They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

It’s amazing what you find still working in old houses in New York City. It blows my mind that this gas stove in a Brooklyn home still works after God knows how many years…but it does! Note the two different oven compartments…


And the knob array is still in great condition:


So freakin’ cool. My parents recently had to get rid of their “Harvest Gold” refrigerator and stove set, both of which had lasted them with barely any problems since the 1970s. When they finally broke last month, my parents hated to give them up, as they knew they wouldn’t be finding replacement modern appliances with 30+ year life spans.


UPDATE! Reader Oren sent in pics of his aunt and uncle’s stove, which is still in full working condition:



Very cool!


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  1. hey, long time reader, first time commenter.

    in the last 5 years we’ve had to throw away several appliances over 30 years old: a wood-panelled tv, a fridge, a dishwasher and a washing machine. since then we’ve been through two fridges and are on to our second tv! wasted cash is one thing but there must be countless crappy “new” appliances clogging up dumps the world over.


    ps i love your blog!

  2. That stove is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes.

    But I have a question: how does one scout people’s appliances??

  3. My mom has a refrigerator in her garage (humming along fine) that they bought 5 years before I was born. I’m 41 years old.

  4. My aunt and uncle bought a house in Hollis Hills Queens about 10-15 years ago. This same model stove was left by the original owners. It is their main cooking stove. It’s an awesome pastel yellow and all compartments work extremely well.

    I’ll take some pictures this weekend and send them along.


  5. There are a number of people who still appreciate these old stoves. There are several people who sell refurbished ones for thousands of dollars.

  6. Friend of mine has a similarly old stove that has a grate in place of the smaller oven compartment — it’s actually designed to function as the heater for his entire apartment. It’s a strange, beautiful appliance and I’ve never seen anything else quite like it. Alas, it doesn’t do a great job of keeping his apt warm at all, so I’m not surprised this design seems to have vanished.

    There’s virtually no reason to replace an old gas stove that still works, but old refrigerators can be massive power hogs — when our 30-year-old model finally died the new one was so much more efficient that it cut our monthly electric bill almost in half.

  7. Less than two years ago, I had an apartment that came with a stove about that age. One “compartment” below was a small oven. The one next to it was a refrigerator! I can’t imagine how inefficient it was to have the icebox next to the oven. But it was beautiful indeed.

  8. it may be true that modern appliances have shorter expected lifespans, but as victoria mentioned, they also consume FAR less energy. its a bit of a trade-off.

  9. Its a Chambers Model “C’. I have one-they are great. Warning-if anyone ever considers purchasing one of these they should take into consideration that they weigh 435lbs-

  10. Wow… Never knew much about these stoves even though I grew up with one… They are the greatest.. the broiler is amazing for steaks.. and the coolest was the switches to turn on the gas… very ahead of their time for child safety.. after reading through some sights i never saw anyone mention this but the thumb switch for each gas knob could actually be pulled out rendering the stove completely inoperable if you had older troublemakers…

  11. My next door neighboir has this oven. We live in a southern california neighborhood of 100 year old houses and she is lucky enough to have this old fella. It has a soup compartment too.

  12. My mom has a GE fridge on her back porch that they’ve had for 35+ years that still works perfectly. Although you have to defrost the tiny freezer by hand. At some point in the distant past it was covered in this ugly flowered contact paper. and then when my sister and i were kids we would stick bumper sticker that we’d get at the fair on it. It’s used now mostly to hold beer and soft drinks.

  13. Fireplace and chimney safety should not be taken lightly. Matchless Stove and Chimney offers chimney inspection, maintenance and cleaning services. Ensure that your fireplace and chimney are properly maintained by hiring a professional. Matchless Stove and Chimney is located in the Capital Region of New York.

  14. My Dad has that exact stove in our family home! It still works and uses it every day!