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In this issue:
Griswold cuspidors...................................p.69
Letters to the editor...................................p.70
Griswold food chopper stand....................p.72
Griswold griddle for electric stoves............p.71
Early waffle iron with recipe......................p.72
Making Favorite Hollow Ware..................p.73
Griswold Transpeed units and cookware...p.74
Vol. 2 No. 4Number 10July 1990

The GRISWOLD CUSPIDOR, Salesman's Sample Size

It is doubtful that Griswold made the miniature spittoon pictured below, right, for little girls to use in their doll houses, so for what purpose other than a salesman's sample would it have been made? It is nearly an exact copy of the full size Griswold Cuspador
shown below, left, in a cut from the 1890-91 Griswold catalog. Note the finishes available. The miniature pictured measures about 3¼" across and is finished in a similar way: Bottom, top and bottom rims, inside, and castors are nickeled. The sides and trough are painted red with a thin gold stripe just down from the top. Most likely it also had a removable top as shown on the full size spittoon. The wheels are brass. The bottom is marked GRISWOLD MFG.CO. ERIE, PA PAT'D JULY 15, 1884. As for

being a salesman's sample, remember that at least 99%, if not 100%, of the miniature cookware pieces made were for children's toys even though they are often incorrectly referred to as salesman's samples. This miniature spittoon, though, does not seem to be a piece that would have been made as a toy so, most likely, it is a salesman's sample. But who knows for sure? Note GRISWOLD shown on the bottom rim of the spittoon in the catalog cut. Not actually cast on the piece, the name was often shown on the sides of pieces in the catalog only. Note, too, the spelling CUSPADOR shown below. An early spelling or mistake? Webster spells it cuspidor. -ed. (photos and catalog courtesy Courtney McClendon, FL)


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

In the Harned book on p. 135 is pictured an odorless skillet. It is listed as RARE but I have seen a lot of them during our travels and I'm sure other folks have also, I have never seen one with a name on it, however the pattern number does give the impression that it probably was Griswold. What I wanted to tell you is that I have found one with a name on it. Maybe there are others but this is the first one I have ever seen. It is marked exactly the same as the one in the book, plus it looks like all the others I have seen, but this one is marked SKINNER SAFETY KETTLE CO. ERIE, PA. Was this made by Griswold for the company named, or could there have been another company in the area. A friend from Erie told me that there is a Skinner Engine Works, but they only do large items such as engine blocks. Dick & Esther Miller, PA

Years ago I came across a Griswold Safety Cooker with a slant TM and also marked SKINNER SAFETY KETTLE CO. on the bottom or something similar. In any case, it definitely included the name SKINNER. I have no idea who the Skinner Co. Was or what their tie to Griswold was. There is no doubt, though, that the Safety Cooker I saw was made by Griswold and it was probably made for Skinner to sell. I am certain the Odorless skillet pictured in Harned was made by Griswold, especially after seeing the name Skinner on one. Also, the writing, pattern number and shape of the handle (similar to the ERIE double broiler) are all typical of early Griswold (ERIE) pieces. You might find some information on the Skinner Safety Kettle Co. in old (1890's) Erie city business directories. Any readers care to do some research and report back their findings? As to the rarity of the Odorless skillets all I can say is that I have seen a number of them but they are by no means common,especially outside of your area. See patent information at the top of the next column. -ed.

The above is taken from the Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent Office dated. October 17, 1893, which is the patent date on the bottom of the (Griswold) Odorless Skillet. Oddly enough, the patent is not held by Griswold but by William Hailes of Albany, NY. What connection, if any, there is between Hailes and Griswold I do not know. Perhaps Griswold paid Hailes for the use of his patent. Hailes did patent (Sept. 4, 1883) and make a finely cast and designed broiler with his name making up part of the handle. I hope this sheds some light on a rather unusual piece which is almost, certainly made by Griswold. Has anyone seen a tin cover for the Odorless Skillet? -ed.

The rubbing (above, reproduced in part--the circle is the heat ring, -ed.) is from a skillet like the no.411 (pattern no.), also called the No.1. The measurements are the same. As far as I know there is another one like it only in chrome. Mine is black iron and a very nice casting. It is one of my most prized pieces. Glenn D. Gary, KY

Letters to the editor, cont' d.

Here is a label out of a repro Square Egg Skillet from Tiwan. The repro is good except polished inside. The original is not. The rubbing of the ashtray with adv. logo inside is not an ashtray but a skillet. It does not have the holder for cigs on sides, just pouring spout. Also, "Heatilator", "T Kettle" and "cornstick". All marked Griswold but have Tiwan stickers. Saw these at "Fred & Dotties" Wholesale house near Reading, Pa. They have several other cast iron items. Everyone should visit these places, just to see what is being reproduced. Did get one of the skillets- am sending a rubbing of the inside and out.
Mary B. Antiques, Rogersville, AL

The rubbing that Mary sent of the advertising #00 skillet makes the repro look to be of a very high quality. I could not tell from the rubbing that the piece is a repro. It is marked ERIE, PA and pattern # 570A. The inside, bottom of the skillet is marked with the Griswold TM and around it are: GRISWOLD OVENS FRYERS RANGES SINCE 1865. I have not seen the repros that she wrote about but would like to. Buyers must be more careful than ever if they are to avoid these repros. See Glen Gary's letter on p.64 CICN about what is probably one of these adv. skillets that he saw. -ed.

