It is rare to find a Brit who does not know at least one family with an AGA cooker. A veritable icon in British households for nearly a century, this classic kitchen appliance has a wide appeal in terms of modern convenience as well as nostalgic admiration. A workhorse of a unit capable of operating for 50 years or more, buying a vintage or antique AGA cooker is not only possible, but a way to enhance your kitchen aesthetically and historically. However, it is important to understand this important icon from a historical and practical standpoint first.
Understanding the AGA Icon
In 1922 a Nobel Prize-winning physicist named Gustaf Dalen came up with an idea for a new construction of cooker in order to help his wife around the home. His original design was for a combination cooker, water heater, and laundry dryer which made use of the concept of accumulated heat. AGA cookers first came to the United Kingdom in 1929, becoming a fast favourite. Now an icon, there is an AGA/Rayburn cooker of various ages in nearly one million homes worldwide. To many, the AGA cooker is more than an appliance, it is a way of life offering unique features and a signature look as well as lasting for decades. The longevity of the AGA cooker alone, known to last upwards of 50 years with proper maintenance, is the reason that many buyers search for vintage and antique models.
The Three Classic AGA Models
Buyers interested in buying a vintage or antique AGA cooker have several models to consider. Since their original introduction in the 1920s, AGA cookers have come in three classic models or body types, which include two-, three-, and four-oven versions, each with various features including a burner, roasting oven, and simmering oven in all models, a baking oven in newer three-oven versions, and a roasting oven and simmering oven in four-oven cookers. All models of AGA cookers include a boiling and simmering hotplate on top. In addition to basic models, users have the option of fuel that the AGA cookers use. The five available choices are electric, diesel, gas, kerosene, and biofuel.
Restored and Reconditioned AGA Cookers
When buying an antique or vintage AGA cooker, it is important to consider whether or not you need the unit in working order. Their historical longevity means that buying a 30-year-old cooker to use in your kitchen is quite possible. However, when purchasing an older model, considering a properly restored or reconditioned model is a must. Without proper training and supplies, fixing a used AGA cooker on your own and expecting it to work is risky. Luckily, there is a hearty business in the United Kingdom and the world of restoring old cookers which allows buyers an antique look with modern operation.