Forgotten Foundry: Martin Stove & Range Co

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Not quite 100 years ago, brothers W. H. and Charles Martin bought a bankrupt foundry in Florence, Alabama, along the Tennessee River in the northwest corner of the state. Renamed the Martin Stove & Range Company, the foundry soon expanded its line of coal- and wood-burning stoves to include cast-iron hollow ware—everything from skillets and griddles to Dutch ovens and saucepans. For the next 36 years, Martin Stove & Range Company made cast-iron cookware with its distinctive “hamburger” logo. The brand is highly collectible today.

The Martin brothers were not new to the cast-iron business. In the early 1900s, they were salesmen for the King Hardware Company of Atlanta, Georgia. Through their travels, they learned of a foundry for sale in Sheffield, Alabama, just across the river from Florence. The brothers convinced their employer, King Hardware, to buy the small foundry in 1905, and they became its managers. Rechristened the King Stove & Range Company, the foundry began making heaters, stoves, and ranges for King Hardware.

Twelve years later, the Martin brothers purchased the company from King Hardware. Shortly after that, they bought the Florence foundry and began making cast-iron cookware under both the King and Martin names.

For Jonathon Davis, a cast-iron collector who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin cast iron has a unique appeal. He grew up in Iuka, Mississippi, about 35 miles west of Florence, just over the Mississippi state line, and he likes the idea of collecting something that was made close to home.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know who ended up with the first runs they packed in the eaves, but I ended up with a “Martin Stove and Range Company, Florence, Alabama” (molded into the back of the stove – molded to protrude) and number “6-32A” (molded on top – to protrude) and “King” and a crown (molded to protrude – maybe “cast” is the more applicable word – IDK. It’s part of the casting process, but it’s not like the cookware where the marks are cast “inward” – like carved. These all protrude outward) molded on the door. I’m trying to find some info about it, but it’s like pulling hen’s teeth and I’ve Googled myself crosseyed. Tons of stuff about the cookware. Hardly anything about the wood burning stoves. Any help would be greatly appreciated. TIA.

    • Hi Stan! Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, we don’t have any information on Martin Stove and Range’s wood burning stoves. But, we’ll keep you updated if we’re able to find out anything.

    • There’s a man named Anthony at a store called Shooting Stars just a few miles from Florence, AL. He’s very knowledgeable about Martin. In fact, the Martin family shops there. He has King, Martin, Sheffield wood burning stoves, all things Martin, but he does not ship. I have videos and photos of everything in his store, with his permission, I can send to you. Call him ‭(256) 412-1462‬.

  2. Hi, I also have a wood burning matin stove that was my fathers that I’m trying to find out about. My parents had the stove for years and my mother gave to me when my father passed away.
    I have been in the process of restoring and have questions about some of the features that the stove has.

    The stove No-1-37-16-16-A

  3. I am also looking for information on a wood burning stove, sounds just like Joe’s. Front door has white porcelain looking door with the name Marco Pride. Number on the back No 1-37-16-A; gift from an elderly friend, complete with a packed rat nest under the round cook plates. Hope to restore so any tips would be appreciated.

  4. This is for Sue Meadows. I live in New Mexico, and am especially interested in Martin Camp Dutch ovens. An old WWII Marine Corps buddy of mine, and I used these Dutch ovens for cooking outdoors in Carlsbad, New Mexico for many years before he passed. Anyway, long story short; I am hooked on these Dutch ovens; and would be interested to learn more from you about them. I have called the Shooting Stars place several times; but have not been able to connect with anyone. I don’t mind that he doesn’t ship; I have never been to that part of Alabama anyway. I would like to find a Martin 7 inch Camp Dutch oven to purchase sometime. Other than that; I have an 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16. Recently bought an 11 inch Dutch oven, and a 9 inch “Dutch oven” style spider skillet. My email is mrosacker@gmail.com

    I fell out of using my Dutch ovens for a while; but am now getting back into it.

    Please touch base with me when you can. Especially if you, or someone else knows where I can purchase one of those Martin 7 inch Camp Dutch ovens (with the ash lip lid, and legs). Many thanks!

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