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In this issue:
Early waffle irons...................................p.55
Letters to the editor..........................p.56-57
Griswold Loaf Pan, Square
Fry Skillet and covers.............................p.58

Toy size heart waffle iron........................p.59
G.F.Filley-obituary and gem pans......p.60-61
Vol. 2 No. 2Number 8February 1990

Shown here are some early style waffle irons that you are not likely to encounter without much searching. The G.F. Filley iron pictured to the left, with the maker's name in the pattern, was made in several sizes. This one is an 8/9 to fit either a size 8 or size 9 stove lid opening. A later style of Filley waffle iron was patented Sept. 7, 1880 and would indicate that this one was designed somewhat earlier, possibly in the 1870's or earlier. Griswold Square Waffle Irons Nos.2, 1, 0 and 00 shown below appear to be a very early design fran the 1880's or before. No catalog information has surfaced to verify their introduction. They last appear in catalog No.55, c.1930, from which the illustration and chart were taken, but are not shown in a c.1932 Griswold catalog and had most likely been discontinued. In all four sizes of these irons the pattern of the waffle is similar, the differences being in the number of waffles or sections each made, The No2 iron pictured below, left, is the smallest size that was made and the only one to have a frame with a circular base. The next size, No1, had a base that was like a rounded off square almost like the largest, No00 size.
Griswold made a similarly styled iron, the "American French Pattern No21Waffle" which made a thick, Belgian type waffle. Heavy eyebolt type handles, about 8" long, are screwed into journals on one side of the irons and are used to rotate the irons or open them.

Pattern numbers are:
No21 2402/2403/2404
No00 910/911/903
No0 908/909/902
Nol 906/907/901
No2 904/905/900


CAST IRON COOKWARE NEWS is published bi-monthly by Steve Stephens. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Subscriptions are $15 and begin with the January issue and end Dec. 31st. Regardless of when you subscribe you will receive any back issues for the year. Send subscriptions and all material to: Steve Stephens, 28 Angela Ave., San Anselmo, CA 94960 (415) 453-7790

I recently found a skillet with markings a lot like those on Griswold skillets. Size- wise it is exact size of No.8 Victor skillet but with a depth of a regular No.8. Across the top it says: I also ran across a toy size Griswold Heart & Star waffle maker. It was quite dirty and rusted but cleaned up real nice. Do you have any idea of value?
Dean Fitzwater, OR

I haven't seen any cookware by The Loth Stove Co.. There were quite a few stove companies in the late 19th century who also made some iron holloware, as it was known then, to go with the stoves they made. If your Heart & Star waffle iron is an original one it would be worth $500. and probably more. However, I doubt that Griswold ever made a toy Heart & Star. New ones have been advertised in the Antique Trader this year for $10, postage included. These fakes have only the Griswold trademark on them and no pattern numbers, or are they marked ERIE PA, U.S.A. as an original would have been.

Sally Swanson from Erie, PA. sent a note that she has a light blue porcelainized Griswold sundial, pattern #357. I haven't heard of the sundial being done in porcelain.

Re the letter from Lorraine Carroll (CICN p. 42), I have 3 Griswold Pups. Two of them have distinct grind marks on the bottom in the area under the tail. Griswold fakes/ reproductions I have seen lately that you can add to your list are: #3 square skillet­ the casting is quite good, however this one said SQUARE ERY SKILLET instead of FRY. Also, where there are typical grind-marks along the edge of a Griswold skillet, these marks were cast in. It appears that a #3 Square Skillet must have been used as a pattern. ½pt. mortar & pestal- the base of the mortar is bolted to the top part rather than being a single casting (as on an original).

You stated in the latest issue that, even though you may not publish as many issues, you will make the issues larger. One of the strongest features/services CICN offered was the opportunity for hobbiests to advertise their "wants", trade items, and items for sale. By publishing on an irregular basis that function is ineffective- in many cases the ad is obsolete before it is published. That, I believe, will cost, you subscribers; in fact, hasn't is already? The information you offer is excellent. The account of data you have compiled and arranged by charts, etc, is truly incredible. I have done research so have an idea of how much work and time is involved. Keep up the good work but, please, keep it more frequently. I would rather have a 4 page on a regular basis than a larger one whenever.
Dave Smith, NY

Thank you for writing, Dave. Your points are well taken. Other subscribers have had similar feelings about the lateness of CICN and it has probably cost me some subscribers. I have always felt it was important to be timely but procrastination has always won. I do hope to improve on the haphazzard way that CICN has been published, hopefully returning to mailing it bimonthly and on time. Each issue will remain at a 6 page minimum with some being larger as I feel the need.


