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.

32 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.

      • Sue , Carl From Goldsboro Pa. I recently acquired a Martin Wood and Coal Stove, Dated 1923 (?) the number on the plaque is M-15, I am looking for some help with this stove. it heats my 2 story farm house . MY issue is one of the shaker grates burned through and i am searching for a replacement. It was heard for Pea Coal and some one used Nut Coal and got the Stove to HOT! I tried to weld the cast grate however it did not hold and trying to find a foundry to recast the grate is useless. the foundries That were in operation in NorthEastern Pa have all closed within the last 15 yrs. ANY Help would be greatly appreciated. I am burning Wood in the Stove and have fashioned a Grate of sorts from a Cement / Rock Rake to hold the wood, but the draft is to mush and instead of burning 3 cords of wood for winter i went through 4-5 last year. Any Help in finding parts would be great! This is a Great Stove oh and where can i get MICA to replace the one in the door. I do have a small hole in it. Would Anthony be able to help ??

  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!

  5. I have a king 632a with martin stove and range co stamped on the back, I think it’s the same model as the one mentioned above. I picked it up at an estate sale about 2 months ago. If interested please email jrc9565@gmail.com, I’m willing to sell if I receive a reasonable offer! buyer would need to cover shipping! Pics available via email request.

  6. I have a perfection model 4 eye wood burning stove no 8-16. On the back it has martin stove & range co florence ALA in protruding numbers. It has a oven with access doors on both sides. Looking for manufactured year. I have looked everywhere can anyone help please!

    • I also have the same stove and would like to get more information on it. I would love to restore it as it has sentimental value.

  7. I have a martin Stove stamped with No. 816 on top By the vent pipe…CR-7-15-816 on the legs. Information is pretty impossible to come by for stoves they produced!!!!

  8. I have searched for years of a 5″ dutch oven foged in 1962. In had Shiloh 100th anniversary printed on the top. Pretty sure in was made by Martin. Do you know any info on this please, thank you

    • We’re sorry Steve, but we don’t have any information on that Dutch oven. Have you checked in with any cast iron collectors? They are great resources for this sort of question.

  9. I have a Martin #3 skillet, similar to the one shown in the next-to-the-last picture, above. However, the hamburger logo is upside-down in comparison to the one shown. That is to say, if the skillet is hung on a nail by the handle, the logo is upside down.
    Was this common in the Martin castings?

  10. I have allways used my 10″ cast iron skillet more than any other pan in my cupboard. I just recently started seeing articles about them on u-tube and got snake bit. I have googled many sites and decided i want to start collecting. I allready had a 12″ lodge, 12″ dutch oven and an oval 20″ with 5″ high sides and a lid. In the last 2 days at estate/garage sales i bought a 3 leg #7 kettle with gate marks, martin r & s and wagner 8″ skillets
    8″ skillet and a wagner 8 ” skillet for less than $10.00 total. Is it this easy or beginers luck? All are solid and only the 3 leg pot has very minor rust.

    • It sounds like you got quite the deal! Estate sales are great places to get good prices on cast iron, with antiques shops and swap meets also being good options. Pricing is always going to depend on the rarity of the piece and the knowledge of the seller. We always recommend doing a little online research on a pan before purchasing to see what it’s worth so you won’t overpay, and you’ll be able to tell if you’re getting a good deal.

  11. I’m trying to find out anything about an old iron clock face that was made at The Foundry Of The Shoals, INC stamped on the face. On the back of it is stamped 1998 with the letters L.O.B.? Can anyone help me with this?

    • We’re so sorry, but we don’t have any information on that piece or maker. There are many cast iron enthusiast groups on Facebook who may be able to help direct you!

  12. Does anyone have any information about the Martin Stove and Range Cast Iron Mold for making 11 bread sticks? Mold does NOT have “Hamburger Logo” but clearly labeled Martin Stove and Range. Florence Alabama. Thank You for any replies.

  13. Still looking for a 7 inch Martin Camp Dutch Oven.

    Does anyone know if they ever existed? I saw a 7 inch Martin Dutch Oven or Spider Skillet lid one time, in a second hand store, about 40 years ago. And have kicked myself ever since for not buying it. That is the only time I have ever seen a Martin 7 in “Camping” configuration. Regarding these outdoor “Camp Oven” styles; I can state my belief that Martin did make an 8 inch, 9 inch, 10 inch, 11, inch, 12 inch, 13 inch, 14 inch, and 16 inch. Fairly recently saw a 13 inch Martin lid on line (already sold; I won’t make that mistake a second time). But again; I don’t know if it came off of a Dutch oven or Spider Skillet. I am guessing that they may have made both, since the lids are interchangeable for the other sizes. If anyone can provide information, or even know where I might find a 7 inch Martin Camp Dutch Oven; my email address is mrosacker6@gmail.com.

    Many thanks!

  14. Carl From Goldsboro Pa. I recently acquired a Martin Wood and Coal Stove, Dated 1923. the number on the plaque is M-15, I too am looking for some help with this stove. it heats my 2 story farm house . MY issue is one of the shaker grates burned through and i am searching for a replacement. It was supposed to burn Pea Coal i believe and some one used Nut Coal and got the Stove to HOT or banked to wrong for over night! I tried to weld the cast grate however it did not hold and trying to find a foundry to recast the grate is useless. the foundries That were in operation in NorthEastern Pa have all closed within the last 15 yrs. ANY Help would be greatly appreciated. I am burning Wood in the Stove and have fashioned a Grate of sorts from a Cement / Rock Rake to hold the wood, but the draft is to mush and instead of burning 3 cords of wood for winter i went through 4-5 last year. Any Help in finding parts would be great! This is a Great Stove oh and where can i get MICA to replace the one in the door. I do have a small hole in it. My Email wlfraven@ptd.net any help is greatly appreciated.

  15. I bought a Martin Brothers King wood and coal burning stove it has the King crown logo on the front door. It’s a model #624 to answer some questions from above we have found info that the King logo was removed from the front in the 1917 time frame. Because in 1918 the 2 companies actually split and the King stove side actually went away.

  16. I have a martin stove range marked 8-18a on the top and perfection on the door. What is a fair asking price for one as such ?

    • Hi Amy, we’d advise you to check out some of the cast iron groups on Facebook. Their members are much more familiar with individual pieces than we are. Martin Stove, Favorite, and CHF Cast Iron Collectors Forum and Cast Iron Cookware Identification are just two of the many groups that could help you.

  17. Hi, this response is from Monzella Estes.

    My father, Bob Tomlinson III, owned And operated The Foundry of the Shoals which was a spin-off of Martin Industries (aka. Martin Stove and Range, bought from the Kings at the turn of the 20th Century). The clock that was made in 1998 was a gift to clients at Christmas and meant to be reminiscent of older cast iron clocks. He also fashioned a doorstop, bookends, etc during the 12 Christmases that the company was in existence before his death.

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