December 11, 2016

Regarding the project soon to be underway at her desk, Mrs. M. ————  is delighted to share with you a letter sent to her dear friend shortly after her visit to the Centennial Exposition in Chicago.

When I attended the World's Fair in Chicago, I had no idea that such wonderful and innovative things would be available for the public to see. As I was walking around, I saw an enormous object off in the distance... and as I got closer I discovered it to be the world's largest stove! I can safely say I have never seen the like anywhere else. This piqued my interest in the company that created it, as I was in desperate need of a new stove for my home. I feel as though the fates were in my favor when I came across a lovely earthenware German stove tile shortly after this. As I have been on the hunt for new acquisitions for my collection, this seemed to be an odd one out in that its date of origin was much earlier than my others. This tile was made in the sixteenth century according to the man I purchased it from, but I had to have it nevertheless. I have come across a number of these tiles on my journeys but none so simple as this one. As I was looking at it closely one day and trying to decide where to place it, I had an ingenious idea. I would make this orator (what better name for this figure?) into a panel on my new stove. This tile had once been a utilitarian object. Should it not be the same now? It deserves to be revived. The Michigan Stove Company had many motifs that were, by all means beautiful, but they did not suit my tastes. But I knew this orator would.

I am in the process of making some sketches to send to the Stove Company so that my humble orator may decorate my contemporary heating appliance, just as he did three centuries ago. I am hoping to send out these images to the company shortly and that they will be accommodating to my request. My mother was particularly close with the Dwyer family in Detroit so perhaps they will do me this small (or perhaps rather large) favor. I suppose I will find out. Preferably I would like him to decorate a front heating panel so that every one of my visitors will be able to admire him as I do. Perhaps when I am done working with the tile I can place it in a new vitrine I am having built.

There were a select number of stereocards of this stove and I knew I needed one for memory's sake. If I wouldn't have purchased one, I may have forgotten about this company. What would have become of my orator tile then?

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