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In this issue:
Buster waffle iron...................................p.77
Letters to the editor................................p.78
Griswold rabbit mold reproduction.........p.78
Griswold No00 waffle iron (pic.)............p.78
Griswold hammered cookware...............p.79
Griswold No0 skillet pattern...................p.80
Griswold skillet, unmachined...................p.81
Vol. 2 No. 5Number 11November 1990

date which is for patent number 835,876. This patent had to do with some of the construction features of the waffle iron and was assigned to Andrew M. Anderson of Chicago. His company, A M Andersen & Co. also made an equally wonderful "Happy Hooligan Wafer Krumkager" iron which is even rarer than the Buster Waffle. Both irons are about a size 7. Do not confuse these irons or Mr. Andersen with Alfred Andresen who sold the heart pattern waffle and Kornu Kopia KrumKake irons which were made by Griswold. Below, the inside of the Buster irons are different from each other.


CAST IRON COOKWARE NEWS is published six times per year by Steve Stephens. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Subscriptions are $16 for each 6-issue volume. You will get all of the volumes' back issues regardless of when you subscribe. Send subscriptions and other material to: Steve Stephens, 28 Angela Ave., San Anselmo, CA 94960 (415) 453-7790


Re: the recipe on the waffle iron CICN page 72, "do" is not dollop but ditto. All the "do." s refer back to the "teaspoon" in first line of the recipe.
Linda Campbell Franklin, VA

Thank you Linda for the correct information. Sure enough, I looked "do" up in my dictionary in the abbreviation section and ditto is what "do" is. -ed.

From Gene Corral in California came a call and followup letter of a Griswold skillet ashtray he found. On the bottom it has the Griswold TM, 00, Quality Ware, and Erie, Pa. The ashtray is light green porcelainized in a shade similar to early milk shake mixers. On the inside, in black writing, it says­ California Metal Enameling Company, Los Angeles and "Cameo Since 1911" and "Genuine Porcelain on metal-Lifetime finish". He would like to know if there are any other collectors who have one of these ashtrays. - ed.
Griswold NO.00 waffle iron is the largest of this style. No.2 is the smallest with Nos. 1 and 0 in between.
Photo courtesy Richard Miller, PA

From the editor...

A two and one half week trip east to see the Hershey, PA car swap, a week to Southern California and a lot more work than usual has made CICN late again. Only if I didn't have so many hobbies and projects to do ... What are my hobbies? Well, antique cars (I have 1906 and 1922 Fords); antique bicycles (1888 Rudge highwheeler, 1893 Victor and some others); five longhaired cats who leave lots of hair all around the house; I am a competitive runner at medium and shorter distances and run a race most weekends, and I still collect iron cookware, although not nearly so much as before; I like to garden; have a large potted cacti collection; backpacking; mountain biking and lots of other little things. I am the cook, the maid, the launderer, the mechanic and the repairman, the gardener and cat groomer and more. A little background for those who do not know me: Single, 46, born Scarsdale, NY, moved to California 1956, Agricultural Engineering degree from U. O Calif., Project Engineer for General Foods for a few years and then lots of different things: carpenter, production worker, fireman, truck owner operator and, for the past four years, a jack of all trades, antiques dealer and publisher of CICN in addition to my main interests­ my hobbies. I've become interested in cars of the 1903-10 period and am cutting way back on my iron collecting to pursue this new interest. I need some time to put the '06 Ford together (it was mostly restored but not assembled when I bought it last May) and am looking for a c.1905 one cylinder Cadillac to buy. CICN will continue for at least 6 more issues and with more of the same high quality and factual information. You will not see any decline in content or quality. It's time to renew your subscription if you haven't already done so.

More reproductions: Here is one that may give collectors trouble. The Griswold rabbit cake mold is being reproduced and with quite good quality. It is much grainier then the originals, but the detail is very good. It is also about 1/8" shorter than the original rabbit. The repro writing and pattern numbers are very similar and neatly done but with slightly bigger and different print. How to tell the repro? Look at the "I" in GRISWOLD and ERIE. On the original is should look like ( I ). On the repro it should look like ( | ). The Santa mold is reported to have been reproduced also and maybe the Lamb. BEWARE!


During the later 1930's hammered cast iron cookware became popular, with a number of manufacturers, including Griswold, making it. Though it had the look of being hammered like copper is done, it wasn't actually hammered--the "hammering" was cast in. I have seen Griswold's hammered ware shown only in a 1942 catalog which says: "When the emergency (war) is over and metals are available these utensils will again be made in Silverlike (nickel) and Chrome finishes". Some nickel and chrome finished hammered pieces exist so it is probable that Griswold had been making them for several years before 1942. It would only be a guess as to the exact date that hammered ware was first made. The' 42 catalog further says: "Here are the greatest improvements in cast iron cooking utensils in half a century. A line of Genuine Griswold Cast Iron Cooking Utensils with Hinged Covers. Some of the best selling pieces of the Genuine Griswold Iron Ware line have been redesigned and fitted with self-basting HINGED COVERS that stand upright on the utensil when cover is raised. This one outstanding feature every woman welcomes for both hands can be free to tend the cooking--turning meats, making gravy, frying eggs, etc. With these Griswold Hinged Cover Utensils, simply raise the "Easy- Lift" Cover--it stays in upright position until you want to close it or remove it from skillet, chicken fryer or dutch oven.

