1936-1937 Prentiss Wabers Table Top #440P, for Home, Cottage, and Camp.

Discussion in 'Prentiss Wabers (Preway)' started by Doc Mark, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Greetings, Stovies,

    Recently, I journeyed to Denver Colorado to pick up an AGM #713 cabin stove I'd bought on 'the bay. Whilst picking up the AGM, I was offered another stove, being sold by this seller, for her friend. I fell in love it it immediately, as it is a lovely, creme-colored enameled stove, with three large cast iron burners, a concealed brass fuel tank, and an actual oven!! This stove was made for Montgomery Wards, and sold as the "Wards Favor" stove, in their catalogs. Finding information on this particular stove was not easy, but after a few days of searching, I stumbled onto quite a bit of information, and through the very kind and generous auspices of our old friends, Joe Pagan, and Terry Marsh, I found everything that I needed to know! I also found another stove that was similar, and with Ken and Carol, the owner's, kind permission, am using photos of that stove, too, found on the Coleman Collectors site. And, I'm tossing in some old magazine and catalog ads from the late 1930's, early 1940's, just for fun! So, without further ado, here is the stove I picked up, followed by the excellent information that helped me to solidly date it!

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    Please note that the previous owner added some wooden blocks which attach to the bottom of the stove, and which have wheels, making the stove easier to move around, as needed. The stove came with it's original cast legs, too, which I will show later, but they are in need of some cosmetic help, so for now, I'll leave the wheels in place.

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    Please note the strong similarity to badges worn by other Prentiss Wabers stoves. Also please note the serial/model information: "PWA36-3-6". My hypothesis is that the "PW" stands for Prentiss Wabers; the "A" could mean "appliance", and the numbers match up to an excellent date code, which is identical to the time frame during which this stove was offered by Prentiss Wabers: March 6, 1936. Though I could be wrong, this makes perfect sense to me, as this stove was only found in the 1936 and 1937 catalogs of Prentiss Wabers. Could it be that simple? I think so!

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    This lovely little shelf pulls out from underneath the burners. Neat idea, and very clever.

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    THIS is what really grabbed me, after first seeing this stove! That concealed brass fuel tank is simply and sublimely wonderful!! I'll need to remove it, and clean it out, as there is a bit of verdigris around a bottom drain plug, which has convinced me to check out the inside of the tank, as well as the outside, for corrosion. The pump is a bit of design genius, and looks to function perfectly. Also, please note the big funnel behind the tank. It appears to be original to the stove, but further investigation will help us know for certain. Makes sense, though, and this setup is a great idea for use with a concealed fuel tank like this!

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    There is no thermometer on this oven, which makes me surmise that this was sold as an option for OEM stoves like this. The 1936 and 1937 PW catalogs show this exact stove, in a different color scheme, with a thermometer on the outside of the door. After discussing this with Joe, he and I both feel that this may have been sold as an option, and available as such. Further investigation may shed some light on this.

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    The oven is of good size, and the huge cast iron burner underneath, should allow any kind of baking, or roasting one might wish to undertake! Sweet Bride will most certainly make use of this feature during a future CASG event, me thinks!

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    And, here are the original cast legs for this PW/Wards stove. It's "possible" that the rust we see, "may" come right off, if it's just surface stuff. When I get time, I'll see how deeply it goes, and deal with it accordingly. But, for now, the wheels will remain insitu.

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    Overall, this stove is in wonderfully clean condition, and the enamel, aside from the legs, look to be perfect and shiny. Here's the back of the stove.

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    Here, you can see the three, large, cast iron burners on top. Note how the backsplash is setup to be lowered to cover the burners when the stove is not in use. This adds a huge amount of class, and keeps the burners from getting dusty. I believe that this top is what gives it the "Table Top" name, and I like it very much!

    As you can see, only the big ceramic knob, and one of the burner knobs is still remaining, so replacements will have to be sourced. Joe gave me some excellent ideas as to where I should look, and what I might consider seeking. If this pans out, I'll certainly share that information here. Also, note that the drop handle on the oven is also missing. It should like just like the handle on the fuel tank access door, left of the oven. I'll see about coming up with something that works, even if I have to carve one out of ebony, or another dark hard wood.

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    Here is a page from the 1938 PW catalog, which lists this same stove, but please note that it is not quite the same as this particular stove. Many thanks to Terry for sharing this with me! (not sure if the page will post in this location, but if not, I'll take a photo of it, and then post that as an edit) Note that the door handles are different, but the knobs very similar, if not the same, and note the thermometer in the door. This 1938 Model is the updated version of my earlier stove. (NOTE: please see the PDF at the end of this post for this info.)

