lighting Okeefe&Merritt gas oven

How can I get my gas oven to light?
I have an old O'Keefe & Merritt stove (similar to those shown at http://www.antiquegasstoves.com/pages/okeefe.html ). The oven pilot is burning continuously.
In order to light the oven, instructions on the door tell me I'm supposed to hold the red button on a safety valve under the stove top for 45 seconds. While I hold the red button and turn the oven's gas control on the front of the stove, gas flows and the oven lights and heats up. But as soon as I release the button the gas stops flowing and the oven goes off. Even if I make a point of holding in the button for longer than 45 seconds.
What isn't working? I think the oven has a safety mechanism that makes sure the pilot is on before it will let gas flow. It needs to detect heat from the pilot. My red button is overriding that. In that case, I think the safety mechanism heat isn't operating right. It doesn't figure out that the pilot is on OK. But by inspection, I don't see such a mechanism. I'm not sure what to do next. What should I look for.
Any suggestions?
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Most "standing pilot" arrangements have the flame from the pilot light heat a sensor (thermocouple) which then 1) allows gas to the pilot to continue flowing and 2) enables the main gas valve to operate. You are probably correct in thinking this thermocouple is "hosed" or out of place.
To describe it: picture a thin piece if tubing, like the tube inside a ball point pen. The end that gets heated is a little thicker and the other end connects to the gas valve.
Look closely near the pilot light nozzle for this device. When it fails, there no fixin it, just replacin it.
<dmorgan-with-suffixed-"1"-ATdslextreme.com> wrote in message> How can I get my gas oven to light?

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Thank you. Can you tell from photos of my oven if my problem is indeed a missing thermocouple? Please see the photos at
http://members.dslextreme.com/~dmorgan1/oven /
wrote:

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its a space freighter going into orbit
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It still looks like an Alien freighter , But unless some homegrownfood comes out of it its Alien
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