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.

18 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!

  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!

  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!

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