Detroit, MI: Home of the World’s Best Stoves

When we say “Detroit,” we think of “The Big Three.”

And with good reason, as all Michiganders know.

Detroit is the Motor City, the “Automotive Capital of the World.” But before the city became known for its proficient automotive manufacturing, it was famous for another kind of manufacturing and an altogether different “Big Three.”

Because of the abundance of iron ore in the Upper Peninsula and engineering and technological resources available in the Lower Peninsula, Michigan’s manufacturing efforts turned not to cars, but stoves. So prolific and efficient were these efforts that by the 19th Century, Detroit was named the “Stove Capital of the World.” Ten percent of all stoves sold worldwide were manufactured by any one of Detroit’s many stove companies. The most successful of these companies – Detroit’s original “Big Three” – were Detroit Stove Works, Michigan Stove Company, and the Peninsular Stove Company.

Looking for an example of one of these impressive, world-class stoves? We’ve got one.

This beautiful piece stands proudly in the recently-restaged kitchen of the Lodge House. It was manufactured by the Peninsular Stove Company back in the day, and it’s been kept in exceptional condition since those early days.

Originally, the kitchen featured an electric stove when the Vincents lived in the Lodge House. The stove now in residence is a late-1920s gas model, manufactured in Detroit by the Peninsular Stove Company. Donated for display in our kitchen space, it perfectly matches the historic color scheme chosen during renovations. And apparently, this stove is still in working condition! But that’s an anecdotal fact, and we’re not planning to test drive it any time soon.

Enjoyed this taste of Michigan history? This was just a sample!

(See what I did there?)

Puns aside, Detroit’s stove-related history is well-documented (but arguably lesser-known than our proud automotive pedigree). Check out the following articles and webpages for more in-depth information.

“Detroit Stove Works,” published on the Detroit Historical Society website.

“When Stoves Were a Hot New Thing,” by Bill Loomis; published on The Detroit News website.

“Detroit Peninsular Stove Company, 1900,” published on the Genealogy Trails History Group website.

“Detroit – Stove capital of the world,” published on the Michigan News website through the University of Michigan.

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