Duplex Fireless Stove
Karen M. Vincent
Minnetrista Director of Collections
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As anyone who has spent time with me in the Collections storage area knows, the Duplex Fireless Stove made by Durham Manufacturing of Muncie is one of my favorite artifacts. How could you not like this giant, early crockpot? It’s green and heavy and would take up a lot of space in your kitchen. Like today’s crockpot, however, you would fill it with food in the morning and have a fully cooked dinner that evening.
According to the Duplex Cook Book, “The Duplex Fireless Stove is the result of careful study and experimenting with all the known heat insulating materials. It is scientifically constructed, is easy to operate, and cooks the food thoroughly. It retains all the natural flavor of the food and makes it more nourishing and easily digested.” There were several models of the Fireless Stove. The one shown includes two “Roasting and Baking Stones” and several aluminum containers. One heated stone was placed in the bottom of the well, filled aluminum containers came next, and then the last heated stone was placed on top. The lid was lowered and cooking commenced—no electricity needed.
Durham Manufacturing was founded in Muncie in 1908 by James Elmer Durham to produce juvenile handcars. Soon the company started making fireless stoves, card tables and chairs, and card table accessories. Unfortunately, we don’t have a juvenile handcar, nor do we have a photograph of one, so I can’t show it to you. If you have a photo, please share it.
In the meantime, check out the Duplex Fireless Stove in the Heritage Collection Gallery.
minnetrista heritage collection
minnetrista collects the objects and archival material that document the people, places, events, organisations, businesses and industry of the region - in other words, the history of east central indiana.