Birmingham Stove & Range Company

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The Birmingham Stove & Range Company was a manufacturer which produced cast iron wood stoves and cookware in Birmingham from 1902 to 1993.

The business was founded in 1902 as the Alabama Manufacturing Company with Samuel Jones as president. He built the foundry in North Birmingham to produce hollow cookware for the Atlanta Stove Company of Atlanta, Georgia. Jones originally leased 80 convicts from the State of Alabama as laborers. The firm acquired a number of foundry patterns from a failed business in 1909 and was reorganized as the Birmingham Stove & Range Company with B. Harry Hartsfield as vice-president and general manager and S. T. Price as secretary/treasurer.

The foundry was damaged by fire in 1915 and reopened on a new site on Huntsville Road at 27th Avenue North in Collegeville. Samuel Jones died in 1930 and was succeeded as president by his brother, Bolling Jones Sr. In 1933 Samuel Jones' son, Bolling Jones Jr took over as president of both the Birmingham Stove & Range Company and the Atlanta Stove Works, then wholly owned by a holding company, Republic Stove.

Under new financial laws in 1938 the company was restructured under the name of the Atlanta Stove Works Inc. (doing business as the Birmingham Stove & Range Company). The Atlanta foundry closed in 1957 and manufacturing of both lines was consolidated at the Birmingham plant. Output was increased greatly with the debut of "DISAMATIC" mould-making machines in 1966 and sales took off with the introduction of a divided "corn bread skillet" in 1967.

Saunders Jones II succeeded his father as president in 1973. He led the creation of the A & B Parts Division which manufactured replacement parts for ASW and BS&R products. Oscar Wisely, head of the Wisely Group, purchased controlling interest in the company in 1984, installing himself as president and demoting Saunders Jones II to vice-president. Two years later he sold the company's gas heater, wood and coal stove patterns and jigs to Martin Industries while keeping the cookware manufacturing business operating in Birmingham as the A & B Foundry.

In 1991 the foundry closed and licensed its cookware lines to Robinson Iron and contracted with Lodge Cast Iron to distribute its products. The arrangement with Robinson Iron was short-lived, and A & B eventually sold its remaining patterns to Lodge, including the popular "Sportsman Grill" and corn bread skillet.

On January 6, 1993 the firm filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and sold its "Sportsman Grill" design to Lodge Cast Iron. Its articles of incorporation were revoked in 1995. The foundry site was sold to KMAC Services in 1996 and currently operates as Evolutia, which markets salvaged and recycled building products.

Products

  • "Red Mountain" brand cookware
  • "Century" brand cookware
  • "Madam Queen" cookstoves
  • "Big Boy" cookstoves
  • "Sportsman" outdoor grilles

References

  • Saporta, Maria (January 2, 1987) "Atlanta Stove Works closes operations here." Atlanta Constitution
  • Henson, Dwayne, Tom Penkava, et al (June 29, 2015) "A Timeline of Birmingham Stove and Range" Wagner & Griswold Society Forums / BS&R Cast Iron Cooking and More, republished at modemac.com - accessed January 9, 2017
  • "Forgotten Foundry: Birmingham Stove & Range" (2015) Southern Cast Iron magazine