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Stoves/Ovens on ships in the 1600s and Onward


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I have read a number of books about historical ships like the Santa Maria, Half Moon, Golden Hind, Mayflower etc. I've never read anything about cooking aboard ships of the 1600s and onward. As an example; the Mayflower had many settlers aboard. Did these settlers cook their meals aboard ship or did they eat "hardtack" and cold meals? If they cooked meals aboard ship, what was used to cook them and where were they located aboard ship?



Current Builds: Mayflower - 1:60; Golden Hind - 1:50

Past Builds: Marie Jeanne, Bluenose, Bluenose II, Oseberg, Roar Ege,

Waiting to Build: Swift


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Hello Allen,

Not a proper answer to your excellent question but perhaps this is worth a look:

Many plans of ships and other craft at the NMM show the location of the cooking area, and of course you can also spot the chimney in many museum models. Also, shipwreck archaeologists usually look closely for any evidence of a galley, usually indicated by bricks and distinctive ironwork so some of the reports posted here may help.






A model shipwright and an amateur historian are heads & tails of the same coin

current builds:

HMS Berwick 1775, 1/192 scratchbuild; a Slade 74 in the Navy Board style

Mediator sloop, 1/48 - an 18th century transport scratchbuild 

French longboat - CAF - 1/48, on hold

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Bruce. Thanks for the references. I'll check them out tomorrow. I spoke with a friend of mine who knows I'd rather read and turn pages than check on line but still told me to look it up on line. So I did and found an article entitled "A Meal Onboard Ship in the 16th Century." It seems to be a good answer. There are probably many more. 



Current Builds: Mayflower - 1:60; Golden Hind - 1:50

Past Builds: Marie Jeanne, Bluenose, Bluenose II, Oseberg, Roar Ege,

Waiting to Build: Swift


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Usually the cooking arrangements were situated forward. I presume that this was to have any smoke blow clear of the ship rather than make folk cough as it blew forward along the length of the decks! Earlier stoves were of brickwork. Due to the weight, they were placed low in the hull on the lower deck or even lower. Once comparatively lighter iron stoves came into use around or a little before 1700, the cooking area was moved to the upper deck.

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The (digital) archives of the Danish Naval yard in Copenhagen are full of detailed drawings for stoves and baking ovens from the 18th century onward. They became more and more sophisticated also with the view to make them fire-safe.



panta rhei - Everything is in flux



M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg
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The Wasa provides some answers. Her stove was essentially a brick lined wooden box. The archeological drawings:


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50525123216_c223556a67_b.jpg[url=https://flic.kr/p/2jYJsS5]0[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/165793220@N04/]Stephen Duffy[/url], on Flickr



[url=https://flic.kr/p/2jYKieb][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50525285912_538a1c1d36_h.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2jYKieb]0-1[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/165793220@N04/]Stephen Duffy[/url], on Flickr


Edit by MTaylor..  Sorry.. I tried to fiddle with the first one and no joy.   Best way is download the photo to your HDD and then use the image attachment (paperclip - lower left hand side).

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In our german forum we have a nice collection of fire hearths throughout the centuries. 🙂




Note: Registration needed to see the page



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On 10/24/2020 at 11:58 AM, uss frolick said:

They're not working, (again) and the normal, edit-post tab doesn't appear either ... drat.

Frolick,  I tried and for some reason failed on fixing it.  I left you a note in the post on what to try.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Well, the preview says it will work, so here's what happens when I hit 'submit reply'.









I do know, that I don't know, a whole lot more, than I do know.


Current Build: 1:16 Bounty Launch Scratch build.   1:16 Kitty -18 Foot Racing Sloop   1:50 Le Renard   HM Cutter Lapwing 1816  Lapwing Drawings

Completed....: 1:16 16' Cutter Scratch build.

Discussion....: Bounty Boats Facts




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Some are fancier than others.  Here is the firepit from gunboat PHILADELPHIA.



Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

Current Build:: Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans), Hanseatic Cog Wutender Hund, John Smith Shallop
Completed:  Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch, 1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)

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