Home Comfort Stoves & Ranges: A History

It’s little wonder that Home Comfort wood kitchen ranges resemble an old-fashioned travel trunk, given the history of the stove company. The Home Comfort salesman would travel from house to house, all across the country, set up the stove in the potential customer’s home and demonstrate to the woman of the house just how functional, efficient and convenient a Home Comfort stove was – and still is. This impressive stove features a large insulated oven, six cooklids, a bread warmer, flip down trivets and a flip down side shelf. A removable ash pan makes clean up a breeze. A draft control regulates the heat output into the kitchen area. If wanderlust for cross country travels, or travels back in time, fills the heart and imagination, then this Home Comfort kitchen range is the perfect companion.

With 2,000 companies nationwide competing for the consumer`s dollar, marketing techniques took on a new importance, and stove advertising came into a genre all its own. Richardson`s manuscript recounts the story of the Home Comfort Man, who sold stoves for the Wrought Iron Range Co. of St. Louis.

Selling to rural and farming families, the Home Comfort Man would travel the Midwest door to door with a replica of his stove in tow. Arriving at the farmhouse kitchen door around 7 or 8 a.m., when he knew the farmer would be taking his first break of the day, the Home Comfort Man would volunteer to help with chores around the farm. Later in the evening, when he had earned his dinner and a place to sleep, he would make his pitch to the farm family and their friends, delivering a spiel that was nearly as airtight as his stove.

``Often, the last act, the final moment, the crescendo and sales closing would come when the Home Comfort Man would again tell of the strength and durability of the Home Comfort Range and its components,`` Richardson recounts. `` `Take your heaviest hammer and your brightest blows on this stove lid,` the Home Comfort Man would exhort. `Break the lid and the stove will be yours!` The farmer would bring down his hammer time after time only to make the lid dance like a flipped quarter.``

The Wrought Iron Range Company, founded in 1864 with home offices in St. Louis, Missouri, is manufacturer and sole direct distributor of the famous Home Comfort Family Range.

Since the founding of the company, more than a million Home Comfort Ranges have been placed in American homes. No other family range can show such a record or performance and durability as is evidenced by the thousands of Home Comfort Ranges in use for 20 years or more. That is why "Home Comfort" has become a familiar household term throughout American during the past three-quarters of a century.

Progress from 1864
On these pages, we show a few steps in the progressive development of the Home Comfort Ranges since 1864, when the first stoves was manufactured and sold direct to the hole by Culver Brothers, founders of the Wrought Iron Range Company. We have tried to list here only a few of the countless improvements which have kept Wrought Iron Range Company a consistent leader in the range building field. The advent of this newest model more than ever affirms that leadership.


Some us can still remember this Farmer model which stood in the kitchen of grandmother's house. It was a pioneer stove in the pioneer days - sturdily built of grey iron, even to the elevated oven. Best proof of the valuable service it gave is the long line of Home Comfort Ranges which have succeeded it.


In this year, Culver Brothers started to manufacture their first steel bodied family ranges and named them the famous "Home Comfort" line. Grey iron still sufficed for top castings, door panels and frames, but new features included the swing-open door and mantel warming shelf.


Home Comfort now had become the first malleable iron range, with grey iron castings practically eliminated. The oven door was of drop shelf type, as was the new warming oven door. The elevated copper water reservoir connected to a water back in the firebox was a new feature. Also new was the highly polished malleable iron trim.


By 1906 the new adjustable pocket contact reservoir was standard equipment and, for appearance's sake, the oven door was made square. Teapot brackets, were attached to the back of the shelf. Corner tubes were added to all four corners of the range, and the doors of the warming closet are the roller type.


In 1918 he range was placed with legs to facilitate cleaning underneath. The mantel shelf was fitted with sliding doors and the top was equipped with four 8" and two 4" lids. The body of this range, like all previous "Home Comforts", was finished with black paint.


Beginning in 1923, all Home Comfort Ranges were finished in our beautiful, sanitary Verluc Enamel. The range top was highly polished and the copper reservoir, now enclosed in an enameled jacket, could be easily reversed to either side of the range. An added feature was the heat indicator in the oven door.

The Home Comfort sales organization is known in practically every county of every state in the Union. This large and efficient force of men are regularly employed traveling salesmen, plaid by the Company to sell Home Comfort Ranges only. They work under the supervision of the home office and of division superintendent whose duty it is to see that the Company policies are carried our the customer's interests are properly served.

Honesty and integrity have always been the first qualities considered in employing our salesmen, and we are proud to commend them as honorable and courteous gentlemen, a great number of whom have been with the company for many years.

Our method of solicitation is simple. Our salesman visits a locality at regular intervals, calling upon "Home Comfort" users and their neighbors who should own Home Comfort Ranges. Through the medium of a small model range, he demonstrates the many superior features of Home Comfort construction, operation and design and takes orders for early shipment to the buyer's nearest central shipping point.

The Home Comfort selling plan had brought real cooking comfort into more than a million homes by this simple time-proven method. More than 75 years' experience has taught us that the way to secure the confidence and friendship of the public is through personal solicitation, and that satisfied customers who come to know our company and its product through personal contact with our salesmen are the best investment we can make.

Our warranty, printed on our agreement for purchase, has the moral and financial strength of this company behind it and is given each purchaser of the Home Comfort Range.

We are confident that you selection of Home Comfort Range to carry on the important function of cooking foods for your family will prove to be an excellent one. Perfect performance three times a day, year in and year out, is a difficult task to set for any range, but that is the standard which Home Comfort Ranges are built to meet. If given reasonable care, you range will render years of valuable service.

We wish yo take this opportunity to thank you for your patronage, and hope you will experience many years of pleasure and satisfaction from your range.