VINTAGE THERMADOR built-in ovens and stove tops are really beautiful and leading-edge collectible. I see them at the Re-Store occasionally (such as the cooktop above), and am *so tempted* to add them to my collection of cool stuff, now stuffed into my attic. Over at the Eichler Network, Adam Martin wrote an interesting article in 2006 about Thermadors in Eichlers. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of a famous Thermador built-in wall oven, the WO-16A. It was top-of-the-line with straight from WWII aircraft – notice all the cockpit dials. The history indicates that Thermador was first to innovate wall ovens separate from rangetops, in 1947. In ’52, they gave us a cooktop with a griddle. From my immersion into midcentury marketing materials, I am going to guess that by the mid-50s, half of America was still choosing the stand-alone oven/range combo. The other half: Separate cooktop and built-in oven. I am guessing the latter was more expensive – but more “modern” not only because the technology was newer but also it allowed you to have an uninterrupted run of base cabinets – also a very cool and modern thing. Thermador also seem to have stuck close to their brushed stainless steel finish. So, if you are looking to go retro, but want stainless steel rather than white or a color – these vintage ovens and rangetops are worth watching for.
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