Following is what I believe to be a complete list of all the hammered cookware made by Griswold. If any reader knows of a piece not listed please let me know -ed.
pattern #
2003 2013 2093 2005 2015 2095 2008 2098

2028 2058 2040 2039 2070 2073
No3 skillet
No3 hinge skillet
No3 hinge skillet cover
No5 skillet
No5 hinge skillet
No5 hinge skillet cover
No8 hinge skillet
No8 hinge skillet cover (also fits and is used with chicken fryer and dutch oven)
No8 chicken fryer (or double skillet bottom)
No8 dutch oven
No5 double skillet (top) used with 2028 chicken fryer
No9 handle griddle
No10 popover pan
No273 crispy corn stick pan
171/172/173 No8 waffle irons with low, side handle frame
Griswold offered the hammered ware singly and in several different sets. Skillets and covers were available separately. One collector said she didn't like the hammered ware because she had seen the Griswold catalog page offering "Hammered Cast-Iron Economy-Starter Set (2008,2028,2058,2098) and thought that the mention of "Economy" meant that it was of lesser quality. Nothing could be further from the truth. Griswold's hammered ware is some of the finest and most uniform in quality that was every made by any maker. Stylewise you either like it or you don't. I find it rather attractive, especially in black iron. The waffle iron, noticeable absent from the '42 catalog, is really nice with its octagon shaped frame, unique handles and hex shaped knobs on the inside pattern. The waffle iron is listed in a Dec. 1950 price list at a list of $6.15 each. I do not know if all the other hammered pieces were being sold at this time, though. Because the '42 catalog does not show the 2003 and 2005 skillets I assume that they may have been the initial versions of the No3 and 5 skillets without hinges and probably without lids available. After being redesigned with hinges and making covers available, the earlier 2003 and 2005 were dropped from the line. Pictured below is a closeup of part of the inside of the hammered waffle iron. Handles were bakelite.

Pattern for a Griswold No.O skillet

How many of you have one of these in your collection? Certainly a one-of-a-kind piece of genuine Griswold, it's fortunate to have survived the years and to have ended up in the collection of an appreciative collector.

With my limited knowledge of the casting process and some information from Sally and Jim Swanson, PA, I will try to give a brief explanation of how a piece such as this was cast. My version may not fit this piece exactly but should be close enough to give you some knowledge of the methods.

In the pictures to the left are the parts needed to make a sand MOLD into which the molten iron is poured. The PATTERN is double sided, made of aluminum, and will leave the impression of the skillet in the mold. The two black painted boxes are MOLDING BOXES or FLASKS. The BOTTOM BOARD (under the flask in the top picture) is wood as are the dumbell shaped ramming tools used to ram or pack the sand in the flasks. The tapered piece is the SPRUE CUTTER.

The two halves of the mold, the COPE (top) and the DRAG (bottom), are made separately in the two parts of the flask by "ramming" properly selected and "tempered" (moistened, mixed, and sieved) sand over the halves of the pattern. Of these, the drag is made first over the lower half of the seperable pattern placed face down upon a bottom board. After ramming the sand just hard enough but not too hard, this half mold is reversed and the top half of the pattern placed upon the lower half, now at the upper face of the drag and flat side up. A little "parting powder" or fine, dry sand is sprinkled over the fresh surface of the half mold so that the upper half, next to be made, will not stick to the lower half, but can be lifted off at the proper time.

The cope half of the two-part flask is now put on, filled and rammed with sand as was the drag. Any extra sand is scraped off with a straight edge and at the proper place a hole is cut with the sprue cutter straight down through the cope to the "parting". The cope is then lifted and turned upside down upon the drag into which the "runner" or "gate" has been cut which connects the sprue hole with the casting.

Griswold skillet, unmachined

The three pictures to the right are of a Griswold No.5 skillet made in the 1950's. It is the latest version made as you can see by the "groove" along the underside of the handle. This skillet is as it looked right after being removed from the casting mold and before any machining has been done on it.

The cylindrical part with the large head on it is the SPRUE and is where the molten iron is poured into the mold. As you can see, the skillet was cast with the bottom up. Now, if I am correct here, the RUNNER is the curved, thick part connecting the sprue to the two GATES which are the very thin sections between the runner and the top edge of the skillet.

All the excess iron would be broken off from the skillet at the junction of the gates and the skillet leaving "gate marks". The grinding you see, usually around the top or sides of Griswold pieces, was done to smooth up these gate marks. On the later Griswold skillets such as this No.5 pan the gates were made very thin and to the top, outer edge of the pan so that any grinding would be nearly invisible around the top. Compare a late skillet with an early one and you should see the difference.

In addition to the grinding to clean up the gate marks most Griswold skillets were ground on the inside to give a smooth, nearly polished surface. The closeup picture at the top should show the as-cast inside surface of the skillet

Pictures courtesy of Richard Miller, PA

***** *** *****

I had the recent pleasure of seeing several large collections in Pennslyvania. Possibly being close to the source of Griswold is what makes the great variety and types of pieces available to these collectors. But they also buy through the mail from other collectors and get out and find the stuff themselves. Two collectors had just found some very rare, early Griswold pieces which had been unknown to them before buying the 1890 Griswold catalog reprint from Courtney McClendon. Sally Swanson found an umbrella stand and, although it is unmarked like most early Griswold pieces, it matches the catalog picture exactly. Larry Fox got a beautiful Griswold long-handled nut cracker with the typical early pattern numbers. Buying that catalog really paid off for them! -Editor

Content ©Steve Stephens 1990. Web version all rights reserved, www.castironcollector.com 2013.