The question often arises, even with old housekeepers, Which shall it be—a stove or a range? There are strong points in favor of each. For a small kitchen the range may be commended, because it occupies the least space, and does not heat a room as intensely as a stove, although it will heat water enough for kitchen and bath-room purposes for a large family. That the range is popular is evident from the fact that nearly every modern house is supplied with one; and thus the cost of, and cartage for, stoves is generally saved to tenants in these days.
There are these advantage of a stove over a set range: it requires less than half as much fuel and is more easily managed—that is, the fire can be more quickly started, and if it gets too low, more easily replenished and put in working order; and the ovens can be more quickly heated or cooled. But, although you can have a water-back and boiler with most modern stoves or, as they are now called, portable ranges, the supply of hot water will not be large. And you cannot roast before the fire as with a range.
So near-perfection have the makers of ranges and stoves come that it would be difficult to speak of possible improvements, especially in stoves. This can be said not of a few, but of a great many manufacturers, each having his special merit. And where the products are so generally good, it is hard to mention one make in preference to another. When purchasing, it is well to remember, that one of simple construction is the most easily managed and does not soon get out of order. No single piece of furniture contributes so much to the comfort of a family as the range or stove, which should, therefore, be the best of its kind.
During the hot weather a gas or oil stove is a great comfort. The "Sun Dial," manufactured by the Goodwin Gas Stove Co., Philadelphia, is a "perfect gem," roasting, baking, broiling, etc., as well as a coal stove or range. Indeed, meats roasted or broiled by it are jucier than when cooked over or before coals. The peculiar advantage of oil and gas stoves is that they can be coveniently used for a short time, say for the preparation of a meal, at a trifling expense. The cost of running a gas stove throughout the day is, however, much greater than that of a coal stove, while an oil stove can be run cheaper than either.
There are a great many manufacturers of oil stoves, and as a natural consequence, where there is so much competition, the stoves are nearly all good. One would not think of doing the cooking for a large family with one or, indeed, two of them; but the amount of work that can be accomplished with a single stove is remarkable. They are a great comfort in hot weather, many small families doing their entire cooking with them.