Old is new again
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They light up a place

Old is new again
A meticulously restored 1950s O’Keefe & Merritt, among the most sought-after vintage brands. The stoves have a retro style and, some cooks say, provide a steadier heat than today’s models. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Heart of the home
John and Deborah Jakubek of Newport Beach built their kitchen around a restored O’Keefe & Merritt stove. Says Deborah, “I grew up with a 1950s O’Keefe & Merritt. … It was the stove my mother taught me to cook on.” (Lori Shepler / LAT)
Still ticking
The clock and dials have been restored on this Western-Holly stove. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
A restored O’Keefe & Merritt with a clock, cooking chart and salt and pepper shakers. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
Gaffers & Sattler
Futuristic 1950s design notes and an abundance of chrome made these stoves particularly eye-catching. Some models had trapezoid oven windows, fluorescent lighting on the backsplash, numerous control lights and a concealed extra burner (on “Automatic: models). ()
The unmistakable signature feature of this brand was its round oven window that looked like a ship porthole. These stoves, made in Culver City, also had a unique removable rack system that allowed for more oven space when needed - like for a turkey on Thanksgiving Day. ()
Produced in the Bay Area, these stoves did not have as many showy features as some competitors, but they have proved themselves to be highly durable and dependable. Advertisements touted Keep-Warm burners that wereturned low enough to maintain food at an ideal serving temperature. ()
O’Keefe & Merritt
At one time the largest producer of stoves on the West Coast, this hugely popular brand was known for its “scientific design” that included an adjustable Grillevator broiler, a Kool Kontrol Panel that tilted knobs up toward the user and a Vanishing Shelf for additional work space. ()
It only looks old
Elmira Stove Works offers new, modern refrigerators in its Northstar line that harken back to the Eisenhower era. But these fridges have no-frost freezers. (Elmira Stove Works)
Old stoves often languish in salvage yards or are abandoned on curbsides before they get the high-gloss treatment. Restorer Stevan Thomas of San Bernardino keeps his works in progress in several garages. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
Piece of art
Landlord Philip Atwell installs 1950s stoves in his apartments such as this renovated O’Keefe & Merritt in a Hancock Park unit. The old stoves, he says, are as reliable as they are handsome. (Iris Schneider / LAT)