By the way, I got a # 13 skillet in the mail from.... He packed it really well but UPS dropped it right on the corner and, you got it, the handle broke clean off the pan. Now (he) is having one hell of a time getting his money (from UPS, I presume. -ed.). Might want to put a note in CICN to pack or over pack (!) and say a little prayer.
Bud DesForges, FL

Letters, continued from p. 56

Had a question on the 0 skillets. Saw a few at What Cheer (Iowa.- flea mkt.) but they were not marked a front or back but had a #5 on one and #6 on another stamped on the back of the handle. Were these salesman samples? Paul Vander Streak, IA

Paul, what you saw were probably fake No0 Griswold skillets. There are only two variations of Griswold No0 skillets that I am aware of. Both are nearly identical, with the differences being in the handles (early or late style) and that the inside of the early handle one is ground while the late handle style is usually, but not always, as-cast. I might add that the late handle has a variation with the back of the handle somewhat hollowed out as was done with the larger skillets. Also, the nickeled 0 skillets with the early handle have the inside as-cast. I am not sure about the chrome ones. I would think that they would be polished inside and have the early handle. Does anyone know if the 0 skillet was made in nickeled or chromed finishes with the late style handle? In regards to "salesman samples", it is pretty safe to say that what you see labeled as salesman samples are actually toys. One collector I know has several very small (much smaller than the 0 size) Griswold waffle irons and a similar an omelette pan. It is the omelette pan, I believe, that has the word FACSIMILE cast into it along with the other writing. This piece could be a salesman's sample although I have never seen a similar full sized piece. Quite a number of miniature pieces are not toys but just happen to be very small to fill their intended function. -ed.

I have 5 Square Egg Skillets. Two say GRISWOLD - SINCE 1865. - SQUARE EGG SKILLET and have pattern 129. Another says SQUARE EGG SKILLET- MADE IN USA and has a very faint Griswold TM. The first two also have the TM, but cast deeply, One of them has the E missing from SQUAR and reads SQUAR EGG SKILLET. From the standpoint of the casting quality they all look the same. One of the marked pans has a small number 1 on the underside of the handle while the unmarked (no Griswold) pan has a small number 4 under the handle. Are they all Griswolds? Bernard Stoltie, CT

Bernard, any that have pattern 129 are made by Griswold. There are early and late handled versions. The one with the missing

E in SQUARE is genuine Griswold. I have seen a few of these mistakes. Another genuine mistake I have seen is a No9 cover for a dutch oven which had the Griswold TM inside the cover with the spelling GIRSWOLD. The skillet marked MADE IN USA was made in the Wagner foundry from the old Griswold pattern. Quite a few Square Egg Skillets with the Griswold TM are marked with pattern 53 and it is my feeling that some of these, if not all of them, were also made in the Wagner foundry after Griswold and Wagner came under the same ownership. The small numbers on the underside of the handles has no significance to a collector. It is probably to denote which pattern, out of several, that the piece was cast from. The same is true of the letter alongside or below many pattern numbers. In the case of popular items such as the No8 skillets, Griswold had many patterns for the No8 skillet and would cast many pans at a time from many individual patterns. -ed.
Buy-Sell-Trade, continued from pg .62

