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The Roper Stove Brings Back Memories of Cooking in My Grandma’s Kitchen

Written by Peter Allen on . Posted in Major Appliances

roper stove, roper stove parts, vintage stove

The Roper Range is a great vintage stove and collectors’ piece. Models range from old wood-burning stoves from the 1870s to luxurious 1940s Town and Country models.

Roper Corp. was founded in 1874 and became one of the top appliance dealers for stoves until the 1980s when the competition started between GE and Whirlpool to buy Roper. In the end, Whirlpool won, and the famous modern company Whirlpool now owns Roper Corp.

Specific models of the vintage Roper stove can sell for a thousand dollars or even more. Models include luxuries that modern stoves often don’t have. These features include but are not limited to 6 to 8 burners, two full ovens with grills, a built-in timer, salt and pepper shakers, and a griddle. The dual ovens and 6 cookers are what encouraged me to buy my Roper stove.

A vintage Roper stove makes a beautiful centerpiece for any vintage style kitchen. This Roper stove is not only beautiful but also quite functional. Cooking is made much easier by the fact that I can cook multiple things at different temperatures in the dual ovens.

You can easily clean the Roper cooktop, and the 6 burners make cooking large meals much simpler. On top of that, the best thing is that the stove reminds me of simpler times when my grandma would cook delicious meals on her Roper stove.

Finding Parts for the Roper Stove

vintage cooktop, vintage range

Finding vintage Roper stove parts can be difficult, especially for older models. But parts can almost always be found for the more popular models such as the Town and Country model. Whirlpool even still sells parts for a few models.

Prices for parts range from twenty dollars up to several hundred dollars depending on the part and model. Roper stove knobs are a standard part that need to be replaced as they break or fall off over time. You will be able to find the vintage knobs for around twenty dollars apiece on eBay and other online sites.

For more extensive repairs and older models, there are many restoration specialists out there with experience working on older stoves. Repairs from specialists can be quite a bit pricier though, and often require you to be in a particular city. The best way to find out if a specialist is a good fit for you is to look up antique restoration outfits in your area. Get the pricing for your specific model and restoration needs.

The Roper Electric Stove

Roper electric stoves were usually less popular than their gas counterparts. Because of this, finding vintage electric models and their parts is a little more complicated than for gas versions, but not impossible. Despite their rarity, if you’re able to find one, they are still just as reliable and stylish as the gas version.

Whirlpool still makes an electric Roper stove model, and users report that the stove works well but lacks all of the extra features of older models.

The Roper Gas Stove

Vintage Roper gas stoves are much easier to find than their electric counterparts. You can usually find models ranging from the 1920s to the present day in antique appliance stores or online. Out of all Roper appliances, the gas stoves were by far the most popular appliance that Roper made.

Town and Country models of the Roper gas stove are the most luxurious and fashionable of the Roper stove models. Vintage models can be up for sale for up to eight thousand dollars. Parts for these stoves are also a bit easier to find than older or less popular models. Finding common parts like a Roper stove element can be done on eBay.

vintage electric range, vintage electric cooktop

Cooking on a Vintage Roper Stove

I find cooking on a vintage stove to be a bit different than a modern one. It takes some getting used to. Vintage stoves are a bit heavier, and therefore the oven stays hot longer, which works well for keeping things warm until serving. However, on the other hand, most vintage models have a bit less room overall due to the dual stove and smaller burners.

Surprisingly enough, one thing that isn’t very different is the amount of gas or electricity vintage Roper stoves use. While they may not have the Energy Star sticker like more modern appliances do, most vintage models use little more energy than the modern ones. They are much more efficient than other vintage appliances such as refrigerators that take up a  ton. Power isn’t lacking either, as the Roper range is just as powerful as modern restaurant ranges.

Older things are very long-lasting, and the vintage Roper stove is no different. Most vintage Roper stoves are made out of thick cast iron. Individual parts are easy to take out and replace, unlike modern stoves which often have many electrical components that make it impossible to repair for the average consumer.

Restored stoves could last the user for many years to come.

electric burner, countertop electric burner

Sure, newer stoves can bake and sauté just as well as vintage ones, but nothing beats the memories that come with vintage models. Each stove is a piece of history reminding users of childhoods spent in their mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens. I love cooking my grandmother’s recipes on the same stove that she first made them on.

Vintage Roper Ranges Can Be a Great Kitchen Centerpiece

Modern appliances can’t beat the beauty and uniqueness of a vintage stove. The variety of gleaming enamel colors that can be found is much wider, competing with modern stoves offering users a better way to personalize their kitchen. These stoves come in beautiful colors such as forest green, and sky blue. Some models even come with older recipes and meat cooking times on the inside of the doors.

The Roper stove knobs and handles are also more elegant than their modern counterparts. Most models have lovely chrome knobs and handles that add an extra classy touch. Vintage Roper stoves can be a centerpiece to be proud of in the kitchen, just as owning a vintage car can be a centerpiece to be proud of in the garage.

Cons of Vintage Roper Ranges

Despite the overall charm of owning a vintage stove, there are a few things that you can’t get with a vintage stove that you might get with a modern one. Unlike the stoves of today, vintage Roper stoves don’t have fancy settings such as induction or convection. They are simple in the fact that your oven choices are only broil or bake.

Another reason a vintage stove might not be for you is they can be a bit pricey. Most vintage Roper stoves cost several thousand dollars, which is about the same you’d pay for a high-end modern stove.

vintage kitchen design, vintage kitchen design ideas Quality never comes cheap, and the same is true for these stoves. Buying a Roper range is an investment that will last a long time, but it’s definitely out of price range for some. There are, however, cheap Roper models still being sold that won’t break the bank, but also lack the charm and extra features of the vintage ones.

Sometimes, vintage Roper stoves can be hard to find. Many antique appliance stores sell vintage stoves and occasionally Roper ranges. There are also a few online places to find them, such as eBay, but it may take a while to find the specific model or color desired.

Final Thoughts

You’ll never want to switch back from a Roper stove once you find one, whether a gas or electric version. Users all around are switching from modern to vintage because, as it turns out, your grandma had it right. Vintage Roper stoves still work great in our modern world today. With everything moving so quickly in today’s world, it’s nice to take a step back into a time when the world seemed to move so much slower.

The vintage Roper range may not be perfect for everyone, but it was a great addition to my kitchen. It truly is the Cadillac of vintage stoves. Whether you’re buying for the retro design or the great functionality of having dual ovens, the vintage Roper stove will be an excellent investment for those who love to cook.

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Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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