Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Detroit Stove Works

With an abundance of iron ore in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan became a leader of iron-made products in the nineteenth century including cast iron stoves, wheels for railroad cars, ships, and marine engines. The “big three” stove manufacturers that made Michigan the stove manufacturing capital of the world were: Detroit Stove Works, Michigan Stove Company and the Peninsular Stove Company.

During the Victorian era, cast iron stoves replaced fireplaces that were dangerous and required huge amounts of firewood. First founded as the J. Dwyer & Company in 1861 by brothers Jeremiah and James Dwyer, the Detroit Stove Works was incorporated in 1864 with the financial backing of Charles DuCharme, a wealthy Detroit hardware dealer. The brothers were the first foundry owners in the region to combine modern engineering practices with foundry work. Their company produced the “Jewel” stove, which by the 1890s was available in 800 different models.

Jeremiah Dwyer sold his share of Detroit Stove Works to his brother to take a year-long sabbatical for health reasons. He then formed a group of investors to found the Michigan Stove Company in 1871. The company expanded the variety of stoves available under the Garland label, including kitchen and cooking stoves, and a variety of heating stoves. Additional stove companies were started in Detroit in the 1870s and 1880s, and consequently, stove manufacturing became Detroit’s leading industry in the late 19th century.

The Detroit Stove Works bought out the Art Stove Company in 1923 and continued to make gas ranges for homes, and heavy-duty heating and cooking appliances for hotels, clubs, restaurants, and institutions, under the "Garland," "Laurel," "Jewel" and "Detroit Jewel" names.

In 1925, the Detroit Stove Works and Michigan Stove Company merged to become the Detroit-Michigan Stove Company. The company had a 15-ton wooden replica of a Garland stove, built for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, displayed on its property near the approach to Belle Isle. In 1955, Welbilt Stove, of New York, acquired Detroit-Michigan Stove Company and it became Welbilt Corp., a public corporation that inherited Detroit-Michigan's listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Detroit factory closed in 1957. The “Big Stove” was moved to the State Fairgrounds in 1965, until it deteriorated, then was disassembled and stored at Fort Wayne. In 1998 the mammoth stove was restored and returned to the State Fair where it sat until destroyed by fire in 2011.

 


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