It was in my husband's grandmothers house and although some relatives were ready to throw the thing away because it was so filthy, an uncle lifted the door knob and the side door popped open seamlessly.
Grandma wasn't a cook so for all those years it really hadn't been used much. It just needed a thorough cleaning. We've been using it since 1993.
It's now beginning to fail. The oven is burning everything and we suspect it's the thermostat. It cooks everything as if we have set the oven to 500 degrees. We've muddled through all the other issues - like the electrical system shorting out. The clock was buzzing constantly. The oven light popped and went out. However, we can't use the oven if we need to control the heat by leaving the door open! Sigh.
Been thinking about getting it restored but am terrified of the potential cost. On the plus side - replacing it with a stove of the same size might cost the same. It might be a no-brainer. We love this stove and it's had only 2 owners. Grandma and us!
The control panel at the top includes a scrolling menu of cooking times. It struck me as rather funny the first time I saw it. Grandma also left the air freshener canisters that are included in the top of the control panel. Those were a bit nasty looking. The stove has been wonderful these past 17 years and is now in need of some TLC.
It took me a second after reading her email to realize....she had an air freshener on her stove! I had read about these....I had seen a really crappy picture of one when I first became interested in Tappans.....but had not seen one again and NEVER in detail close-up. They are VERY rare. Tina was kind enough to send photos to share (click on photo to enlarge). She has them arrange from left to right to show the entire air freshener unit removed, the inside "freshener" and then the unit in its little compartment above the clock on the back splash. Cool (and notice her blue & yellow Tappan salt & pepper shakers).
Tina also added the following info. in her email that may be helpful to others. Keep in mind, you use suggestions/info. here at your own risk. Shut off your gas! When In doubt, call in a pro.
I don't know if this is useful but a few years ago, the oven kept going out. What we discovered is that the thermo-coupler was having trouble. [We] live in a dusty neighborhood and the gas delivery line was getting clogged. We took it apart, blew it out with canned air and put it back. Running like a champ since.The photo below shows the pilot light gas line inside the oven where it sits next to the thermocouple (keep in mind that this is a CP stove)