The Old Appliance Club comes to Kathy’s rescue — her 1959 GE wall oven broils again


Yes, it can be done: You can get replacement parts for your vintage stoves, ovens, ranges and other old appliances. Kathy did it — using a resource that readers pointed out here on the blog. Oh, and so cool: Kathy’s kitchen was originally used by a professional cook in the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens! Continue on for Kathy’s happy ending story –>

Kathy writes:

I just wanted to say thanks for such a great web-site. I was able to get the broiler parts for my original with the house, yellow 1959 GE wall oven that the local Service Plus plan (through local gas company Center Point Energy) repairman said they “couldn’t” get anymore. I found your mention of The Old Appliance Club, and they hunted down the parts twice! I didn’t order soon enough the first time.


Gets better! My repairman said since they told me the parts were not available the first time they came out, they would REIMBURSE me. Wow! Saved $150.

I was really happy to keep my oven and cook-top since they are great, original, and the original owner was a professional cook in the Betty Crocker test kitchens in Golden Valley, MN at General Mills near my home. They have some history connection.


My broiler works great. Only cost me the monthly svc fee of $17.50 and I don’t have to remodel and get new appliances. I got an estimate on the remodel. Minimum of $1,500 and then buy the appliances to boot. Thanks again. I’m hooked now that I know I can do this! On to the teal bathroom! (The pink bathroom is in the basement.) :)

One happy girl!

Way to go, Kathy. And thank you, The Old Appliance Club!

Get our retrolicious free newsletter.

Newsletter-sign-up-2NMAS

Comments

  1. PATRICK COFFEY says

    YEA!!!!! Kathy…I am so thrilled you did not subscribe to the new is better way of thinking that is so prevalent these days. Your kitchen is gorgeous and it would have been a shame to throw away that gorgeous oven and cook top. I am so glad that you could find what you needed. It just goes to prove that the older stuff WAS built better.

    • Kathy Merchant says

      Thanks Patrick! I love my oven/cooktop too. It’s great this kitchen is more than retro good looks. It is still a hard-working, 3-meals a day, cookie baking, family dinner type kitchen and I really need a reliable appliances.

      Too bad the original matching yellow refrigerator died only 2 weeks after we bought the house in the late 1980’s. If only I’d had Retro Renovation then, we might have saved the frig too!

      • Patrick Coffey says

        We can find you another fridge in Canary Yellow GE Fridge or you can find a nice working vintage fridge and have it sprayed that color but I vote for going with the a vintage GE fridge myself of course a white one would go as well……..

    • vintigchik says

      Most people think (oddly) that it’s easier to replace than to do a little digging and keep what you have. Try finding a new appliance today that will last as long as this one has. I have a newer cooktop in my kitchen (came with the house) and it already needs replaced. It’s probably less than 10 years old. JUNK!

  2. Paula says

    Kathy, your kitchen IS gorgeous and I’m so glad you got to keep your yellow cooktop and oven. It’s sad to be told something isn’t available, and after it’s too late, you find out it was. Happened to me with some tile before I discovered this great site.

  3. RetroSandie says

    I love your yellow kitchen! It’s so sunny and cheery looking. It’s great that everything else was in such nice condition. Very pretty!! Be sure you show us the bathrooms!!! And a tour through the house would be pleasant! :)

  4. says

    Love it. I need to work replace a few cooktop coils and fiddle with the wiring on my electric double oven/stovetop combo. The larger coils work very intermittently. I’ll use this for inspiration.

    • Kathy Merchant says

      I would highly recommend trying the Old Appliance Club. I got great service and they are very knowledgeable. Their web site explains how to request parts from them pretty well and if you need to call instead of email they are very helpful on the phone as well. Good luck!

  5. DawnT says

    I have the same oven but with the window and meat rotisserie which still works! My house was the 1959 show house for a local Des Moines developer W. Reed Davisson.

    • Kathy Merchant says

      How fun we have the same oven from GE! I saw the rotisserie in the original 1959 GE owner’s manual. What I nice feature. My local family owned appliance store has a vintage yellow oven on display. I think they said it was called “Buttercup” ?

