19 September 2005
The back and front of a restored Magic Chef stove, 1000 series, circa 1926.
* overall dimensions: 53" wide x 28" deep x 64" high
* 6 surface burners (front center burner is 11,000 BTU high output)
* Two baking ovens
* Large oven (21" wide x 20" deep x 14" high)
* Small oven (16" wide x 20" deep x 14" high)
* Separate broiler oven
* Warming oven
* Utensil storage drawer
* Lorain oven thermostat controls
* White porcelain doors mounted on black steel cabinet
In considering the design one of Magic Chef's stoves, such as this Series 1000 of 1926), there appears to be at least a conceptual connection between the overall building design and the form of the stove itself.
The back side is clearly functional, blank, and utilitarian. The front side is designed with function and aesthetics as twin determinants. Functionally, the usability of the front is its raison d'etre. However, it has a sculptural presence beyond mere function. Its proportions and graphic form are clearly considered. The stove is the product of an evolutionary design process involving mass production, fabrication, shipping, marketing, profitability, and many other factors that are not strictly necessities for merely cooking. This stove is meant to embody the latest developments in technology and design.
At a superficial level, the building's form has a series of stacked rectangular spaces set against a flat, unarticulated wall. The rear of the building reveals only the minimal, functional necessities, such as exhaust and air intake. Otherwise, the rear (West elevation) is essentially a massive masonry wall with glass blocks and grills being the only major events.