing of the past.

    It's a pity that no one is making reproduction tin kitchen's or stoves today. More than likely, I'll settle with that 18th C brazzier because of the size. Still, thanks go to all who had great suggestions for me.

    Mfr,
    Judith Peebles

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toledo, OH/Detroit, MI
    Posts
    27

    Re: little tiny stoves

    Judith,

    Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum (The Edison Institute) nka “The Henry Ford” in Dearborn, Michigan has an extensive collection of tin ovens dating from the 1700s through late 1800s that will help in your pursuit. The variety includes tin reflector ovens to self-heating ovens with their own firebox. The museum has gone through a revamping and these ovens may no longer be on display in their Domestic exhibition area. See http://www.thehenryford.org/Collections//default.asp for the necessary information to begin your research.

    I have a reproduction of a circa 1840s tin oven with a Midwest provenance. I had it reproduced about ten years ago from an original in GFV collection – having found documentation that tin ovens were used in summer kitchens in the Midwest. At that time, there was no tinner producing them, so I contracted to have one made. You might want to go that route once you have found all the primary research to meet your specific needs for using a tin oven at a Civil War event.

    The tinner I contracted was trained at GFV and had worked at several historical sites in the Great Lakes Region. Over the years, if the scenario dictates its use, I use it when interpreting a CW mess or diet kitchen and loan it out for MOMCC seminars on tinware. It stands about 1-1/2 feet high (minus the legs), resembles a closed-keyboard grand piano, and can easily be lifted with one hand. The firebox is a circular tube in the back and ashes drop down from a grate. There are two shelves made of double-dipped tin on the inside with removable racks. I fuel the oven with bark-charcoal and the temperature has gotten as high as 400-degrees, heats up and cools down fast depending on the climate. A wide range of foods have been baked in it -- including whole stuffed chickens, breads and puddings. The oven is not only used for baking, but also serves a duel purpose as food can be cooked in tinware on top of it, and the firebox section with a grate over it is excellent for heating water or boiling coffee.

    I apologize for being somewhat handicapped in providing you with the primary documentation as it has been years ago since my project. My original notes regarding tinware are buried somewhere in my moving boxes. The tinner who made my oven still has the primary documentation and, to my knowledge, has produced two others for people who saw my oven at events. I sent him an email asking if he is still tinning, but it was bounced back. I will continue to try to reach him. However, a secondary source I recall is an affidavit in Ira Berlin’s, Free at Last: A Documentary of Slavery, Freedom and the Civil War (New York: The New Press, 1992) from a woman requesting compensation for an oven which was totted away on horseback by a Union soldier.

    I hope this has been helpful. Should I uncover more info for you I will provide it – including tracking down the tinner who made my oven.
    Yulanda Burgess
    5th USCI, Co. C

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toledo, OH/Detroit, MI
    Posts
    27

    Re: little tiny stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by Drygoods
    Does anyone know if Patrick Cunningham is still making his patent camp stove?
    Judith,

    Patrick is one of my elusive tinners and is topnotch in the trade. He made an extra shelf for my tin oven and the tin pans I use. Patrick is still lovingly lurking around in the Midwest. He periodically makes and sells double-dipped tinware and can be found as an artisan on Mechanics Row at the Fair at New Boston (Springfield, OH) in August -- last year he brought along a tin bath tub. There have been other sightings of him and his tinware. You can also put out an APB on the MOMCC message board at www.MOMCC.org. He is not, however, the tinner who made my oven. He, along with the other elusive tinner, were the ones who tracked down the documentation for my little jewel. He has made another type of tin oven/stove (with a stack) and is a resource for primary documentation on tinware, including all the relevent patent information.

    I have a few other sources on how to contact Patrick, but email me off the list at yulandab@msn.com.

    Yulie
    Yulanda Burgess
    5th USCI, Co. C

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