      Gee, if your house was a model home, it must have a lot of upgraded features. Lucky you! Our house was built by Associated. It is the “Wabasha” model with some changes. There was also the “Sibley”, “Norman” “Marshall”, “Stevens” and “Brucewood” model of ramblers thru Associated.

      • Patrick Coffey says

        The color of Kathy’s appliance is not “buttercup” GE called it Canary Yellow and it was offered alongside Woodtone Brown, Petal Pink and Turquoise Green in 1959.

        • Kathy says

          Ooops. Thanks for catching that Patrick. I think it is the Knowles dinner plates on the table that are called Buttercup! Mom got them one piece at a time when you bought gas at the filling station. Remember that?!

      • DawnT says

        There are some neat things like a Nutone intercom/ tube radio in the bedrooms with the copper-toned master control in the kitchen. The original floor had been carpeted over in the 1970s, [edited]. The original 9×9 tiles were cream with metallic bronze, gold, and silver splashes. I had a cry when I saw what had been destroyed. There were short cuts in the structural supports, however. I had the dry wall open to raise the height of the showerhead and saw a pieced together stud. Eeck! Who knows how often the builders did that!

        My kitchen lay out is the same as yours right of the oven including pocket door. To the left of the oven is a broom closet turned pantry and then the walkthrough to the dining/living room. I painted the walls nearly the same blue as you did. I’m changing it to more of an aqua to match my new VCT flooring. Your cooktop is much cooler than mine. I love the “Blender” push buttons on the wall.

  6. Myra says

    See, this kills me. I have matching coppertone brown GE appliances: cooktop, hood and oven from about 1962. We just recently had to give up our oven because the bake element broke for the second time since we’d been in the house. I had successfully replaced it the first time, and when it broke for the second time in three years, that was it. The poor oven superheated and was hot to the touch – a concern with small kids in the house.

    Unfortunately, as much as my husband and I cook, we had to replace our Brady Bunch baby. We still use the cooktop and Hi-Touch vent hood, but the oven has been relegated to the basement. *sigh*

    When I can bear to part with everything, I imagine I’ll try to sell it as a set.

    • Patrick Coffey says

      Myra check with the same place Kathy checked with……I bet they can help you find the element you need to make your stove safe again

        • pam kueber says

          No, you are not losing your mind. I called Kathy both Kathy and Karen in the story… (my excuse is that there is a Karen story tomorrow)… Kathy alerted me and I changed the story along with the comments that had come in so far.

  7. Paul says

    Congrats, Kathy! Those cooking appliances are great looking! Now we just need to find you a yellow fridge :)

  8. Kathy says

    Safety is always the first priority with your own little “bunch”. So, it doesn’t all match. Put on your retro apron and make like Carol and Alice and whip up something yummy for those little ones! Isn’t warm memories part of why we are all attracted to the retro vibe anyway.

    So my kitchen doesn’t all match either. My kids could care less when warm fresh popovers come out of that oven! Enjoy Myra!

  9. Brian T says

    That brings back memories — I grew up in a kitchen that had this wall oven in aqua, with another one above it that had the window. The same stove top too, and aqua formica. Looking at the control panel, I get the sense memory of how, when the timer was done, it would buzz continuously until you clicked it to zero — haven’t thought of that in decades.

  10. says

    You are singing my song!!! I just had my original 1956 Thermador stainless steel wall oven fixed by a local company here in Portland. Luckily, they found a replacement element and points but they are getting harder and harder to find. We were so despondent thinking we needed to find a replacement, not to mention the extensive remodeling that would have been necessary. You can see a picture of my beautiful oven in this Retro-Renovation post from 2009: http://retrorenovation.com/2009/03/06/janes-1956-retro-renovation-kitchen/

    Way to go, Kathy – your kitchen is gorgeous!

  11. Elaine says

    I have that same tablecloth with the yellow roses, nice to see it in your beautiful yellow kitchen! I don’t have a table it will fit on but can’t give it up. I have one with red roses too.