Enclosed find a Xerox copy of two skillets. As you can see, the one on top says Favorite Cookware, Chicago Hardware Foundry Co., North Chicago, Ill. The other one has the regular marking of Favorite Piqua Ware, #1, and has a dark brown enamel coating. Both are the same size and look identical. I assume both are #1 skillets, since the one is marked 1. Were both made by the same company? Is the Chicago Hardware one an advertising piece? A salesman's sample? Irv Wagenschnur, DE (302) 762-6614

Irv mentioned that the two skillets were for sale although his letter was back in January. He might still have them so I've included his current phone #. My knowledge of the Favorite Cookware from Chicago Hardware Foundry Co. is very limited. I do believe that they acquired at least the cookware line from the Favorite Stove & Range Co. in Piqua, Ohio sometime in the early 30's. Other sketchy information I have mentions the Favorite plant being shut down in Sept. 1934 after the death in 1933 of the principal stock holder and moving force of the company. Anyway, there is

Most likely some connection between the two companies that made these two skillets. The Chicago Hardware Foundry skillet would be a size 1 also. It might have been given out as an adVertising piece buy I doubt it as other pieces of full size cookware made by them also have similar writing on the bottoms. To my knowledge there are no salesmen's samples in cast iron cookware. All small pieces I know of (except possibly a tiny Griswold omelette maker similar to a waffle iron and marked FACSIMILE) are toys. I would welcome any proof that any of the miniatures are salesman's samples. Likewise, virtually all of the so called salesman's samples stoves are, in reality, toys; even the relatively large and fully functual ones. My information on the stoves comes from The Antique Stove Association of which I am a member. The enamel on the Piqua ware skillet is porcelain. I have seen it done in a deep red, blue and the mahogany (as Favorite called it) that you have. They also made many in black iron. Chicago Hardware F'dry Co. made, in addition to cast iron cookware some interesting hammered cast pieces which are non-magnetic. Could they have been some kind of cast stainless steel? They are a silvery grey in color. -ed.
above Griswold Flat Bottom handled griddle for use on electric stoves; c. later 1920's. This piece has a wooden handle.
From the collection of Bill Roberts, TX


Right, top and bottom A wonderful, early waffle iron, both in style and casting quality. The maker's name is on the side opposite the recipe but is mostly unreadable. The name ends in son (Samuelson?) and is followed by Cols. O. (Columbus, Ohio) and PAT. APD. FOR. Why the recipe side is so deeply imprinted but the other side is barely readable is a mystery to me. There are indications that other writing on the pattern has been filled in. Possibly the pattern had been sold to or used by some other foundry than the original one that made the patterns. Even the recipe, with the partially blank lines of writing may have been changed. Interestingly, I had another waffle iron, made of aluminum, with an identical pattern on the inside and virtually the same recipe, although teaspoon was substituted for do. (dollop). It was made by the Atlas Brass Fdy. Co., also of Columbus, Ohio, and had wooden handles. Neither of these two irons is made to go in a frame. They are just held over the burner or fire. I have used this iron, but not with the imprinted recipe. -ed.


The following is copied from an original, c. 1920 FAVORITE HOLLOW WARE catalog issued by The Favorite Stove & Range Co. which was located in Piqua, Ohio

Favorite Hollow ware is made in one of the largest, most modern, and most completely equipped plants of its kind in the United States. From beginning to end of the process only skilled workmen handle the hollow ware, and inspection standards are most rigid.
The first step is to secure the highest grade, toughest, and smoothest castings possible to make, so that the ware will successfully withstand the extreme heat and long, hard usage to which hollow ware is subjected. Expert chemists, therefore, have prepared a formula for the mixing of our iron which is unequalled.
Test bars are taken every day at the beginning, during the middle, and at the end of every heat in our cupola. These test bars are placed in a machine and weight is slowly added at the center, until the breaking point is reached. In every case, a bar of Favorite iron will bend slightly before breaking--showing a most unusual and unequalled strength in our iron.
Our patterns are the smoothest it is possible to make and are so gated as to equalize the strain in cooling so there will be no tendency to breakage, as is often the case in crudely-made utensils where no attention is paid to this important detail.
The use of fine molding sand and facing is an important factor and it gives our castings that exterior smoothness and evenness not found in other ware.
After molding, Favorite Hollow Ware is thoroughly cleaned in revolving mills where thousands of small star shaped pieces of iron (pictured at right -ed.) revolve with the ware, thoroughly removing all sand or any other foreign substance that may have adhered during the molding process. This sand and dust is carried away by a fan exhaust system.
During the days that the hollow ware is undergoing this cleaning process, the exterior of the ware acquires that soft velvety finish so pleasing to the eye, and so clean and sanitary to use.
The ware next goes to the grinding department where special machines, designed and made by us exclusively, grind and polish the interior of the ware.

The ware is revolved at a high speed in one direction, and the grinding and polishing wheels set in at angles revolve in the opposite direction. The speed of the two surfaces revolving in opposite directions is so great that only the toughest castings would withstand the strain. Several manufacturers do not attempt this grinding process, because the ware will break in the attempt. It is necessary, however,as it removes the scale from the inside, exposing the pores of the iron making it possible to season in the ware in a way that could not be done otherwise. This accounts for its wonderful efficiency in cooking.
After being polished all pieces of ware are given a coat of lacquer to guard against anything that would mar or interfere with the brilliancy of the ware during the packing and shipping.
Every piece of hollow ware is carefully inspected, and we never allow an imperfect piece to leave the factory.
All pieces are carefully packed with straw in barrels and boxes so they will reach destination in perfect condition.

Some of the "stars" referred to in the paragraph to the left. These particular stars are ones I dug from the floor of the old Griswold Mfg. Co. foundry in Erie, Pa. in 1986. They are shown 60% of full size. Of irregular size and shape, most show a lot of wear from being tumbled with the ware during the cleaning process which lasted several days according to the Favorite catalog. Some of these stars show a shiny, flat spot in the center from years of being walked on where they were imbedded in the oily dirt floor of the Griswold foundry. -ed.



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