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In this issue:
Letters to the editor....................p. 8
Restoring iron cookware, part 2...p.9
Books on iron cookware...........p. 10
Wagner corn and muffin pans.....p. 11
Griswold skillet trademarks........p. 13
Buy-Sell-Trade.........................p. 14
Vol. 1 No. 2Number 2March 1988

From the Editor

The response to CICN has been very good with over 50 subscribers from the 140 copies distributed. If you like CICN please put in a good word to any non-subscribers who you think might be interested. I have done no advertising so far, being content at present to let subscriptions grow by word of mouth.

For those of you who want to keep your copies of CICN I have left enough of a margin at the left side so they can be bound without covering up the print. Pages will be numbered consecutively from issue to issue so that, in time, CICN will become a comprehensive reference on cast iron cookware. So, save your copies! A handy and inexpensive binder to use is the Accopress Presstex series 25070 (the last number will change depending upon color) available from any stationery store for about $2.

An assortment of very early and fancy skillets in the author's collection. Probably dating from around 1860 to 1900, most of these were made with one pouring lip which was usually placed on the left hand side of the pan. Many have heat rings on the bottom while others are smooth bottomed or have very short feet. Common to virtually all of these particular pans is a very high degree of workmanship, casting quality and design.
A Griswold trademark not often seen is shown here inside the inner reinforcing ring of a No8 handled griddle. To the editor's knowledge this TM was used only on round and long griddles and for a short period of time, probably-in the 1890's. The inner part (just the ERIE in the smaller diamond) was used on an early Griswold Danish cake pan. Does anyone know of a different piece using this trademark?



Did you find out anything about the Frank W. Hay bundt pan; was this an advertisement item, or what is your opinion?
Dick & Esther Miller, MoConnelsburg PA

Dick and Esther sent me a rubbing of their pan. It has the following markings on the bottom: FRANK W. HAY & SONS JOHNSTOWN PA 965 PAT MARCH 10 1891. Each Word is on a different segment of the pan. This pan is identical to the one that is marked Griswold and was doubtless made by Griswold. I have compared both the Hay pan and the Griswold one side by side and they are identical in every way except for the markings on the bottom. Of interesting note is the fact that Johnstown PA was, by 1873, the leading steelmaking center in the United States. The great flood that swept through Johnstown was in 1889. I have no other information about this pan. Is there anyone who knows more or who lives near Johnstown who can research Frank W. Hay & Sons and find out what type of business they ran and its possible ties to Griswold? - The Editor


...If you have any information on new books published we would appreciate the information. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Lee
Lebanon TN

Very few books have been written on cast iron cookware. Please see the write-up on three that I know of in this issue. I have heard that there is a new Griswold book with a green and tan cover coming out of Paducah, KY but have been unable to verify it. Can any reader help or let me know of other books on cast iron cookware? I have a book on Griswold cast iron pattern numbers in the works but will not promise a date for it yet. - The Editor


An interesting event came up recently concerning the date the small Griswold trademark came about; usually thought to be 1939.

After mentioning to my mother (age 75) that I collect Griswold cast iron she immediately went to her oven and pulled out a #8 deep skillet with small trademark (pattern 777 on the pan) with matching lid. I asked where she got such a piece to which she quickly replied that it was a wedding present frcm my fathers' parents. What was so interesting was the fact that they were married Jan. 1, 1934. Somewhat

doubtful about it having been a wedding gift, I quizzed her at length, still being very specific about it being a wedding present. Still somewhat confused, I then went out to the garage where my father was, who had not been a party to the above conversation. I mentioned that Mom had a cast iron skillet & lid that she had given me, because I collect them, and did he know where it came from? Like Mom, he was very specific about it being a wedding gift from his parents. Dad is 72 and, like Mom, is very alert and sharp for his age. I wonder if anyone has any comments or possible info on the above event, i.e. the appearance of the small trademark at such an early date. C.F, McClendon Miami, FL

I have talked to Mac at length about this story. I have never put the appearance of the small Griswold trademark at such an early date as Jan. 1934 and suggested to him that possibly his mother's pan was switched without her knowledge at, say, a potluck dinner. He says that they would have know of such a case and are certain that the pan they have is the one they got on their wedding day. Do any readers have knowledge to share on the appearance date of the small or of any of the other trademarks? - The Editor

Chuck Glendinning fron Edinboro PA. makes frequent use of virtually all of his collection of Griswold iron. He sent in the following.