    As for the Old Appliance Club, I am going to join up and see if they can scare up parts for my wall oven. It is newer with digital panel, maybe early 90s, but I am told some parts are not available. Same problem with my 1980 ish Jennaire cooktop, parts not available to fix the timer or replace damaged knob. Great strategy to get us to buy a new one, right?

    • Kathy says

      Elaine, yes contact Old Appliance Club. They have contacts and search warehouses all over the country. Their web site explains how to request parts with mdl/serial number, photo of broken parts etc. They are also very helpful on the phone. I’m sure they would be happy to try to help you!

  12. Jana (Berniecat) says

    Kathy,
    You have a wonderful kitchen! So bright and cheerful and those cabinets are awesome! I am so glad your commitment to keep & fix the original appliances was so richly rewarded! I have all vintage appliances in my kitchen and utility room (a 1949 Coldspot refrigerator, a 1969 Avocado green Coldspot and a 1955 Westinghouse electric stove). They aren’t matched perfectly, but they all work great and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! You can see my appliances in a 2011 Retro Renovation post: (Readers and Their Kitchens) http://retrorenovation.com/2011/05/03/janas-cheerful-yellow-red-and-white-kitchen-a 1268-delight/

    Is that a pocket door I spy just past the refrigerator? Love it! Just like we had in our kitchen when I was a kid. Congratulations on a beautiful kitchen and that gorgeous oven and cook top!

    • Kathy says

      Jana, I’ve seen the article on your cheery yellow kitchen! It inspired me to love the kitchen I have and just play up the retro-ness instead of fighting it trying to go country or primitive etc. I never get tired of yellow!

  13. Chutti says

    Great kitchen-and yes, it looks like you can actually use everything-Yay!
    Lived in and loved is the best.

    I had neighbors that had a similar oven to yours growing up. Does the broiler rest right in the top? So you could put a rack down low and broil something really tall?

    I can’t do that with my glorious 1930s gas oven.
    I long to make a childhood favorite cake we used to make at neighbors house….Orange Sody Pop Cake with Cornflake Frosting. You cream butter and brown sugar, then mix it up with smashed cornflakes. Pat this all over your nice orange cake, pop it under that tall broiler and….
    3 minutes later you have this amazing crunchy caramelized delight.
    Miss those.

    Can’t make it in a non Mid Century oven!

  14. judy h. says

    Hey! I have a wall oven and range top just like this! Mine is a few years older, but still works fabulously! Never have had to have it repaired. But, (don’t be jealous)mine is a double oven!!

    • Kathy says

      Just when you think you are the only one out there dealing with these old appliances you find lots of new friends who appreciate them too!

  15. Steph says

    Out of curiosity, what’s the thought on energy efficiency? I love the look of retro appliances, but I’d also like to be energy conscious. It’s probably not a huge issue with stoves, but refrigerators? Eep!

  16. Jeff says

    Wow, gotta love Kathy’s kitchen! I have a turquoise version of this kitchen and love it. Don’t know how anyone buying a home with a kitchen such as Kathy’s could even think of altering it in any measurable way. It must drive Lowes and Home Depot crazy to see these things, but too bad!

    • Kathy says

      Well, Jeff, I’m learning to love the kitchen I’ve got as long as it is functioning fine. I hope to someday un-do the fake wood-look counter tops that went in sometime in the 80’s before we bought the place. Been learning about what might be a nice retro look (white w/gold flecks, or pale yellow). Wood cabinets and wood-look counter tops don’t thrill me. Oh well.

      The flooring has seen better days too. Starting to come apart at the edges. Maybe when the kids are out of college!!!

      • Jeff says

        Kathy, definitely a yellow, or yellow / white combo countertop with stainless edging would really pick it up.

        Flooring in a neat vintage looking linoleum or cork would be great.

        I installed cork and it’s been the best thing- having the dropsies as I do, things don’t break! It also stays warm in cold weather.

        The original floor was cork under six layers I pulled up, sub floor as well. Now it looks as it did when new. Best of luck!

  17. Jamie says

    I have recently bought a very similar turquoise 3-piece stove/oven set at a yard sale for $25. Glad to see you got yours working great!

