Ten Plate Stove
DATE: The ten-plate stove is attributed to the Redwell Furnace, located near present-day Luray, Virginia, durings its ownership by Benjamin Blackford (1767-1855). Blackford had acquired the furnace by 1812 and named it after his wife, Isabella Arthur (1765-1837). The Blackford family bible documents “Mrs. Isabella Blackford, wife of B. Blackford departed this life January 24, 1837 at Isabella Furnace.”
The 1820 Manufacturer’s Census for Shenandoah County, Virginia, lists “A Blast Furnace called Isabella on Hawksbill Creek…making use of 2700 Tons of Ore, 216,000 bushels of charcoal and 140 tons of limestone, at an annual cost of $12,600, employing 92 men, 45 women, and 25 boys and girls, with use of a water wheel and 2 bellows for blowing the furnace.” It noted that, “the establishment as to its buildings & conveniences is not inferior to any in the United States and will make the present year 300 Tons of Castings of different kinds & about 250 Tons Pig Metal.”
DESIGN: The “Battle of Lake Erie” scene is related strongly to the same scene in compositon work occuring in interior architecture in Philadelphia and Baltimore, associated with Robert Wellford, a compositon and ornament manufacturer of Philadelphia, ca. 1801-1839. The scene occurs on the mantel of a room in Winterthur from the Peter Breen house of Philadelphia, which was built by Wellford for himself.