Old Treasury was a very cold place to live, and so the wood fuelled stove always burned, heating the oven for baking and the hot water fountain for washing. Mother was meticulous in her cleaning. She scalded cups with hot water before use, for fear of common yet serious diseases – diphtheria, scarlet fever, tuberculosis and influenza. The 1920’s saw the introduction of gas and electric stoves. Eventually, they replaced the cast iron wood fuelled stoves. The cast iron stoves were difficult to use. Fires had to be set, lit and maintained using wood, coal or coke. Cleaning the stove was an even harder job, requiring determination and strong wrists. Firstly, the ash had to be removed. Then the stove was scrubbed with lemon juice on balls of newspaper and emery cloths. The job was finished with a coat of black lead moistened with household ammonia or vinegar.


Kitchen Juggernauts

In the 1920s the cast-iron juggernauts such as the LUX Patent Cooking Stove still dominated the kitchen they were now in competition with the newly arrived gas and electric cookers. These wood stoves came with a built in plate warmer, fluebrush lifter, raker, baking tin and firebox. Keeping a wood-stove clean was a monumental task involving daily vigilance, lemon juice, old newspaper, emery clothes, black lead, ammonia and lots of elbow grease.