Cast with Style

Nineteenth Century Cast-Iron Stoves from the Albany Area, Revised Edition

By Tammis K. Groft

Subjects: New York/regional
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9780939072033, 122 pages, January 1981

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Table of contents

John I. Mesick


Eighteenth Century American Stovemaking

Stove Industry in Albany and Troy

Influence of Architecture
Unions and Associations
Decline of the Stove Industry

Stovemaking Process

Air_Blast Furnace
From Iron_Ore to Pig Iron
Open_Sand Molds
Cupola Furnace
Iron Founders
Flask Bedding and Casting
Stove Finishing
Patternmakers and Stove Designs
Invention and Design Patents

Invention Patents
Design Patents Conclusion

Franklin_Type Stoves
Box Stoves
Shaker Stoves
Column Parlor Stoves
Parlor Stoves
Parlor Cookstoves
Cookstoves and Ranges
Not_s Patents
Pyramids and Base_Burning Stoves
Dumb Stoves
Kerosene Stoves
Toy Stoves
Related Stoves, Stove Furniture and Hollowware


Map of the City of Albany
Albany Stovemakers
Troy Stovemakers
Map of the City of Troy


Introduction to the influential cast-iron stoves manufactured in Albany and Troy in the nineteenth century


During the nineteenth century, Albany and Troy manufacturers were considered to be among the largest producers of cast-iron stoves in the world. Stoves made in these two upstate New York cities were renowned for their fine-quality castings and innovations in technology and design. The strategic location of Albany and Troy, only nine miles apart on opposite banks of the Hudson River, afforded easy and inexpensive transportation of raw materials to the foundries and finished stoves to worldwide markets.

Cast-iron stovemaking reached its highest artistic achievement with the advent of the cupola furnace, which permitted more elaborate designs and finer-quality castings. Stove designers borrowed freely from architectural and cabinetmakers, design books, a process that resulted in the use of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and rococo revival motifs, as well as patriotic symbols. The range of stove types included Franklin, box, dumb, base-burning, parlor cook stoves, and ranges. However, the stoves that attracted the most attention and helped to secure the reputation of stoves were those produced during the 1830s and 1840s. These stoves were a focal point for a Victorian parlor because the overall designs incorporated current tastes in architecture, furniture, and other decorative arts.

The Albany Institute of History and Art is nationally known for its excellent collection of nineteenth-century cast-iron stoves, and some of the finest pieces from that collection are featured in this classic volume.

Tammis K. Groft is Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions at the Albany Institute of History and Art. She is the coeditor (with Mary Alice Mackay) of Albany Institute of History and Art: 200 Years of Collecting.