The Cleveland Foundry Company was formed to manufacture oil lamp stoves. In 1894, the plant started producing portable heaters such as the one in our bathroom here in the museum.
John D. Rockefeller was selling kerosene to all the homes and businesses in the area and chose the Cleveland Foundry to design and manufacture a complete line of stoves to be sold under the name “Perfection” by Standard Oil Dealers.
The Perfection product line up was extremely important to the growth of American civilization. By 1918, over 5 million heaters were in use. By 1922, over 3 million Perfection kitchen stoves and ranges were in American households. Perfection also sold these stoves to Montgomery Wards for their catalog sales.
The model in our museum used the 331X wick as it is a complete kitchen range.
The “golden age” of the Perfection Stove company lasted from 1916 until the middle 1950s. Although FDR’s rural electrification program was announced in the late 1930s, it was not until well after WWII that electric power lines were finally strung throughout rural areas.
By the 1950s, the cost of electricity in cities had been reduced significantly combined with the post-war economic boom. This spelled the end of the easy, virtually automatic sales of kerosene stoves, ranges, hot water heaters and other appliances sold by the Perfection Stove Company.