    Here is Ken and Carol's PW #441PT stove, also similar, but later than mine. Thanks to them both for allowing me to use their photos!

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    I love it that their stove has it's original instructions, which may well help me, when it's time to fire my own stove for the first time!!

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    Again, a concealed fuel tank, but in a different configuration to mine. Isn't their stove a beauty?!!! Fantastic!!

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    And, here is the 1937 PW catalog that allowed me to accurately date my Wards Favor stove. Many thanks for Joe for sharing this catalog with us all!!! He told me that my version of this stove was shown in both the 1936, AND the 1937 catalog, and then the model changed slightly to the configuration that Terry's 1938 PW catalog illustrates. This info, taken with the interesting serial/model numbers on my stove, strongly suggest that those numbers are the date of manufacture. You can see my stove on page 7 of this PW catalog.(NOTE: Please see this PDF at the end of this post to see this information.)



    And, just for fun, here are two ads from a Camping Outfitter. The first one, from 1938, shows a Coleman cabinet stove, similar to the PW models, and the next one, from 1940, shows an actual PW cabinet stove. Note that both catalogs are for Coleman products, but one is still showing the PW stove! Interesting, isn't it!?!

    1938 ad for Coleman cabin stove.jpg

    1940 Coleman ad with PW stove.jpg

    And, I'm including the full comments that Joe sent me on my stove, as they should be of great interest here, and again, offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to both Terry and Joe for so generously helping me date my stove, and learn more about it!! THIS is the major reason why I am a proud member of the Stove Community! The sharing and generosity that lives with our Fellow Stovies is something fantastic, and makes being a member of this community a true pleasure!!

    Joe wrote:

    "Hiya Doc:

    Long time no hear from. That is one very nice PW stove. Looks to be in remarkably good shape other than missing a couple of burner knobs and the drop handle on the right side oven door.

    To answer your question, other than the fact that you correctly ID'd the stove manufacturer, your stove appears in both my '36 & '37 PW catalogues. In their catalogues, it is identified as a Preway Table Top Model No. 440P. It is virtually identical to yours with these minor differences. Catalogues show the top panel where your control knobs go as painted black instead of the cream/yellow color of your stove and the catalogues show a thermometer on the right side oven door, yours doesn't have one. Now for the color difference. It was either yellow painted for Wards with black for PW badged or perhaps it was the artist's idea for contrast in the catalogue. Who knows. As for the thermometer, it was probably offered as an option or not offered at all for Wards. Again, who knows. Unless you can come up with a '36 or '37 Wards catalogue and see what it shows and/or says.

    The stove in the '38 catalogue has completely different handles, more like a standard drawer handle and the main burner knob in the '38 model is different as well while the older '36 & '37 models show the same ceramic knob as yours.

    As for for your missing burner knobs, those look a lot like the ones used on old South Bend commercial ranges. Used to be a common knob years ago. Might want to try and look up vintage/reproduction knobs for commercial ranges. As for the missing drop handle on your oven door, haven't a clue as to where you might track one down.

    Here is an attachment of the '37 catalogue of your stove. Look at page 7
    All the best to you.

    Joe"

    I hope that others will find this wonderful information as fascinating as have I, and that, through the kind of sharing that goes on here, and on Terry's page, we, as a community can continue to advance our knowledge and stimulate others to join and enjoy this hobby we all love so very much!! Only through this kind of interest and sharing, will the old stoves continue to live on!!! Thank you, so very much, to Joe and Terry, and also to Ken and Carol, for sharing information, time, and photos with me!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. When the Wards Favor stove has been fully fettled, and is up and running, I'll be sharing that here, and also on Terry's site. Also, as the PDF files to not post exactly where my comments are posted, please click on them to see what has been shared here by Terry and Joe. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  2. snwcmpr

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    S W E E T !!!!
     
  3. Metropolitantrout

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    Unbelievable condition Doc!

    Do you have a photo with you or another object that would help show scale? I read the dimensions but if you do have such a photo I'd appreciate it. Thanks, Jerry
     
  4. cooter303

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    @Doc Mark
    What would the stove run on? Kerosene or white gas. Nice stove. Ive never seen one of them before.
     
  5. Doc Mark

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    Hi, @snwcmpr , @Metropolitantrout , and @cooter303

    Thanks, Guys! Yes, I think this particular stove most certainly qualifies as "Sweet", indeed!

