Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
Image shared courtesy of Carole & Larry Meeker.
Have you ever spotted one of these cast iron “trivets” and wondered about its origin and purpose? Well, it’s actually a piece from a stove pipe shelf!
A stove pipe connects the exhaust from a wood stove to the chimney. Most of today’s high efficiency wood stoves employ a 6″ stovepipe. But earlier cast iron wood stoves required an 8″ stovepipe to vent properly.
The stove pipe shelf is an ingenious invention, adding even more utility to the wood cook stove. With the stove fired up, the heat from the pipe transfers into the shelves, providing an ideal spot to warm foods or to dry mittens.
The cast iron stove pipe shelf consists of an adjustable band that fastens around an 8″ vertical stove pipe. Five trivet-like shelves, attached via socket and shank, surround the stove pipe. They can be locked horizontally or folded down parallel to the pipe.
Each shelf has two small feet on the reverse, visible on the model drawing as well as on the third Meeker image below. It’s notable that Joseph Kurtis never used the word trivet in his two page description; so from now on I’ll refer to these detachable shelves as trivet-like.
Here’s the Stove pipe shelf patent on Google. All three pages of the patent appear below in the Gallery.
The next three images are also shared courtesy of Carole & Larry Meeker. This complete antique 5 trivet folding stovepipe set has a patent date of May 8, 1883.
I’ve also seen a very nice modern reproduction of the cast iron stove pipe shelf signed TRIVETREE. The pattern on the shelves is different but it appears to function much as the 1883 version. The TRIVETREE fits a 6″ stove pipe.
Again, notice the two small feet on the reverse of each trivet which, along with the thick shank, allow it to be removed and placed on a flat surface for use as a trivet.
There’s limited documentation of the TRIVETREE available. I did find this archived comment in a January 2001 forum discussing stovepipe trivetrees.
“I saw an add for one in the Nov. 1979 issue of CS (Countryside & Small Stock Journal). Yes I know that was along time ago. It was sold by a company called Chelsea Stove Accessories out of Chelsea, Vermont. It is a clamp like thing that hooks to the pipe on a woodstove and forms a circle around it w/5 trivets that stand out from it or the trivets can be folded down. It says the uses include warming food or drying gloves.”
These two TRIVETREE images are shared courtesy of Connie Lilley.
Iron collector Jim Fuchs directed me to this 1983-1884 J. E. Shepard & Company Catalogue available courtesy of The Internet Archive. It includes 11 pages of information on stove pipe trivets as well as several images. What a wonderful resource!
Climax Stove Pipe Shelf with Patent No. 277,294 (in Gallery)