From the Editor ... Well, here it is. I know you have all been wondering what happened to Mr. Stephens and his CICN newsletter; whether you would ever see another issue. It's a bit late, I must admit, like about 8 months late. Not quite bimonthly like it was supposed to be. I hope to do something about that. so you will see the next issue mailed on or before April 1st. No, that's no April fools joke. So, if you have any ads you would like run in the next issue please have them to me by March 24th. As has happened with everything else I have ever collected, the time comes when I feel the need to sell most of my collection and move on to other things or interests. So it is now with my cast iron collection, and I have decided to sell about 2/3 of my iron cookware and most of my cast iron matchholder collection. I do not have a list made up yet, and some pieces have already been sold, but you are welcome to call or write to see if I have certain things. A list for sale should be ready with the next CICN. I will be keeping about 275 of the pieces that I like the most and the rest, about 3-400 pieces, are for sale, including many rare items. This will not effect the production of CICN, at least for the rest of this volume which includes up thru issue number 11. I will probably keep CICN going past number 11 and will let you all know when it is time to renew your subscription.
Many collectors may not be aware that covers were made for the Gris wold Loaf Pan and No768 Square-Fry Skillet. Like so many other pieces, neither of these, with or without the cover, appear in any of the Griswold catalogs I have seen. The No768 Square-Fry Skillet is not particularly rare but the iron cover (pattern 769) is. It would be my guess that this skillet was made around 1950. I do not know if the cover was available optionally during the whole time the skillet was made or only for a very short time. Around 1955 a square glass cover with with the Griswold TM on the knob was sold with this skillet. My guess at the production time for the Loaf Pan (pattern 877) and the Loaf Pan Cover (859) would be sometime in the 30's or 40's. Note that the piece is called a Loaf Pan and not a Meat Loaf Pan as it is referred to in Harned's book on Griswold. Both the Pan and Cover were made in chrome finish in addition to black iron. The Loaf Pan Cover is very rare and most Loaf Pans, which are, themselves, hard to find, do not have the cover. Perhaps the cover was made for only a very short time.

More reproductions/fakes discovered
Mac McClendon reports that he has seen several newly made Griswold rabbit cake molds at a large Florida flea marked recently. He says they have a grainy surface and the casting on the bottom is somewhat crude. Rabbits are a high dollar piece so be careful. The pattern numbers may be larger on the repro than the original. Also showing up are fake N03 square skillets. and an ashtray with the Griswold TM on the inside. The square skillet has the Griswold TM. I am not sure if it is marked Erie, PA. There may be original ashtrays with the TM on the inside in addition to being on the botton. Again, look at the grain and work­ manship of any pieces of iron you suspect of being reproduction. Does the piece look as good as Griswold (or Wagner, etc.) would have made it. Some dealers will swear that they got that rabbit from Aunt So-and-so who he knows had it since new and it's been in the barn for 40 years. Don't believe all that people tell you regarding iron cookware. There are people who you may think should know the facts. I have heard of erroneous information being given by people, especially dealers, who should know better. In CICN I try to print only the facts. If it is my opinion or someone elses I will say so. If I make mistakes I try to correct them. If you disagree with what I say or write let me know. I want to be accurate here in CICN. -ed.
BUY-SELL-TRADE cont'd from pg. 62

Above Toy sized heart pattern waffle iron. Maker, country of origin and date made are all unknown. It is about the same size as the toy Griswold, Wagner and Stover irons. Quality and detail of this waffle iron are superb. The top and bottom pictures show the different designs on the two sides of the iron. When found, this waffle iron was painted with silver paint. I have seen one other identical iron. Would like to hear from anyone with more information about this cute waffle iron. -ed.


Giles F. Filley

A noble life was closed last Tuesday in the death of Mr. Giles F. Filley at his residence, 1527 Locust street, this city*. He was for many years one of the city's most prominent manufacturers, and an exalted and altogether admirable type of manhood that the world can ill afford to lose. The story of his career is familiar to thousands who never met him face to face, and his large-hearted, unselfish patriotism, his rock-ribbed honesty and heroic sense of honor were such as to make his life a splendid example to those he leaves behind. Born in Connecticut on the 3rd of February, 1815, of the sturdy stock that made the great Republic glorious in its early years, he early manifested the grim determination and untiring energy that was to achieve for him such notable business success in later years. After ccmpleting his education at one of the leading academies in New England, he determined to join his brother, Oliver D. Filley, in St. Louis. The journey was a long and arduous one, and attended by many difficulties, part of the journey being made on foot. On arriving in St. Louis, Giles F. Filley began his labors in the tin shop of his brother, and upon completing his apprenticeship became a partner in the business--which continued until 1841, when he sold out his interest to his brother, and opened a crockery store. He had learned the value of Missouri clay, and in 1844 went to England to study the methods employed in making the higher grades of earthenware. Upon his return he established a first-class pottery plant. But this was a short­lived venture. He disposed of his crockery business in 1849, and established the Excelsior Stove Works, and the stoves became popular, until in a few years they furnished employment to hundreds of men. The business was incorporated in 1865, under the name Excelsior Manufacturing Company, which name it continued to bear until 1895, when it was re-organized under the name of the Charter Oak Stove and Range Company. The Charter Oak was and still is a household favorite throughout the length and breadth of the United States.

