1

1956 Hotpoint stainless steel range — very rare, I think

1956 hotpoint stainless steel rangeWere stainless steel freestanding kitchen ranges made back in the 1950s or 1960s? I didn’t think so, until I heard from a few readers via my recent story, Were stainless steel appliances use in vintage midcentury kitchens? Sarah was one of them — and provided this photo of her parents’ glorious 1956 Hotpoint range. Gorgeous — and I’d guess, very rare.

Sarah wrote:

Hotpoint. 1956. The original dishwasher was also stainless. The fridge, washer, and dryer had already been replaced by the time we moved in. The house also has lovely original stainless wall-mounted clocks that work as timed thermostat controls.

The stove is from my folks’ house outside of Chicago. This photo was taken right after my dad got the stove back from having it completely refurbished. (Bonus–check out the original green snowflake wall tile in the background!)

In a comment, Justin showed us another range similar to Sarah’s:

Hotpoint had a free-standing range in Stainless/Brushed chrome. It was from either 1955 or 1956.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/31667232@N07/34369220156/in/dateposted-public/

In a comment, Phil also showed us this:

A few brands also offered brushed chrome drop-in ranges, not free standing ones but close. Here’s a 1969 Frigidaire Compact 30 that I have.
https://flic.kr/p/ronD1W

Pretty cool, huh!

Tags
  1. Rick G says:

    That is wild – I wasn’t aware of stainless existing back then !!! – I could really do without the new stuff – but these had style !!!

  2. coopercapers says:

    Stainless steel (ss) isn’t just one thing, there a dozens of alloys called stainless steel. The amounts of chromium and nickel as well as many other combinations with steel are called stainless steel. The SS of the beautiful range here (which I will bet was very expensive when new) is not the same metal combination as the SS face of appliances sold today. This range is probably more like the SS of a SS bowl, pot or utensil, which has a higher content of these two more expensive metals. Being magnetic or not does’t mean anything. It depends on the combination of metals used to make the SS. Some are and some are not. If that glamorous mid-century SS on this range was used for appliance fronts today it would be heavy and very expensive. I have seen today’s SS refrigerator doors rust and they dent very easily.

  3. ineffablespace says:

    One of the factors is that stainless steel used to be a premium finish, and now it is the Expected finish. So stainless steel, or something like stainless had to be developed that could be put on entry level appliances. And I think once something cheaper was developed that satisfied most consumers who wanted the stainless look without a higher price, they started using it on higher end offerings to increase their profit margins.

    Our society now expects everything to be “luxury”: the most basic newly renovated apartments or entry-level new construction townhouses have “luxury” kitchens and baths–meaning granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The quality of the appliances, the grade and finish and installation of the granite, are not nearly as important as their actual presence.

    So there is a difference between the stainless on this range and on modern ranges because there is a difference in our society’s expectations. In 1956 when someone saw this they knew they were looking at something special (because they were), and when someone sees a stainless appliance now, it’s really no less than they expect.

    1. Allen says:

      Funny you mention this. I wonder if the same thing that happened to paneling will happen to stainless steel. People started to resent paneling a decade or so after the sub-par 4×8 chipboard panels with a “simulated wood grain” flooded the market. After that anyone who saw paneling hated it whether it was the good stuff or not. It was just awful dark cheap paneling in the public eye. (And still is to a large extent) I have what would be considered a good mid grade paneling: Birch veneer over plywood. It’s real wood and has a great quality to it. People always are wanting me to replace it in favor of drywall. I will never replace it.

  4. Dan Langdon says:

    I had this stove in white. Hotpoint was GE’s high end brand back in the day, and it had all sorts of bells and whistles – the best being a automatic oven setting that had a music box that played a little song when the cooking cycle was done 🙂

  5. Dawn says:

    When we first moved into our 1957 ranch, it had a stainless steel stovetop and separate stainless oven. Within the first few months, the oven shorted out, giving me quite a shock several times! I was about 7-8 months pregnant at the time. I swear that’s why our son is so smart; he received a good dose of electro-shock therapy right at the start! Sadly in 1991 when that happened, stainless appliances were not a thing yet. We had to put up with a white oven until our recent remodel–we’re now back to stainless steel.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Ack! I was able to find a local electrician – who worked for a local appliance company – to rewire my range.

  6. Robert says:

    My childhood home was built by a GE exec. It had all built in brushed stainless appliances, wall oven, cook top, diswahser (Princess 24in) and BUILT-IN Fridge. All by GE but the fridge wore the Hotpoint name. Hotpoint has a complete line of built-ins and stainless was an option, “Hotpoint Customline”. GE had them too. Wall oven is original and still works great. My brother want to replace it but I think NOT!

Leave a Reply

Commenting: Information

All comments are moderated, generally within 24 hours. By using this website you are agreeing to the site's >> Terms of Service, << which include commenting policies, and our >> Privacy Notice. << Before participating, read them in full.

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.