The REAL History of how Schwartz Manufacturing came to produce Perfection Stoves and ranges
TEP: So how did you get into this business?
Elmer Schwartz: “All they made in Waynesboro, Ga. was wicks (331-X) and the little heaters.”
TEP: The stove production was moved to Colombia, South America?
Elmer Schwartz: “Yes, South America”. In 1978 they notified us that they were gonna discontinue the wicks (331-X). So we got to talking to them and dealing with them, and bought the machinery to make the wicks. And we started making those parts as fast as we could.”
TEP: So did you back engineer the stoves by taking them apart and making drawings and stampings?
Elmer Schwartz: “The only thing we did like that was probably the Flame Spreader was the biggest thing. The other parts we just took them apart and had them made. It was a tough battle for us. We finally got rolling. Everytime you made a little money, you had to put new parts out to bid.”
TEP: So the wick machinery never left the States? It went from Georgia direct to you?
Elmer Schwartz: “Well, I wonder if they didn’t have two sets of machinery of wick machinery. Because then they had wick machinery down in South America (Columbia). I would think they were….. Ya, I can’t prove that. I don’t know for sure but I always assumed they had a set because when we first bought them we sent a lot of wicks down to South America. So maybe they never did make them.
TEP: I have seen the South American stoves and the difference is they stamped the cooking grates where the American ones were always cast iron or steel.
Elmer Schwartz: “We had a lot of problems with the South American (Columbia) Flame Spreader wasn’t made right. And the burners never worked right. Nobody made a burner any more and theirs didn’t work…. So, would you like to see how we make the wicks? We can fire up the line and show you how we make them.”