Thread Number: 69410  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Video tour of 1963 Westinghouse Terrace Top
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Post# 922821   2/21/2017 at 08:39 (483 days old) by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

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I've had a lot of requests to showcase some of the vintage appliances we use on CoF so I'm trying to do "appliance tours" within the cooking videos when I can. For small appliances, mixers, blenders, etc., we can tour those in a couple of minutes, but for something like a range it really needed an episode of its own. Many have asked about the Terrace Top range we have in our Detroit kitchen, so here's a tour of this wonderful appliance!

Post# 922875 , Reply# 1   2/21/2017 at 14:44 (482 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Love it Kevin.

Post# 922877 , Reply# 2   2/21/2017 at 14:52 (482 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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Thanks for the exploration of this stove, Kevin. It's a neat design!

Is the indicator light for the oven combined with the top right surface unit? What if you're using them at the same time?

Post# 922886 , Reply# 3   2/21/2017 at 16:03 (482 days old) by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

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No the indicator light for the oven is on it's own. It only comes on when the oven is heating. The other indicator light is for the surface units and it comes on whenever any of the four burners are on.

Post# 922893 , Reply# 4   2/21/2017 at 16:34 (482 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Awesome, Kevin! Thanks for the video of this very interesting range.

Post# 922897 , Reply# 5   2/21/2017 at 17:03 (482 days old) by philcoford (Maryland)        

Thanks Kevin and Ralph, great video as always, I remember one of those in our neighborhood which was built in early 60's, but to see yours just gleaming and being used is just awesome. If memory serves you have another Westinghouse range in tradional style with the same cool knobs but along the back.

Post# 922955 , Reply# 6   2/21/2017 at 21:47 (482 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
What gracious, easy living

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Love the tour, thank you!

Post# 922994 , Reply# 7   2/21/2017 at 23:11 (482 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I'm so envious Kevin, that beautiful Westinghouse Terrace Top range is the bomb. I would love to find one for our kitchen. I always enjoy your videos so much, and the hand that Ralph and your sister have in the making of them. Thanks much for sharing your beautiful stoves with us.

Post# 923014 , Reply# 8   2/22/2017 at 03:49 (482 days old) by gorenje (Slovenia)        
Hi Kevin,

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Thanks for the video.

This really is a range with a very special design. Cool!

BTW, I have always been intrigued by the hobs with the particular "spirals".
It is something I see only in America. I guess it is possible to remove it and clean underneath.


Post# 923038 , Reply# 9   2/22/2017 at 07:50 (482 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Yes Ingemar,

they are called plug-out elements. You lift up, un plug with a tug, then lift out the chrome reflector dish to clean.
Later ranges have lift up tops to clean underneath as well.
When Frigidaire was a General Motors concern, their elements were double wide, and more even heating, and cookware didn't rock about as easily on them.
Today the calrod or coil elements are found on budget priced ranges, and under glass radiant ribbon elements on the up level ones.
In the 80's a few makers offered solid disk European style burners. Jenn-Air for one.

Post# 923042 , Reply# 10   2/22/2017 at 07:54 (482 days old) by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

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Thanks, Ingmar.

The burners of the stove pull out, and then there is a "drip pan" underneath, which I normally have covered with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning). When things boil over or spill, it makes it very easy to clean. Some of my older stoves doing have burners that come out completely, but they lift up instead so you can get to the drip pans underneath. Glad you liked the video.

Post# 923269 , Reply# 11   2/22/2017 at 23:49 (481 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        

Ralph commented about the durability. no range will last if care and attention are not exercised during use. Pots and pans need to be placed on the burners with care. Kevin, it shows you are a careful and attentive cook to keep your kitchen looking new.

Post# 923271 , Reply# 12   2/23/2017 at 01:14 (481 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Great video guys.  Electrical outlets are still available on most new stoves in Canada but they seem to be slowly dwindling.  I use mine a lot on the left side because our house being older 50's built doesn't have enough like newer builds do these days. 

Post# 923280 , Reply# 13   2/23/2017 at 04:56 (481 days old) by gorenje (Slovenia)        

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Thank you Mike and Kevin for the explanation.

Mike, yes right, I had in mind the solid disks. Those were once in use in Europe for electric ranges or for the combined electric & gas ranges.

Kevin, the aluminium foil is for sure a good habit to keep it clean and to prolong the durability of the range.

Post# 923291 , Reply# 14   2/23/2017 at 07:08 (481 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Wonderful video and a beauty of a range.