My best recipe for a cake for a Griswold cake mold (Santa, rabbit, lamb);

Spray inside of mold with cooking spray;
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix:
1 C- sugar ¼C. milk
1 C. butter or marg. 1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs 1 tsp. almond extract
3 tsp. baking powder ½C. chopped walnuts
2 cups flour
Pour evenly in mold. Bake for 50-60 min. Remove top of mold and let cake cool completely. Carefully loosen from bottom half. Decorate.

He adds: "Dealers selling to dealers is why this stuff is getting expensive. Pity the poor civilian!"


Thanks to the above for writing to me with questions and information to share.
The Editor


Part 1, the removal of grease and carbon, was covered in the last issue on page 5. After following the steps outlined there you could have a piece that is fairly well restored with little further effort unless there was rust lurking under the grease. If that is the case or if you are starting with a piece that is obviously rusty, the hardest part of the restoration is still to come.

Steel wool, scraping, using a power wire wheel, or acid dipping are all methods of rust removal. Steel wool is slow and not very effective except on the lightest of rusts. Scraping is useful for areas heavily encrusted with rust or on smooth surfaces as you will find on the inside of skillets, for instance. An old wood chisel or sharpened screwdriver work well as scraping tools. Be careful not to gouge the surface of the iron when scraping. Your editor has not had experience with rust removal using acid so will not report on its use here. Several collectors have reported good results using white vinegar, or other acids, from lemon juice to muriatic acid. Are any readers familiar with using any of these, or other acids, who would be willing to share their knowledge?

A wire wheel, mounted on a bench grinder or other suitable motor, works well under most conditions. The bigger the wheel and more powerful the motor the better but a 6" wheel and ¼ HP motor are fine. You can even use an electric drill with a wire brush although it will be slow going. For areas where a large wire wheel won't get, try a cup brush in an electric drill, useful especially for inside muffin pan cups. Some rust is very hard to remove, but if you flip the wire wheel over occasionally it will act as if it had been sharpened and cut the rust faster. Neither fine nor coarse wire wheels will damage

CAST IRON COOKWARE NEWS is published bimonthly by Steve Stephens. Copyright 1988 by Steve Stephens, All rights reserved. No part of this work inay 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
the surface of the iron unless you apply too much pressure for too long a time in one spot. This is particularly true on corners and edges of the pan.

A word of CAUTION: Always wear eye protection when power wire brushing. The wire brush will throw off some bristles with enough force to stick in your skin. This is harmless unless it is your eye that is hit. Also, be very careful when working with a piece with a bail handle. The bail can be caught suddenly by the wire wheel with disastrous results. The editor had a bail wrap several times around the motor shaft, fortunately with no injury other than the ruined bail and, thus, the piece.

Sandblasting is to be avoided as it changes the texture of the pan's surface and also makes it a lighter color. Glass bead blasting might be a good alternative and the editor has plans ro try it out on some muffin pans with nooks and crannies that can't be reached by wire brushing.

A final cleaning of ground surfaces (inside of skillets, tops of griddles, etc.) can be done with a fine grit (80- 100 grit) wet or dry sandpaper. This will leave the surface shiny but there is a way to make it less so which will be covered below.

Scour the piece with cleanser and a stiff brush or steel wool which will remove any remaining dirt and leave the piece clean enough to cook in. Rinse and dry well.