    I am looking for a little help….the stove top for my set has a small chip in the enamel surface. Does anyone know what the best solution for this is? For anything else, I’d just get a color match and have an auto body shop repaint it….but this is on the stove top, so I’m concerned that I need special heat-resistant paint. Help?

    • pam kueber says

      Jamie, why don’t you try The Old Appliance Club and see what they suggest? You can also try Rust-Oleum, they have great customer service and might have an answer for you. Good luck.

  18. Annette Lamoreaux says

    I love this yellow kitchen. I recently moved into a 1965 mid-century atomic ranch in Houston from the original owner – it is not quite a time capsule house, but has most of the original stuff and your blog has been super helpful already. We have an original Hotpoint stainless steel wall oven which cooks perfectly, but the timer/clock doesn’t work. Online I found a website called http://www.appliancetimers.com which will repair the timer if I ship it to them after removing it from the oven. I was wondering if any of your readers have experience with them? I did a search and didn’t find anything. Thanks!

  19. Mary Roberts says

    Oh Kathy…you have no idea how much you helped me! We bought a vintage Westinghouse Wall Oven at a garage sale that fell in love with. It looked perfect! We were crushed to find out the elements were burned out after a service company checked it out for us. This meant we could not use the unit since there were no parts to be had anywhere! We went back to the people we purchased it from just to ask if they tried to get the elements. It was their mom’s and after checking with her, that was the reason she sold it. I happened to stop by this wonderful web site (big thank you Pam) and saw your inspiring pictures and information. We did contact The Old Appliance Club on the web. They made brand new elements for us and our Westinghouse oven is up and running again like the day it was manufactured. You and Pam get all the credit. We had no idea where to turn until we read your story. This is the best, best site on the web. I’m so HAPPY! :) THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  20. Joe Crawley says

    We have the identical unit in our home and it still works and I have ordered parts in the past to keep it running. It’s performance is outstanding.

  21. mark says

    I own a 1959 Yellow GE Automatic Wall Oven, just like the one pictured on site. I’m having trouble locating model/serial number… I need to replace lower heating element. I did find the following numbers on a metal plate which reads (J720T3YE 38 ZT080482A) but, when I search I receive a “NO RESULTS FOUND” Any suggestions?

  22. Vett says

    I have a GE Wall Oven & Cook Top. They were in my home when I purchased it. I believe they are from the early 60s. The cook top is a 4 burner coil select /electric. The oven is a model # J KS06 0034D / serial #HS06710 G. Was wondering if anyone could tell me where I might find info for these appliance. A manual or a website or…?? Any information is appreciated. Would like to keep them.

  23. Al says

    Hello

    I’m looking for the Owner Manual of Westinghouse Wall Oven (Model: KB850R-3). Purchased in 1977.

    Any hints where I can find it.

    Thanks in advance

    Best regards

    Al

  24. says

    General Electric’s model #’s aren’t easy to decipher, but I’ll share what I’ve learned about mine and maybe it will help. I bought a house with a brown 26″ built-in wall oven with matching range and hood (sadly no refrigerator) and it took MONTHS to find any information at all. The model # on the metal plate inside my oven door is J D14X1B, but you don’t actually need all of those letters. The model # of my oven is actually just JD-14, which I learned from an old advertisement. (Note: The P-7 Model is the self-cleaning version, and it’s easy to find information about it.)

    Today I found & purchased (for $15 because we don’t know if it works) a green General Electric oven that looks almost exactly the same as mine, but with a different broiler element and slightly different clock. It’s a model JC-14. I’m hoping at least some of the parts will be interchangeable, but we probably won’t find out unless something needs to be replaced.

    The comment box asked for my website so I entered a link to my “House” album on Flickr, which has photos of my GE built-in (among other things in our newly-purchased 1948 ranch home.) Good luck!

  25. Lois Corwin says

    Unfortunately, we made a hasty and regrettable decision to part with our 1972 GE electric versatronic double oven/range combination when remodeling our kitchen. Am not happy with the new cooktop look that replaced it and would be overjoyed to find my “old one”, in white if possible. (model J896). Any ideas?

