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BenjaminO 05-31-2015 05:51 PM

An "Erie" old mysterious kettle...
Hello friends.
I found this odd gate marked cast aluminum kettle today at the flea market for $3. I have scoured the web but can't seem to find so much as a picture of anything quite like it. Only marking is the ERIE on the lid. Inside has about 1/4" of lime scaling it it, at first I thought maybe someone mixed plaster inside, but no, it's just been used a few times!
Does anyone know when this may have been produced? Was it made by the Griswold Mfg. Co.? Is it rare or valuable? I couldn't find anything comparable on eBay or anywhere else. Any information or speculation is appreciated. by Refinders, on Flickr by Refinders, on Flickr by Refinders, on Flickr

Doug D. 05-31-2015 06:04 PM

Re: An "Erie" old mysterious kettle...
If the same as shown on BB pg. 79 (and it looks like it), the authors believe possibly the kettle made by Alcoa for Griswold as an introduction to aluminum utensils. Ca. 1900, $75-100. That one, however, is a #8; no mention is made of other sizes.

BenjaminO 05-31-2015 06:39 PM

Re: An "Erie" old mysterious kettle...
Thanks Doug! I am not sure if I want to spend the time restoring it, lye and e-tanks make one lazy when it comes to spending hours scouring and polishing something. Does anyone know the best way to tackle the mineral deposits inside?

Bonnie Scott 06-01-2015 08:59 AM

Re: An "Erie" old mysterious kettle...
BenjaminO, I had good luck removing all the cemented on mineral deposits from a tea kettle by simmering it on the stove with half white vinegar and half water. It will make your house smell like a pickle while it's boiling but it works better than anything else I tried.

BenjaminO 06-01-2015 01:50 PM

Re: An "Erie" old mysterious kettle...
I tried simmering about an inch of straight vinegar in the bottom to see if it would touch the minerals, it may have softened them a bit... but I believe it pretty quickly neutralized the vinegar as the CO2 bubbles that were audibly apparent at first stopped. I have a feeling it would take a gallon or more of vinegar to react with all the hardness in this kettle.
I did some more research and found a picture on the Alcoa website ( Click on the timeline entry for 1889 to see a very similar kettle, possibly a different size.
"Lightweight with a bright surface, excellent at conducting heat and easy to clean, aluminum seemed to be the perfect material for cookware and utensils. To interest cookware manufacturers, Alcoa developed the first prototype aluminum tea kettle. The tea kettle helped them get their first aluminum order for utensil production."
My kettle may have been part of that first aluminum utensil order in manufacturing history.

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