Cast with Style: Nineteenth-Century Cast-Iron Stoves from Albany and Troy

January 26–May 25, 2008

The Albany Institute is nationally known for its collection of nineteenth-century cast-iron stoves. This exhibition includes thirty-five stoves cast in Albany, Troy, and Schenectady, including ten stoves recently donated by collector and renowned architect John I. Mesick. The exhibition is enhanced by a selection of prints, drawings, photographs, stove catalogs, and advertising materials.

During the nineteenth century, manufacturers in Albany and Troy, New York, were considered to be among the largest producers of cast-iron stoves in the world. Stoves made in these two upstate New York cities were renowned for their fine quality and innovative technology and design. The location of Albany and Troy, New York—situated nine miles apart on opposite banks of the Hudson River—afforded easy and inexpensive transportation of raw materials to foundries and of finished stoves to worldwide markets.

Cast-iron stove making reached its highest artistic level with the cupola furnace, which permitted more elaborate designs and finer quality castings. Stove designers borrowed freely from architectural and cabinetmakers’ design books, a process that resulted in the use of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Rococo revival motifs and patriotic symbols. Franklin, box, dumb, base-burner, parlor, and cook stoves were all made in the region.

 Support for this exhibition has been provided by the estate of Richard J. Salisbury.