    • pam kueber says

      see out story on where to find vintage stoves – use search box or categories. yes,’hasty’ often leads to ‘regrettable’

  26. Viviana says

    I have been searching for the brolier of the 1959 GE Yellow Automatic Wall Oven just like the one on the site. I see Kathy had the same issue. And Mark also wrote the following on:

    March 23, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I own a 1959 Yellow GE Automatic Wall Oven, just like the one pictured on site. I’m having trouble locating model/serial number… I need to replace lower heating element. I did find the following numbers on a metal plate which reads (J720T3YE 38 ZT080482A) but, when I search I receive a “NO RESULTS FOUND”

    I have left my contact information on TOAC and hopefully someone will come to my rescue soon.

  27. David says

    Hi Kathy,

    I was hoping you could share the exact model # of the GE Wall Oven you have in your kitchen. I have the same one but unfortunately the model # is worn off.

    Mine has a working rotisserie motor but I don’t have the rack assembly to use it. I just want to see this baby with a Thanksgiving turkey spinning away in there.

    Please Please help if you can. I would really appreciate it. I promise to show photos of the turkey before and after it’s devoured LOL Thanks

  28. Aaron says

    I wanted to leave an additional comment. My bottom burner stopped working, so I was looking for one online. Today I pulled out the burner and discover the wire was broken at the connector. I replaced the connector, installed the burner and it works great, so check the wires before you look for a burner.

  29. Rachel says

    Would anyone know the dimensions of the insert portion of the wall oven? I have the same exact one (though white) and it works beautifully!

  30. Andrew says

    kathy,
    i live in frankfort, ky and i have these exact appliances in my kitchen. i have the stove, wall oven and overhead fan. they work great. i honestly cant believe they still. blows my mind that we have the same appliances down to the color and they still work.

    andrew

  31. Debra Baldwin says

    This web site is very exciting. I have a “Copper” 1959 wall oven and stove, and the repair guy was advising me to replace the range today… Not a chance! However, I had a question about the clock and timer on my oven. Are those reparable? They have not worked since we bought the house in 2000…

  32. Barb M says

    I just happened onto your site and found the many comments interesting and fun.

    The house was originally “model” home, I purchased the house in 1976 from the first buyer. It had/has the GE Americana double oven/stove and a matching vent on the top. Although many of you refer to the color as yellow, it was actually called Harvest Gold. The matching refrigerator and dishwasher have bee replaced.

    I dread getting rid of this double oven/stove. Is there any other appliance you have heard of lasting almost 45 years that can do everything you need? No. What annoys me is that this gem can’t be replaced.

    So, thank you for sharing your thoughts about this magnificent appliance, albeit a dinosaur.

  33. Alomdra says

    Hello my name is Alondra… I have a 1950s pink General Electrics built in stove and oven… Sadly my stove broke… And I don’t know what I’m looking for!! Someone please help!!

    • says

      To ANYBODY with an old GE oven (particularly built-in) it will be much easier finding parts and info if you locate the model number. It will probably be stamped into a small metal plate. Mine is inside the oven door, on the bottom. I couldn’t read it very easily so I took a photo.

      Here is a photo showing my oven and the location of its plaque (model JD-14, date of manufacture still unknown.) https://flic.kr/p/uhkdEA

      Maybe this will help a few of you whose ovens are as old as mine. Also, if you want more info regarding vintage GE model #’s (click then scroll down) or you just want to see my time-capsule home in progress, you can click this album. https://www.flickr.com/photos/seahorses-forever/sets/72157633989560371

      Good luck!! :)

        • Amber Dawn says

          Thanks!!
          Also, I might have the GE Manual to the oven pictured in this post. It has info for a built-in J-501, and for the range a J-551. My range has the controls built into the hood for safety purposes so it doesn’t match. It also includes stand-alone ovens J-244 (Spacemaker) J-245 (Spacemaker Deluxe) J-403 (Stewardess) J-367 (Airliner) J-405 (Speedster) J-402 (Deluxe Stratoliner) J-408 (Deluxe Liberator) and maybe a couple more that are listed in a chart but not pictured. If I had to guess a date, I’d say 1960, but the manual is not dated. (Pre Zip Code, though.) If anybody needs some info on any of these models I can scan it for you, providing I don’t decide to sell the book in my etsy shop.

