Monday, April 23, 2012

For Keeping Warm and Cooking

I started to thinking about our life when I was a little girl growing up in Rome, Illinois.  I have posted pictures of the very modest home we lived in - my parents, my brother, sister and I.  There was no bathroom - and, of course, no central heating.  This is a picture of a heating stove that is similar (as I remember) to the one that was in our living room.  I don't think it had the ornate doodad on top, but it did have a fender.   The fender was chrome and had cutouts in it.  That is clear in my mind since, when we were little, we would put kitchen chairs on either side of the stove and put our basin of water on the seat of the chair.  That is where we gave ourselves a "bath" so we didn't freeze to death!  One morning my little sister backed her little bare bottom against the fender and had imprints of the fancy cutout on her poor little butt.  It is such a vivid memory.
This is similar to the cookstove in the kitchen, and, of course, it helped heat the house.  The doors over the top were for the warming oven where you could keep food warm until dinnertime.  What a handy place, also, to hide things like dirty skillets that you hated to wash!  Jo and I were responsible for the dishes getting done and did hide things in the warming oven sometimes.  The right side of the stove had a reservoir of hot water that could be used for instant hot water when the stove was being used.  Oh, my, so many memories stirred up with this post. 

In the summer, of course,  it was way too hot to use the coal stove so we had a kerosene stove similar to this.  The four little cannister like things along the bottom had a reservoir of kerosene in each with a wick that could be turned up and lit (like a kerosene lamp).  I can't remember how the oven was heated - probably one of them was for the oven.  There were little windows made of something called micah (I think) in the cannisters.  I was always fascinated by that. It's been a long, long time since I have thought about all this.
 Here are a couple of accessories for the coal cookstove.  The top one is to attach to the stove and shake the ashes down into the ash receptacle.  The other with the coiled handle is to life the lids from the surface of the stove.  There would also be a poker.  I would say alll this is quite a stretch from the microwave!  I marvel at all the things that have come - and so many of them gone - in my lifetime.  What on earth will another  83 years bring? 

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