Electric ranges (or cookers) were sold in the UK too.

Post# 923294 , Reply# 15   2/23/2017 at 07:16 (481 days old) by beekeyknee (Columbia, MO)        

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Thank you for explaining the features of the Westinghouse Terrace Top range. Very interesting. Just out of curiosity, how many ranges to you have in your collection? Do you have other appliances in your collection? That's probably a stupid question.

Kevin and Ralph, I enjoy and look forward to Cavalcade of Food. The dishes you prepare look delicious and I'm sure they are. We need Taste-a-Tube. LOL. Thanks for all of your recipes over the years.

Greg, Kevin or anyone that knows. Was "Gracious, Easy Living" a catchphrase for Westinghouse?


P.S. I may regret this, but let's start a Catchphrase thread from old advertisements. If it's already been done, then someone say so and we'll forget it. I'll start it and if it's been done or there's no interest, then let it fade away.

Post# 923371 , Reply# 16   2/23/2017 at 13:27 (480 days old) by triumphdolomite (Staffs(UK))        

Having been watching your Cavalcade of Food episodes for a while now I've been looking forward to an in depth look at your Terrace Top. It's a great looking cooker and I'm looking forward to your next stove swap at the cottage.

In the UK through the 1960s and 70s radiant rings were the most popular, although earlier cookers had solid hotplates as did lower budget cookers more recently. Over here I think Belling had the best idea with drip trays, there were two slide out trays under the hob which could be slid out as soon as the spill occurred and wiped clean, as shown in the picture of my 1973 Belling Classic Double Extra. I got this two years ago, unused from new. It has a double oven with the main oven being fan assisted, If I remember correctly the was one of the earliest mainstream fan ovens available in the UK.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 923419 , Reply# 17   2/23/2017 at 16:06 (480 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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The solid burners were sort of  flash in the pan in Canada and I assume the states as well.  Here one day gone the next pretty much.  They didn't , at least to me, even look that attractive. Occasionally one will show up in the Habitat Restore and the plate itself often looks sort of messy from burned on stains. 

Post# 923422 , Reply# 18   2/23/2017 at 16:17 (480 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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There used to be a sort of black polish for solid burners. But there were also special lids for solid burners. Actually you can still buy them.

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Post# 923433 , Reply# 19   2/23/2017 at 17:18 (480 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        
For coil tops as well.

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Those covers have been around since, well before me I think, and they still are.  Usually you would see them for sale by those mail order companies like Gift Craft  or Regal.  

Post# 923435 , Reply# 20   2/23/2017 at 17:27 (480 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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You can still buy those kind of burner covers at Walmart and Target. I've had a couple of sets over the years, but I finally gave up on them beacause I would eventually turn the wrong burner on, and with the cover on it doesn't take long for it to be ruined by the heat. If you can pay better attention than I they do help keep the stove cleaner. I always opted for the Stainless Steel covers and they looked pretty nice until I fried them.

Post# 923487 , Reply# 21   2/23/2017 at 21:30 (480 days old) by crevicetool (Snellville Ga.)        
Wonderful video as usual Kevin and Ralph...

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Your Cavalcade of Food videos are just great you guys.....luv 'em.

"The convenience outlet"....

I can't find the source for this right now, as my research material is in disarray, however - When electric ranges first hit the markets in the early 1900's they were charged a lower rate on the electric bill as cooking was considered a necessity whereas other appliances, radios, etc. even lighting was considered "luxury". Now, I don't know at all if a user had two meters on the side of the house, or how otherwise one was charged a lower "cooking" rate...but that's why the outlet was initially installed on ranges. Percolators, hot plates, toasters, anything that "cooked" could be plugged into the convenience outlet, as long as it was used for the cooking of food.

Electric companies hired swarms of "Rate Stealer" police officers, who were given the authority to break into your home unannounced to see if you were using that outlet for anything other than cooking. Plugging a vacuum cleaner in, for instance - was a fine plus a two year jail sentence.

Ok - I'm lying about the Rate Police, but that's the truth about the outlet. Later, I think the outlet really did become just a convenience outlet once no electric rate differences were realized throughout the home.

I don't know if an outlet on a gas range would be charged a different gas rate or not.......


Post# 923512 , Reply# 22   2/24/2017 at 03:42 (480 days old) by gorenje (Slovenia)        

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I really didn't know that also in UK were on sale electic ranges with "radiant rings" as the one used in the USA.

Very interesting! Thanks

Yes also here in Slovenia and previously in Yugoslavia electric ranges were very popular because the electricity isn't very expensive. But only with the solid hot plates.

And yes I remember also the covers for the burners :))

Now electricity is still the # 1 for cooking here, but almost only induction or highlight hobs...

... but I took a look online and apparently electic ranges with solid hot plates are still in production.

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Post# 923518 , Reply# 23   2/24/2017 at 04:39 (480 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Alright, I'll put my ignorance on display, and ask:

1) I was under the impression that Calrod-style burners were very common in Europe too, were they that rare?

2) Another thing I've never paid attention to, so never learned -- some of the solid plate burners have the "red dot" in the center, what does it mean?

3) People say the solid burners were slow to respond, I have always thought it was because the old construction was so low tech: the resistors were embedded in a thick ceramic spiral holder just like the very first electric burners (exposed nichrome wire) another ceramic and metal disk on top to insulate the user from the electricity -- have the solid burners built in the last 10 years, for example, gotten any faster? It would be easy to build a Calrod-style resistor, which is inherently electrically insulated and cover it with a metal disk, or some other even better technology. I guess I'm wondering if people got so used to the solid disk that they'd refuse anything that didn't store the heat as much, just like after decades of selling ketchup, when the industry *finally* found a way to produce a thick tomato sauce that doesn't have the "burnt" flavor, it wasn't popular because "it's not ketchup"?

Thanks in advance,
   -- Paulo.

Post# 923523 , Reply# 24   2/24/2017 at 06:15 (480 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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1. Calrod burners were common in the UK, not on the European mainland. All electric ranges I saw in my youth had solid burners. My mother's 1975 Siemens built in range had them too. That was the range I learned to cook on.

2. The burners with a red dot are the fast burners (Schnellkochplatte in German). They had more power than the normal burners of the same size. A small normal burner would for instance have 1000 Watts, the fast burner 1500 Watts. Larger burners were 1500 vs 2000 Watts. There are also burners with a silver center, those are the burners with heatminder.

3. My mother was used to the slow response of the solid burners. I have often turned on a burner for her while she was still peeling potatoes. She also knew when to shut off the burner and use the residual heat. When she moved to an apartment, it came with a gas cooktop. She had difficulties adjusting to it. She found it too fast.

I don't know if the newer burners are faster, haven't used one of those. Perhaps they are a bit thinner. I do know that the burners on the Siemens range heated up quicker than the burners made just after WWII.

Post# 923524 , Reply# 25   2/24/2017 at 06:22 (480 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        

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The spiral burners at one time were very popular, and even universal at one time in the UK, I do not believe they were very popular in mainland Europe at all.

They can be traced back to the 1930s or so, when there might have been a single "radiant" ring (as we called them) along with a solid plate, this was often an extra cost option, over having all solid plates.

Very often the broiler would be combined with a larger rectangular solid plate with the spiral element open at the bottom (for broil). A deflector plate was slid in to direct the heat upwards if you were not using the broiler - not very effective. I believe that this may have been the reason why the UK adopted the styling trend for have a compartment for the broiler above the main oven, which eventually was often equipped as a second, smaller oven. This continued after the solid plates had disappeared, and indeed you see that style now in your US ranges with a second, smaller oven above the larger.

Both the "Frigidaire style" (thick spiral) and "GE style" (thinner spiral) have been seen back in the 1950s, but by around 1963 the GE style became pretty much universal and the solid plates disappeared entirely. This carried on for about 20 years or so - with Simmerstats being added and dual control spirals so that for smaller pans only the inner spirals operated.

It was around 1983/84 that the trend particularly changed with the large scale import of European (particularly German) ovens and (separate) hobs which brought solid plates back to the UK. It seems to me that we can trace the start of decline of the UK cooker industry back to that time - although radiant rings continued in use for the next 15-20 years but their use very quickly declined, confined to freestanding ranges, and generally to satisfy a traditional, "replace what I have with what I know ", market.

The red dot usually indicates the burner will heat up faster. Some solid plates also had Simmerstats, how useful these were is debatable given the slowness of response - can you tell I hate them? LOL


Post# 923558 , Reply# 26   2/24/2017 at 09:57 (480 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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My great aunt Alice had a Westy Terrace Top that I remember very well.  That range was a real workhorse for her, and she loved it.  The "built-in" look is what really stands out in my memory.

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