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Old Stoves are Hot!: A history of antique cooking stoves Paperback – April 29, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Pilot Light Press (April 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984908005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984908004
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Skip Lau has been buying, selling and restoring old stoves for the past 18+ years. He currently has a shop in Santa Barbara, Ca. He first became interested in the wonderfully ornate, old cast iron wood burning stoves from the late 1800s when he lived in northern New Hampshire. After moving to Southern California his interests shifted to antique gas ranges (although he couldn't resist buying fifty old wood burners from a dairy farmer in Wisconsin and trucking them out here by U-Haul). He admits to being somewhat obsessive about old stoves and hangs on to more of them than he really should. He lives with his wife Christy and their dog Winston and has a new grandson Curtis.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It's fun and you'll learn something from it.
Marley Greiner
Skip Lau has created a wonderful history of the modern stove.
RF Bublitz
This is a great book to just have lying around.
Tamara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jeffree VINE VOICE on June 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had no special interest in stoves. None at all. I was simply skimming this book one day out of curiosity, just to see how much I didn't know. Imagine my surprise when an hour passed in a flash, and I realized how engrossed I was in this wonderfully life-affirming history of stoves and all the precious memories they inspire.

The book's content and writing style are both accessible and warm without being superficial or cutesy (always turn-offs for me), so even an uninitiated guy like me can stay engaged. But guys like me sometimes need something more, which this book delivers in spades: striking visuals. Hundreds of vintage stove advertisements, organized thematically, adorn nearly every page. These ads, often in full color, are interesting enough to be a book in themselves although they really come alive through the thoughtful context provided.

Author Skip Lau offers a real gem here to anyone who shares his love for antique stoves and their many colorful connections to family, society, and American history. For everyone else, even casual stumblers like me, this attractive book offers an unexpectedly enjoyable ride into our past, especially its hot technology and the innovative marketing that spread it.
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Format: Paperback
Talk about hiding in plain sight! The stove has been such a central part of our lives throughout history that it never occurred to me that someone would sit down and write a history of it--or at least our "modern" version. (Hearths and fireplaces are for another day.) Well, somebody did. (Disclosure) my cousin Skip Lau. Cousinly affection aside, I love this book. As a trained historian, Old Stoves are Hot is just the kind of book that history wonks get in to sometimes. Kinda quirky and narrow, but important. It reminded me, though quite different in content, with a book that I can't put my hands on at the moment, on the history of soap and bathing. Stoves spreads themselves into all sorts of disciplines: Technology, consumerism leisure time, women's history, family history, industrial design, interior design, cooking, upward mobility, health sciences. advertising. I'm sure there's more but that what come to mind right now.

Skip takes us on a grand tour of technological domesticity, if you will, starting from Colonial times to the 1950s-1960s. Coal v natural gas v gas v electricity. Cut throat competition. High capitalism. Changes in commercial food processing. Progressive innovation. Planned obsolescence.

All this stove stuff was new to me since I abhor cooking. I remember some of these old stoves, though, but I couldn't tell you the make or model of them. My grandmother had a huge white 1920s Hot Point type stove when I was very small that could have fed the town. My mother had a stove with a deep fryer (or something) where she could make french fries as well as soup.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book to just have lying around. It's equally suited as a coffee table book as it is an interesting read. The author's style of writing is easy to read and there's so much I didn't know that I "didn't know" about stoves and the lifestyles surrounding them. You always hear that the kitchen is the heart of any home and this book reinforces that sentiment. On top of the great writing is a wealth of really interesting imagery. There are literally hundreds of photos and old ads in this book. If you have any sort of fondness for functional "old things." You'll love this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
About time someone cared enough about this topic and involved their personal love and experience to promote and educate the public about it. Lau does a wonderful first-hand type of historic documentation towards the subject that inspires one to learn more and possible personally experience the use of these homes in their homes. Kudos to the author for such a personal journey.
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