About

This 1911 house was built on the West Side of Chicago by a Polish immigrant bricklayer named Frank Michela. I call this his folly because it’s a house abundant in personal touches and quirky design; I have yet to see a house just like it in a city where multiples are common. Also, Michela owned the house for only about 10 years. It has changed hands numerous times. The previous owner who lived here the longest was Kaspar Zegiel. We became part of the house’s life in 2000 after a long, depressing search in which I realized I could afford very little—or if I could afford it, it was very little. When I saw this house, I thought, “Whoa, it’s a real house.” Been loving it and working on it ever since.

Note to anyone who has found this blog while searching for information: If you see that I’ve touched on a topic of interest and you’d like more info, feel free to comment and ask for more. I’m happy to share any knowledge I might have.

And if you found this while looking for Roper stove info, I should let you know that I am simply a 1940s Roper owner. I’ve posted whatever I’ve found about old Ropers because I’ve been trying to get a handle on why there are so many of these stoves with endless variations in equipment. I’m not going to buy your stove. I will post pics of a stove you are selling, but mostly just because I want to document all the different details of these workhorse appliances. If you want to know how much your stove is worth, the answer is that it depends on what shape it’s in and what the market is in your location at the moment any person is looking at your stove. A fair range for a stove in good working order and very good shape is $50 to $500. I paid more for mine because I didn’t educate myself before falling in love with it. You’re not going to get more than a few hundred for an original condition Roper, and there’s really no need to refurbish these things because they were built to last and they have.

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16 Responses to About

  1. Joe O. says:

    Hey, cool:

    Found you surfing for Roper info. I’m in Chicago. Service and restore Chambers stoves (okay, I collect them too. Some people collect stamps… How weird).

    May be working on a Roper at the request of a friend, and it needs two handles. Seems that Roper handles, doors, timers, etc. vary WILDLY compared to Chambers items. Yikes! Well, might you be willing to depart with handles if you’ve got ’em?

    Happy first day of winter!

    Joe O

  2. n54th says:

    Hi Joe,

    You’re quite right about Roper details. If you mean door handles, I don’t have spares. If you mean knobs, I do. Will e-mail you directly.

    Many thanks for the winter wishes.

  3. Bonnie Winer says:

    So glad to find you! I too, own an old, circa 1950 Roper stove and am having a heck of a time replacing knobs! It is a 6 burner stove, and we need all 6 knobs for the burners, and 2 for the oven (possibly). can’t find any one to help locate what we need. Can we talk?

    Thanks.
    Bonnie

  4. cheri bergthold says:

    hi, i have been researching my 40’s roper stove for a long time and this site is the most informative to date. do you sell, buy? i have a stagger top in perfect condition. it is exactly the one in the wartime ads on this site. i bought the house from the estate of a 90+ yr old woman, and i think she used that stove from the day it was new. when i moved in it worked, but i had dad unhook because of my fear of gas stoves. i have been looking at selling it to make more room in the kitchen. it is beautiful and fits in great with my retro kitchen but need more room. any one with a comment or info on how i can sell it and get what its worth out of it, email me. i would appreciate it. chereasy@hotmail.com thanks

  5. n54th says:

    Glad to hear the site has been helpful. I dabble in selling and buying but am really just a regular dame who’s trying to pinpoint her Roper by perusing the particulars of others. The value of your stove will be determined by condition and the local market. So I guess if it’s been unhooked, you don’t know if the thermostat is working properly? That and handles are usually the more difficult things to find replacements for. If you’d like to send pictures, I would love to see them and they would help me give you a ballpark figure.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Hi there,
    this is a much newer stove but thought you might help me find info about it. Looks 70s-ish to me. I’m thinking of buying it for a modern retro look. Any ideas on the model or year or how to find out more? Thanks!

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/app/1324436555.html

  7. Diane says:

    I Just purchased a Roper series 77 w/ “Divided Burners”. I have the “Spectro-Matic” knobs and am in need of one piece of glass that sits over the colored piece. I am also missing the broiler pan top (I have the drip pan part). Do you have any re-prints of manuals? I found a sales flyer like the one you have pictured in shades of pink…but it doens’t tell you how to work the things on the “dash board/backsplash”. How does the “Insta-Set Control Panel ” and other gadgets work?

    Any info that you can send me is greatly appreciated.

    I bought a Chambers, collected all of the accessories & then found the Roper and fell in love with the look…now I have to sell the Chambers (still in the garage)!!

  8. Chriz says:

    Diane, welcome! I’m very sorry that I can’t help you with these things, since my expertise is in early 40s Ropers and yours is early 50s, I think. I would have to see the stove and fiddle with it to try to figure out, and I don’t have any manuals for that model. I’m tickled that you had a Chambers all ready to go and chose a Roper instead! Best of luck to you, and I will get back to you should I find any info that might be of use.

  9. AMN says:

    We just moved into a great house and there’s a fully functional Roper oven in our kitchen. It’s beautiful, but we’re going to upgrade to something a little easier to use. We’d love to sell it to someone who will love it and take care of it. From the looks of some of the other models I’ve seen online, it appears to be from the 1940’s. Seems like a real shame to just junk this to the recycling pile behind Hope Depot. Any advice?

  10. Chriz says:

    The best places to find a new home for your stove are the usual suspects: Craigslist or eBay. But I’ll post pics of it here if you want to send them to me. Sorry to hear that you’re putting your Roper out to pasture!

  11. Alfia says:

    Hi, I came across your blog looking for information for a friend of mine who has a Roper Bake-Master built in oven in her property which is pretty good condition. I believe it still works and was hardly used. She was trying to estimate the worth of these ovens. If you have an information I’d greatly appreciate it.

  12. Chriz says:

    Hi Alfia! The value of any given Roper depends upon the demand in your particular area. Some go for $50 with free delivery; others get sold for much much more. Ropers are workhorse stoves, not glamour queens, however. So I would say a fair price for a fully working one would be in the $100-$400 range, depending on age and features.

  13. Wendy says:

    Chriz,
    I am looking for information on an old Roper stove I have in storage. It looks like “The Ensign” that is displayed in one of the brochures you have on your site. Can you tell me what year it was manufactured? And, any idea on the value of it? It’s in good shape and still works–has a couple of chips in the enamel and is missing a knob, though. Would appreciate your opinion.
    Thanks,
    Wendy

  14. Tyler King says:

    Hello Chriz:

    I’m researching a 1907 townhouse in Richmond, Virginia, which was renovated in 1914. The building specs for the alterations call for a bathtub by Mott’s, and give the reference number, “P-2411-L.”

    I noticed that you have an original copy of the very issue that the architect William Noland probably would have used to select the tub. I would be incredibly grateful if you scanned a few tubs in that catalog for me.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best!

    Tyler King

  15. Chriz says:

    Hi Tyler,

    I’d be happy to help, but I’ve just looked through the book (The Well-Appointed Bath) and none of the fixtures are identified by letter-number strings like what’s on your specs. Instead, the tubs are given names like the “Knickerbocker” and the “Empress.” Would scans of a few different tubs help if there’s no way to link them to what you’ve got?

  16. Patricia Douglas says:

    Pat Douglas owner of a roper stove that is dated 10/16/1930 also state what factory made it. We live in South Hyde Park in Kansas City, Mo. I actually prepare all meals with the stove for the last 5 years.

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