    Jerry, I have to unload that stove in the next few days, and will snap a photo then, and post it here, so you can see the scale a bit more easily.

    This stove is made to run on Coleman Fuel, or other Naptha-based fuel. No kero, or other heavy fuels, should be used in the Wards Favor stove. I will use only Coleman Fuel, once this is up and running again, and will post photos if that event here.

    Thanks, very much, for your comments and questions. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. I do believe that this PW stove is the only such Cabin Range in the Gallery, as of yet. Hopefully, others who own similar range stoves will join in and post their stoves, too!!
     
  6. cooter303

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    Well you can unload it at my trapline cabin. It would look good there!!!!
     
  7. redspeedster

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  8. DAVE GIBSON

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    the stuff you come up with just kills me doc. I expect to see you whip up one
    of your five course dinners,with the lobsters,this summer.
     
  9. scouterjan

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    WOW. If I leave in the morning I should be at your place on Friday afternoon so we can load it into my pick up
    kind regards Jan
     
  10. Doc Mark

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    @DAVE GIBSON , @scouterjan , Dave and Jan,

    Thanks, very much, Mates!! With this stove, plus the AGM #713, and the two Clayton and Lambert #3's, I think I'm finished buying big stoves!! Just no more room for more such beasts of stoves!! I'm blessed that SB likes stoves, too, but even she has her limit, and I'm pushing that, right now!! :shock: :shock: :whistle: [-X

    Dave, if I can make this stove run the way it should, before our next CASG, AND, if I can pack it into the truck, or more likely, a small trailer, then we will bring it, and other stoves, to the event, and use them! She will definitely cook up some fun stuff for us, and for sharing, but I think that lobsters will have to wait until next Christmas. Not sure we could keep them alive on the long drive to the next CASG event!! And, even if we could keep them alive until time to eat them, we will not be able to afford to cook lobsters for the potluck!!! YIKES!!! How's about a bag of crawdad/crayfish??!! Would that work for you? Or, a good, hearty seafood chowder? Thanks for the laugh, though!!! VERY funny stuff!

    Jan, be sure to let me know, exactly when you arrive, so I can turn off the automatic firing, and heat-seeking device on the twin .50 calibers mounted to the top of the shed!!! So far, no one who has tried to approach, unannounced, has made it past those very effective defenses!!!! :-$:-$:-$:-$ ;);) :lol::lol: Oh, and we look to be due either rain, or more snow, on Thursday, or Friday, so bring your chains. :content::content:

    Hey, come to the next CASG (#10!!), and you can see the stove(s) in person, and enjoy some of Sweet Bride's superb cooking, too, PLUS, you would get to meet one of the best bunches of Stove Pyro's, ever, in our CASG Family!! Hope to see you there! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  11. scouterjan

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    HA HA yes some day I will be doing a long road trip. Looking forward to seeing it make blue flames
    Jan
     
  12. Troutman United States

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    Hi Doc,
    I just joined the forum recently and just now found this posting. I have the same stove it would appear but I have not found an ID label anywhere on it such as what you have shown here. I can't tell from the photos, can you tell me where on the stove you found the label?
    The legs on mine aren't cast, they are sheet metal.

    I have only seen one other stove like this and they both have the odd two tone paint. The lid and the right side panels are an almost pinkish hue to them compared to the cream color of the rest of the stove.
    Yours is in much better shape. I have only cleaned the grills in the 5 years I've owned this one.
    Cabin Stove 017 (Small).jpg
     
  13. Doc Mark

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    Howdy, @Troutman,

    Hey, neat that you have one of these, too. Your's is a 3-burner, too? On my stove the Manufacturer label is was found behind the left hand burner, as you face the stove, and down right above the splash shelf. It's a small, narrow plaque, and if rusted, or really filthy, might be easy to miss. Give your's a look, and see if it's there. Please post more photos of your stove, showing the fuel tank, pump, funnel, oven, etc, as well as the three burners on top. You can either post them, here, or start your own Stove Reference Gallery post about your stove. Either way, I'm sure everyone would love to see more of it!! Thanks for sharing, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    PS - I've tried, hard to find some original stove knobs, to no avail. Though the search continues, it's narrowed down to using other knobs that look good, but aren't period correct, or making some knobs, either by 3-D printing, which is super expensive, or creating them out of a nice hard wood, etc..
     
