Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Garland Stove

The Garland Stove was originally a product of the Michigan Stove Company, and still exists today as a premier brand of restaurant grills and ranges. The Michigan Stove Company was started in Detroit by Jeremiah Dwyer in 1871. Prior to that, Dwyer, with his brother James, made his initial foray into the foundry business with J. Dwyer and Company in 1861, later incorporated into the Detroit Stove Works in 1864.

After selling his share in Detroit Stove Works to James, Jeremiah formed a group of investors and founded the Michigan Stove Company which, under the Garland brand, expanded the variety of stoves. They included kitchen and cooking stoves, as well as a greater variety of heating stoves. At one point more than 700 styles of stoves were offered.

Other stove companies formed in Detroit in the 1870s and 1880s, making stove manufacturing Detroit’s leading industry. By the 1890s, Detroit was known as the “Stove Capital of the World.”

The success of Detroit’s stove manufacturers was due in part to the opening of the Soo Locks in 1855 at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, allowing iron ore to be transported quickly from Michigan’s mineral-rich Upper Peninsula to Detroit. Its availability encouraged a number of foundries to be built in Detroit.

The Michigan Stove Company had a 15-ton wooden replica of a Garland stove built for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, which afterward was displayed on its property on Jefferson Avenue, near the approach to Belle Isle. The “Big Stove” was moved to the Michigan State Fairgrounds in 1965, until it deteriorated, then was disassembled and stored at Fort Wayne. In 1998 after a restoration, the stove was put on permanent display, again at the State Fairgrounds. On Saturday, August 13, 2011, lightning from a severe summer storm hit the stove, completely burning the wooden structure.

The Detroit Stove Works and Michigan Stove Company merged in 1925 to become the Detroit-Michigan Stove Company. In 1955, Welbilt Stove, of New York, acquired the company and it became Welbilt Corp., a public corporation that inherited Detroit-Michigan's listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company went through various mergers and spinoffs, including being part of the Manitowoc Foodservice Group of New Port Richey, Florida, before changing its name back to Welbilt in 2017. It still owns the Garland Stove brand, manufacturing grills and ranges for restaurants and the food industry.



World's Largest Stove postcard, 1917

World's Largest Stove postcard, 2000

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