In nine out of ten kitchens, when there is any cooking to be done the range is made red hot; when the cooking is done, the fire is left to go down to ashes, and is then raised by means of a wasteful pile of kindling wood. When no cooking is going on, and a large fire is not needed, the dampers will frequently be left open, and the fuel allowed to blaze itself out up the chimney instead of being kept in reserve for actual service.
The general principle of construction upon which American kitchen stoves and ranges is based, renders them either very economical, or very much otherwise, according to the way they are managed. After the fire is first built in an ordinary stove, or range, the dampers ought all to be closed up and not opened again during the day, except while broiling, or something of that sort. If the grate is kept clear, and the fire replenished with a small quantity of coal, before it begins to get low, both the oven, and the top of the range will be kept sufficiently hot for any kind of cooking, and it will be done all the better for being done somewhat more slowly, than is customary.
The Good Time Stove Co are a great resource for antique stoves. This is from their website, “For 30 years, we have provided fully restored and functional heating stoves and kitchen ranges to museums and living farms; historic homes and period kitchens; bed & breakfasts, libraries, workshops, and great rooms across the nation.”