  14. Troutman United States

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    Hi Doc,
    I will post some photos that I took when I first picked it up and try and get more taken soon. I haven't done much besides clean the grates.
    And thanks for the ID badge location. It is the same as yours but it was spray painted by an earlier owner. I will take it off and see if I can't remove the spray paint. The fella I got it from said his Dad had started to restore it 20-25 years earlier so I figure Dad was the one to paint over the badge.
    I also spent some time looking for ANY knob that would fit that 5/16" D shaft and they are few and far between as I recall; 1/4" seems to be the norm now. This stove only came with the one in the photo.
    I will start a new thread so this one doesn't grow so much, but it might take a day or two. Life seems to be getting in the way of hobby time lately.
     
  15. Doc Mark

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    Good Evening, @coleman413c , @Troutman , and All,

    Well, as I alluded to in another post about these stoves, I was trying to find a catalog that would prove dating info via Montgomery Wards. In his letter to me in regards to this stove, our long-time mutual friend, Joe Pagan wrote, in part, the following:

    "To answer your question, other than the fact that you correctly ID'd the stove manufacturer, your stove appears in both my '36 & '37 PW catalogues. In their catalogues, it is identified as a Preway Table Top Model No. 440P. It is virtually identical to yours with these minor differences. Catalogues show the top panel where your control knobs go as painted black instead of the cream/yellow color of your stove and the catalogues show a thermometer on the right side oven door, yours doesn't have one. Now for the color difference. It was either yellow painted for Wards with black for PW badged or perhaps it was the artist's idea for contrast in the catalogue. Who knows. As for the thermometer, it was probably offered as an option or not offered at all for Wards. Again, who knows. Unless you can come up with a '36 or '37 Wards catalogue and see what it shows and/or says."

    On Joe's excellent advice, I began the hunt for a 1936, or 1937 catalog from Montgomery Wards. I checked with sellers who said they offered those catalogs, and others, earlier, and later, and NONE of them could find the information I was seeking. I certainly did not want to buy a MW catalog, "just because", and hope that they sellers were wrong!! the only offering that "might" have born informational fruit, was one from the Denver area, and unfortunately, the pages I needed most, had been removed from that catalog at some time in their past. I checked other catalogs from those same years, but different States, and well, none of them had the info I needed! Then, another MW catalog from Denver, CO popped up, and it was from '36-'37! It was also complete! But, when I wrote the seller to ask about whether my stove was shown within it, they never responded. Even after several attempts, I struck out in getting the seller to look for my needed information. The Catalog in question was over $50, and I had to think long, and hard, before coughing up that kind of money on something that could very well prove worthless to me!!

    Finally, I just decided to take a chance. The catalog was from the years needed, and the listing said it was "complete", so I bought it, hoping to hell that I didn't waste my money!! Today, it arrived, and guess what?! It DOES show my Montgomery Wards Favor stove, though it only lists it by it's MW stock number!! Yes, that information was expensive, but having it conclusively proves that MW DID offer this Prentiss Wabers Table Top Stove #440P, though they called it by it's stock number which is #168 C 3505!! In this catalog, the "Gasoline" stoves are listed on a separate page than regular household ranges and my stove is amongst them. Here is the page in question, with the pertinent pages that deal with gasoline ranges sold by Montgomery Wards in these two years:

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    And, finally, the "money shot" of my stove, which is the same one as Troutman has!! it begins with "At Last! A Gasoline Rangette"!

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    I got a laugh at "$4 down, $5 a month" payment plans!

    I hope you all find this excellent information as worthwhile as do I!! I'm sure Troutman will appreciate linking to it, as it firmly documents his stove, as well as mine! I wonder how many others of this model stove are still out there, waiting to be discovered???

    It "may" have been a localized offering. Since this stove was not in any other MW catalog for the dates in question, except the one from Denver; and since my stove was found and purchased in Denver, I wonder if these stoves were offered in any other places where MW advertised, and had catalogs??? So far, this stove has only been found in the Denver catalogs. In truth, I do not need a "collection" of old MW catalogs, and am quite happy with one that has offered up this important information. But, if anyone else see another MW catalog from '36-'37, from another area besides Denver, and you can look at it, or as the seller about it, I'd be very curious as to what you might find. Was this offered elsewhere, or was it solely a Denver, CO offering??!!?? Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    PS - Merry Christmas, Troutman.... a bit early!! ;);):lol::lol::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  16. Troutman United States

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    That's Great Doc. Thanks for spreading the knowledge on these. And now I see the 'T' shaped knobs you spoke of earlier.