Q: In 1950, on my fifth birthday, I was given an Empire toy stove. It was made by Metal Ware Corp. I still have the little stove and it is still working, 63 years later. If you could give me any information on it, I would appreciate it.
A: Metal Ware Corp. has been operating in Two Rivers, Wis., for more than 90 years. It has made steam engines, driving accessories, popcorn poppers, roasters, hotdog warmers and other electric cooking appliances. In 1921 Metal Ware Corp. bought patent rights to the Empire toy line from Hughes Electric Co. of Chicago and began to make toy stoves. The stoves worked and would probably horrify today’s safety-conscious parents. Your 1940s toy stove sells today for $10 to $35, depending on condition. Older Empire stoves from the 1920s and 1930s sell for more. The company still makes and imports small electrical appliances.