County Life, Cultural Objects

Salesman Sample Cookstove

Maker/Creator: Phillips & Buttorff Corporation

Cast iron and nickel

  • Width: 13 inches
  • Depth: 15 inches
  • Height of stove: 19 inches
  • Height with stovepipe:

This “Four-Hole Wood Stove” is a salesman’s model manufactured by the Phillips & Buttorff Corporation of Nashville, Tennessee. Built for use by drummers (salesmen traveling farm to farm with wares for their customers), the stove has four removable hole covers, working doors, and a swing coffee pot shelf attached to the back corner. A pot, griddle, and skillet are scaled to fit the stove. The bottom shelf of the stove has letteringĀ  with “Model Enterprise.” Decorative flourishes on the front door and legs add to its appeal. A length of stovepipe with an elbow helps shoppers visualize how a full-sized Enterprise stove might look in their kitchens.

cookstove, scale model stove, huckster, sales model

Country stores lacked the space and financial resources to maintain floor models of large household items. Merchants kept catalogs and could order these items for their customers. Prior to World War II, many Floyd County families also depended upon drummers who ran regular routes buying farm products (butter, animal pelts, and chinquapins), taking orders for items from town, and carrying a limited selection of high-demand goods in their trucks for immediate purchase. This stove model was small enough it could be displayed in a store or hauled out to the farms for the consideration of discriminating shoppers.