From Cincinnati in the 1850s to the British canal boat cabin & gypsy caravan:
the Odyssey of the "Queen Anne" or "Queenie" Stove
|Modern reproduction "Queenie" stove, seen in an antique shop in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, October 2009.|
This post had its origins a couple of years ago, in correspondence with a British enthusiast, John Handley, who was interested in finding out who designed something which has become a standard feature of "traditional" (i.e. modern and recreated. but in a style that has become traditional) bowtop gypsy caravans and narrow boats in the United Kingdom. He knew that the answer was American, the question was simply which of the hundreds of American stove designers active in the mid-19th century had made it.
I was able to answer quite quickly. What became known in the U.K., for reasons I cannot fathom (i.e. why give it this particular name?) as the "Queen Anne" stove was the work of two Cincinnati, Ohio residents, Conrad Harris and Paul William Zoiner, in 1854. They called it a "Dining-Room Stove," made for burning anthracite and with a removable decorated top that hid two boiler-holes. It was made for a particular purpose, as the name suggests: heating a dining room (or parlour) and also being able to do limited stove-top cooking -- keeping dishes warm, boiling a kettle, that sort of thing. There were two sliding doors above the open grate, for fuelling the fire, and a detachable "blower plate" to cover the grate, used when getting the fire going and also for slowing down combustion to keep it burning longer and more economically. As theirs was a design patent it went into no detail about the stove's function or mechanical construction: there was no patentable novelty in these respects, their intellectual property was just "the figures, scrolls, and mouldings as set forth in the annexed drawings." Harris and Zoiner had been inventing and designing stoves together since 1851. Harris had been in the business as junior partner with a different man, Joseph G. Lamb, since 1849, while Zoiner, b. 1803 in Germany, was an experienced brassfounder who had recently moved from New York.
Their design was on sale even before they secured their patent, advertised in the 1853 Cincinnati Business Directory What this probably means is that the success of this pattern in the hands of their first customer persuaded them to go to the small trouble and expense of patenting it to defend themselves against imitation and give them an intellectual property right that they could also sell to other makers.
Harris & Zoiner must have sold ("assigned") the right to use their design to other makers, because it appeared in the catalogue of two new entrants to the stove business, Lucius Filley (of Troy, NY, the manufacturer) and his cousin Lucius Newberry (of Chicago, the base for their stoves' distribution in the midwest) in 1856, as the "Magic Franklin," available in three sizes. Their illustration clearly showed Harris and Zoiner's names on the hearthplate rather than their own, but this is probably because engravings were expensive and they would have acquired the right to use them for advertising purposes along with the patterns. This image and the one used by Tunnicliff (evidently just a different, smaller version, with less detail and definition) are useful because of the way they show the blower plate open, lowered onto the hearth.
The Magic Franklin remained in Filley's Green Island Stove Works catalogues until at least 1867 and perhaps later, but after that its trail in America goes cold.