Now, you can either oil the piece with your favorite cooking oil OR, before you oil, do the following; Put the clean, dry piece(s) in a conventional oven and heat them to 475-500 degrees. They only have to stay in the oven until it reaches that temperature. When the pieces are cool enough to handle wipe them with cooking oil. Some people like peanut oil; others use solid shortening. One collector even mixes lamp black in his oil which makes the piece almost black. What the high temp oven treatment does is turn the iron quite dark. If the piece comes out somewhat bluish your oven is too hot so use a lower temperature next time. The iron is not harmed by being turned bluish. You now have a restored piece of cast iron cookware that is ready to season for use or just to display as it is.



Antique Iron by Kathryn McNerney is available fron Collector Books, PO Box 3009 Paducah KY 42001 for $7.95 plus $1.00 P&H. Almost 50 of its 224 pages are devoted to a general sampling of iron cookware while the rest of the book contains many other items of iron from bookends to sewing machines. The pictures are good and illustrate a good number of rare and unusual pieces. Many inaccuracies exist in both text and prices given; nonetheless a worthwhile book.

Griswold Cast Collectibles by Bill & Denise Harned. Order from PRS-Harned, PO Box 10373, Elmwood CT 06110. $12.50 plus $1.50 P&H. A 191 page book picturing many items of Griswold, both iron and aluminum. The authors attempt at a definitive work on Griswold comes up short due to the large number of inaccuracies in the book and their failure to adequately correct them by the 3rd printing. Contains a price guide with some questionable values. Still, a must for all Griswold collectors until a really good book comes along.

Griswold Catalog No.55 is a quality reprint available from Chuck Wafford, 1936 H St. Springfield OR 97477 at $15.00 pp. 118 pages of original Griswold material comprised of different bulletins dated from Aug. 1926 to May 1930 which would indicate that the catalog, as a whole, would be 1930 or 1931. Highly recommended and if you want a copy don't delay. Chuck says he has only about 20 copies left and he may not reprint it again.

A new Griswold book has been reported from two different second hand sources to be coming from Paducah, KY (not from Collector Books). That's all the information your editor has. Has anyone else heard anything about it?

In addition to the above there are several Xeroxed copies of various Griswold and other makers catalogs in addition to seme original catalogs in the hands of various collectors. You have to ask and keep yours eyes and ears open to find these.

If any reader knows of other books pertaining to cast iron cookware please let the editor know.


A tip from the editor's mother: Try using your dutch oven to pop popcorn in.
Rubbing from a Martin saucepan

Advertising griddle from Ballard & Ballard Company, Inc. Louisville, Kentucky. Was this griddle given away free or for some small amount plus boxtops from Ballard Pancake Flour boxes? From the style of the handle on this piece it appears that Martin Stove & Range Co., Florence, Alabama made this piece. The handle has a 10 on it but the griddle is close to a size 8. A fairly rare and desirable piece, a number of them are known to be in collections around the country.



Griswold sales advertising postcard lent by Merl Hostetter, Parma Idaho. It appears that Griswold would mail these postcards out prior to their salesmen calling on businesses in the hope of interesting the business to sell the Griswold line.


Say You are selling a No3 skillet and advertise it only as a No3 skillet. How is one to know which No3 you have? If you say small TM I have a fair idea of what you have although there are some minor variations. But, if you say large TM, I will not know what you have because of several major variations. To make it easy for collectors to know what you are selling or talking about lets begin now by using some easy, self-descriptive terms to describe the various trademarks. See the following page and if you, the readers, have any suggestions for better terms please speak out now.

When is large smaller than small? When the large (block) trademark, with its distinctive style of print and depth, is used on a No0 skillet where it has to be small due to the size of the skillet. Smaller, in fact, than the small TM on the right which is always, with few exceptions, the same size regardless of what size piece it is used on. The large TM will vary in size with the size of piece it is used on.

Pencil rubbings showing different Griswold trademarks that appeared on No.3 skillets. Shown 64% of full size. Dates given for each variation are the editor's approximation and should be accurate to within about 2-5 years.

Content ©Steve Stephens 1988. Web version all rights reserved, www.castironcollector.com 2013.