          I was hoping it’d be similar enough for my oven, but not quite. My oven (JD-14) is apparently pretty rare because most people opted for the new self-cleaning P-7 model. We thought it was broken because the element wouldn’t stay lit most of the time, even after being replaced, but I wouldn’t get a new one!!! We knew the clock didn’t work anymore, so one day I set the dial to Time Bake instead of (normal) Bake just to see what would happen, and it worked. Apparently the knob had fallen off at some point and wasn’t put back on correctly, so Time Bake is actually Regular Bake. Haha. I wasn’t letting it go without a fight. Luckily, it was a really easy fight and I happened to win.

          Unfortunately, I lost the fight regarding the purchase of the most amazing vintage GE refrigerator I’ve ever seen in person. Brown outside, baby blue with snowflakes inside. If it had fit into my car, we’d own it, ’cause our fridge is new and throws everything off. Also it wouldn’t fit through our front door, so the fact that it would’ve been a “yard fridge” (to quote my husband) didn’t help its cause. https://flic.kr/s/aHsk4ZKzTd

  34. Debra says

    When I called a vintage appliance repair shop (alas, too far away from me to use!) the woman said that often the clocks stop working just because they need oil, and that often if one takes the back off (after turning off power source, of course) and adds a few drops of oil, they start working again. I have not tried this, but am thinking about it and wanted to share it and ask opinions of those with 60’s GE ovens whose heating elements work just fine, but whose clocks are now just cosmetic…
    By the way, I just watched the charming movie, “Blast from the Past” in which a guy grows up in a bomb shelter and then emerges in the 1990’s and tries to relate to the society around him with great comic effect, and predictable romantic success …. and couldn’t help noticing the *fantastic* blue GE appliances in the bomb shelter :-)

    • Amber Dawn says

      What kind of vintage oven do you have? If it’s by GE,I might have a manual which includes instructions on maintenance and using the clock. I could scan it if anybody needs it, as mentioned above.

      Mine is a 1960’s(?) GE built-in with a broken clock. Since it’s a built-in, the “back” is inside my wall. I’m not sure how we’d oil it, but I don’t think that’s the problem with mine.

      We replaced both elements from a nearly identical oven I found by a dumpster, and then realized that they were fine all along—the knob’s just wrong. My oven works perfectly on “Time Bake” but regular bake is unreliable at best and flickers on and off like an electrical disaster. I’m assuming it’s because the clock is broken, but I’m just happy I got it working again!

  35. Jenny says

    We are wondering if you have the model number for this oven. I work at an appliance repair company, and have a customer with one that looks just like it, but the model number is not legible on their tag.

  36. says

    We also have the 1950’s GE Electric Kitchen Center. We only replaced the dishwasher however the wall oven clock and timer no longer work but the oven still works. But the timer makes a loud buzzing noise…..can’t stop it so when we are done in the kitchen we shut the breaker off. Could we replace with a new wall oven or not? Someone said we couldn’t. Or could it be fixed?

  37. Maria says

    I have this same wall oven and cooktop in my 1959 house, only in pink. (Good to know it was called petal pink, we always called it GE pink). Yes, my clock stopped working too, but every so often it does work, so it very may well only need oil. Need new coils for the cooktop too, nice to find a source! I just a week ago pulled out the 1964? turquoise dishwasher that’s currently sitting at the curb with no takers. :( I remember mom being sad they no longer made the pink when they bought it. Also, it was heartbreaking when I had to let the pink fridge go. I miss it to this day, but she ran every day for 42 years before giving up. Mom also had a pink dinette to match the appliances I’d give anything to still own.

    Has anyone seen the new GE artistry series? I’m tempted to junk my stainless fridge and get a white one to paint pink!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *