Thread Number: 55441
Signature Menu Magic Range - Strange Corning Top
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Post# 778451   8/21/2014 at 11:46 (2,224 days old) by tennblondie78 (Bowling Green, KY)        

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This is a strange one to me. It's a Corning top, but it has those metal dividers like the top is 4 separate pieces...

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Post# 778458 , Reply# 1   8/21/2014 at 13:07 (2,224 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        
Worning! Worning! Danger Will Robinson!

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Leave it to Wards to market something like that.

Post# 778477 , Reply# 2   8/21/2014 at 14:51 (2,224 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        
It Was As If....

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Wards was under some sort of Federal mandate not to do anything the way anyone else did it.

Post# 778498 , Reply# 3   8/21/2014 at 17:03 (2,224 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Fairfield, CA)        

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I've seen the actual Corning brand ranges have this top. It is a cool look as long as it's kept clean.


Post# 778552 , Reply# 4   8/21/2014 at 21:24 (2,224 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

This was sourced from Tappan.

Post# 778558 , Reply# 5   8/21/2014 at 21:41 (2,224 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
A range made for those who don't cook.

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Yes, Tappan made this.  Fit seamlessly with the Wards plan-for-failure, I'm sure.   I'll bet it wasn't long before it earned the moniker "Menu Tragic".


My best friend's mother had one of these.  What a miserable POS this range was.  The oven was OK but that cook-top was something out of one of Tolkien's  nightmares.   Slow, impossible to keep or get clean and did I mention slow?  Ugh.  


Everyone hated that Tappan and rejoiced when it was finally dragged out of the house and put out of their misery.  

Post# 778567 , Reply# 6   8/21/2014 at 21:54 (2,223 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

I wonder what the purpose was?  If you dropped a pan and cracked the top, would you have been able to buy just the broken 1/4 section? 

Post# 778568 , Reply# 7   8/21/2014 at 21:58 (2,223 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Oh yes, the pieces of the cooktop were available individually but hopefully the breakage would have happened early in the range's lifespan when parts and labor would have been less expensive.  The lady I knew with one checked into new glass but they were as much if not more than a new MOL range in the early 80's.

Post# 778575 , Reply# 8   8/21/2014 at 22:21 (2,223 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Thanks Greg,  I remember them from MW wish books.  I never encountered one in the wild.  alr

Post# 778608 , Reply# 9   8/22/2014 at 07:05 (2,223 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Four Piece Smooth Top Range

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Wards had little or nothing to do with designing this range, this is the way Tappan designed and built its first ST ranges. The idea was to keep replacement costs down if you damaged one area of the cook-top. These Tappan built ranges did not use Corning Glass for the CT surface but rather a similar glass surface from Pittsburgh Plate Glass, or PPG. The PPG CTs did not have the really smooth surface that the CG tops had, they had a very fine textured grain on the surface. And of coerce only Corning smooth top CTs had a thromostat for every surface element, this is another case of the first being by far the best ST CT, much like when Bendix introduced the Combination Washer-Dryer.

John L.

Post# 778610 , Reply# 10   8/22/2014 at 07:15 (2,223 days old) by tennblondie78 (Bowling Green, KY)        

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"Menu Tragic..." I'm still laughing at that one!

Post# 778690 , Reply# 11   8/22/2014 at 13:37 (2,223 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Fairfield, CA)        
Thank you, John!

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I love learning something new!


Post# 778882 , Reply# 12   8/23/2014 at 09:26 (2,222 days old) by A440 ()        

Freaky Looking!
Ugly Stove but cute washer design!
All I see is washer with unique corning top.

Post# 781013 , Reply# 13   9/2/2014 at 22:28 (2,211 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Century Two and the Road of Good Intentions

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Montgomery Ward is to Sears as your first significant other is to your spouse: Their heart was generally in the right place, but there's a reason you ultimately dumped them.

I always found lots of neat ideas in Wards merchandise, but not always with the reliability wherewithal to back it up. Or, one clever feature compromised another that should have been a staple requirement of the device.

As for vintage smooth-top ranges, with the exception of the true Corning units with Frigidaire ovens, splitting hairs between one and another is like casting aspersions at one turd while announcing that a different turd has a more pleasing texture. Everyone I recall who had a smooth-top range growing up had something from Wards or Sears, and hated either with a passion. Usually one well-placed frying pan dropped from altitude was the liberating event from a lifetime of slow-heating, tough-cleaning, pan-pissy drudgery.

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Post# 781015 , Reply# 14   9/2/2014 at 22:36 (2,211 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Nate,  LOL.

Post# 781089 , Reply# 15   9/3/2014 at 08:48 (2,211 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Early Smooth-Top Ranges

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Yes the Corning-ware range tops were by far the best, but the biggest problem with the early ST CTs was the lack of decent pans to use with them. Until SS pans with triple ply bonded bottoms that will not warp when heated became popular it was very difficult to get full performance out of ANY electric-top. And yes I have never thought it a great idea to make anything that gets this hot out of white material.

All that considered I would still rather cook on an early white ST CT and day compared to cooking on gas, these early tops are still easier to clean and more predictable in heat output than a gas top.

John L.

Post# 863911 , Reply# 16   1/24/2016 at 21:21 (1,702 days old) by trb10 ()        

I apologize for dragging up a year and half old thread here, but it seemed the most relevant to a question I have.
I'm a Corning collector, and recently came across a piece I thought was a "Counter Saver" - a flat piece of Corning Ware glass used to set hot pots on. It has a pattern I've never seen and the dimensions are off for any known sizes. So I thought it may have had something to do with Corning's "Counter that Cooks" - they use the same flat material in the stove top; or one of the Electromatic burners. But again, the size doesn't match up.
In looking for the pattern, I came across the Tappan pictured above.
If those panels are about 17x13 inches, I know where this one came from.

Also, just for curiosity's sake, has anyone here ever seen this pattern on a stove top before? Any idea on years in production.


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Post# 863945 , Reply# 17   1/25/2016 at 06:36 (1,702 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Very Cool Piece Of Corning Glass

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It could have been for some type of cooking-warming appliance, the pattern looks a little large fot it to be part of a Tappan cook-top.


I am also a Corning ware collector and have at 1000 pieces including many that are related to their use with major appliances.


Living here in the central east coast area I am within a hundred miles of three former factories that made CW and all sorts of cool thing have shown up at estate sales etc many of which never made to market including the holiday-Christmas items that were given to factory employees every year.


Tom get in touch with me if you want to compare notes, John L.

Post# 863971 , Reply# 18   1/25/2016 at 09:49 (1,702 days old) by trb10 ()        

Thanks John. I just realized there was a better place for this question so I reposted it, I'll finish my response there - just to keep everything in one place.

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