19 September 2005

Magic Chef stove, 1926 -- back & front

The back and front of a restored Magic Chef stove, 1000 series, circa 1926.

* overall dimensions: 53" wide x 28" deep x 64" high
* 6 surface burners (front center burner is 11,000 BTU high output)
* Two baking ovens
* Large oven (21" wide x 20" deep x 14" high)
* Small oven (16" wide x 20" deep x 14" high)
* Separate broiler oven
* Warming oven
* Utensil storage drawer
* Lorain oven thermostat controls
* White porcelain doors mounted on black steel cabinet

In considering the design one of Magic Chef's stoves, such as this Series 1000 of 1926), there appears to be at least a conceptual connection between the overall building design and the form of the stove itself.

The back side is clearly functional, blank, and utilitarian. The front side is designed with function and aesthetics as twin determinants. Functionally, the usability of the front is its raison d'etre. However, it has a sculptural presence beyond mere function. Its proportions and graphic form are clearly considered. The stove is the product of an evolutionary design process involving mass production, fabrication, shipping, marketing, profitability, and many other factors that are not strictly necessities for merely cooking. This stove is meant to embody the latest developments in technology and design.

At a superficial level, the building's form has a series of stacked rectangular spaces set against a flat, unarticulated wall. The rear of the building reveals only the minimal, functional necessities, such as exhaust and air intake. Otherwise, the rear (West elevation) is essentially a massive masonry wall with glass blocks and grills being the only major events.


  1. I doubt any one will make any changes here, but! You are showing two different stoves here. The front view shows the model that DOES NOT have the warming closet/oven. The stove with the back/rear view shows the model that DOES have the warming closet/oven. The description is of the stove with the rear view.
    I have three and have both models.
    Ken luckybuzz3@hotmail.com

  2. Thank you for your comments regarding this pair of photographs. I'm not an expert in historical appliances (or any appliances for that matter).

    My primary purpose in illustrating the front and back of this unit was to show the analogy between the unit's design with the Magic Chef Building's design.


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