Mr. Filley rendered signal service financially and morally to the Union cause during the Civil War. He also furnished the necessary rock, as his contribution, to the great Eads bridge, which spans the Mississippi at St. Louis, the money value being about $200,000

But perhaps the most remarkable example of the man's sterling honesty is the following, which has becomethe property of all St. Louisans who take an interest in her representative men: A friend for whomhe had become an indorser, failed financially through a series of most unfortunate reverses. Mr. Filley's liability amounted to $1,000,000. He was urged to go into bankruptcy. But he refused to shirk the responsibility he had voluntarily assumed. He was given time, and though it took a number of years, and swallowed up the greater part of his life's income, he paid every cent of the debt $1,000,000 and $300,000 of accumulated interest besides. Such an example and such a deed stands almost unparelleled in the history of modem times. Of Mr. Filley's family, five sons of a family of nine- survive him.

The funeral was held on Thursday afternoon from the family residence. The interment, which was private, was in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

* St. Louis, Missouri

The Age of Steel, March 3, 1900, Vol. 87
Left: G.F. Filley No4 gem pan. This is possibly the most fancy or unusual of the Filley gem pans and also one of the harder ones to find. Filley pans are marked on the underside next to the handles. A very few Filley pans will be unmarked, and a few copies will have another name on them. These copies are probably older production as there are no newer reproductions being made now.

G. F. Filley muffin pans first came to my attention when I bought a copy of Antique Iron (see CICN p.10) by Katherine McNerney. Pictured on pages 74 and 78 were five of the most wonderful muffin pans I had ever seen. But I had never seen any of the pans in real, live cast iron. Where would I find one? Why were they so rare? Did they make more than the five that were pictured? I wanted one. I wanted them all! I finally visited a collector who had two of them. They were nice! It was to be another year so until I would find one in a shop. It was not one of the fancy ones pictured, but it was a Filley, and I bought it, a No3. The next year, 1985, in Canton, Texas, I found, quite unexpectedly, my first "fancy" Filley muffin pan, a No12. I would find and buy several more during that trip east and since have been able to find most of them. Madein St. louis by the Excelsior Mfg. Co., the pans are numbered and marked G.F. Filley on the back. I have seen a few without markings which I believe to be the earliest pans, and several with another name. These do not seem to be of the same quality, nor do they seem to be new reproductions. The Filley pans are usually somewhat primitive, with rough gate marks,and not always the smoothest castings. But they do have style, and most of them show years of use by having the bottoms of the cups worn smooth. If found in fairly good and clean condition, even with fairly heavy grease buildup, it may be better to leave the pan as it is rather than try to do a full restoration. I think these pans look better with the old "patina" than after they have been cleaned and show the grainy surface, rough gate marks and, sometimes, other flaws. The Filley muffin pans shown above are from an Excelsior Mfg. Co. catalog dated July, 1884. I have seen all of these with the exception of the No15 which is listed, but not shown. It is, perhaps, a very large pan for commercial use since the price is more than double that of the other pans. I have never been able to verify that anyone has ever seen the "missing" No9 pan. It is possible that it was made at some time and then discontinued. I would like to hear fran any reader who knows of any Filley muffin pans not shown here, including the No15. What does it look like? All the Filley gem pans have the same raised, loop type handle, so they are easily recognizable. Please note that, at least in my copy of McNerney's book Antique Iron, the Filley gem pans on page 74 are, from left to right: No8, No7, and No1. The book shows the No1 as being No12. The values given are fairly close to what they would be worth. While none of the Filley pans are easy to find, their relative rarity, from what I have seen, is as follows: This is my best guess and that's all it is. There really isn't that much difference in rarity amoung numbers that are three or four apart. No10 is definitely the most common one by a fair margin. -ed.
Other cookware pieces made by G.F.Filley: Several styles of very nice waffle irons along with skillets, dutch ovens, tea kettles, toy tea kettle, and probably more. Filley pieces seem to be hard to find in most parts of the country. The Editor would like to hear fran any Filley experts for more information.

Note: Please submit ads for next issue before March 24th.
Content ©Steve Stephens 1990. Web version all rights reserved, www.castironcollector.com 2013.