Gas range recovered at Hormel Home

When my family and I lived in Charlotte, N.C., we did not have a basement.

The space in our two-car garage was completely maximized and anything that did not fit there or in a closet was “relocated.” The good thing was that when we moved to Austin we didn’t have much extra “stuff.” Now we have a basement and it seems to have filled up rather quickly. One of these days I will figure out why I need to keep so much stuff.

We have quite a collection of “stuff” in the Hormel Historic Home basement too. Many years of events and holidays have led to shelves of decorations and boxes of documents. I always find something new when I go down there. About five years ago, a great find surfaced from beneath the historic Girl Scout house (otherwise known as the Carriage House). A 1937 Norge gas range with all its parts intact was dusted off and then put back into storage elsewhere. Although I do not know when the stove was purchased or when it was replaced, it must have been used to serve the many people who came through the doors of the facility. The HHH does not have a use for this antique but we know there must be a collector or antique dealer out there who would enjoy owning it.

1937 Norge gas range.Photo provided

1937 Norge gas range.Photo provided

Norge is no longer a brand one will see in appliance stores, but at one time they were popular and had a reputation for quality and performance. You may even remember the 1978 “Saturday Night Live” skit featuring a young Dan Aykroyd as the Norge repairman.

Vintage Norge stoves often had a marbleized finish and featured four surface burners, a hide-a-way cover and a utensil storage drawer. The company was sold to Fedders, then to Magic Chef, and eventually became a Maytag brand around 1986. Maytag was purchased by Whirlpool, and after a time the Norge brand name was completely phased out. According to many sites on the Internet, antique Norge ranges can cost thousands of dollars today depending on their condition.

However, I did come across an ad from the March 14, 1937, Pittsburg Press. The headline read “NORGE LEADS AGAIN, NEW 1937 NORGE RANGE $49.50.”  Sounds like a steal to me, but I am sure that was a lot of money in 1937.

The stove seems to be in great condition with one minor flaw in the exterior.  Please contact me at 507-433-4243 or holly@hormelhistorichome.org if you are interested in owning this great treasure.

What’s Happening at the HHH

Board of Directors

June 16, 4 p.m.

 Charlie Maguire Day

June 17

•10 a.m.-11 a.m.: Charlie will share favorite tunes and stories from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s. Participants will create a special song based on their own memories. This is a free program geared to those 50 and over. Coffee and a treat will be served. This is limited to 30 participants so please call to register at 507-433-4243.

•1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Charlie will conduct a jaw harp workshop called Twang. The jaw harp is an ancient instrument with a distinctive sound that can be taught in three simple steps.

This is for ages fourth-grade through adulthood. Limited to 30 participants. Register through Community Education by calling 507-460-1706. The cost is $7 per person.

•6:30 p.m.: Free Peace Garden concert. Join us for the first of four concerts in the garden. Those who participated in the programs during the day are invited to join Charlie for a special appearance that evening. His set will include songs that feature our beautiful state.

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