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  #1  
Old 02-15-2016, 05:59 PM
W. Hilditch W. Hilditch is offline
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Default Why Wagner?

I understand that over time Wagner stole ideas, robbed patterns, made copies and compared to Griswold had inferior machining, quality control and cast iron in an effort to put out a cheaper product. So why the infatuation with Wagner?

Hilditch
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:20 PM
Jeffrey R. Jeffrey R. is offline
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Default Re: Wagner Maker's Mark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by W. Hilditch View Post
I understand that over time Wagner stole ideas, robbed patterns, made copies and compared to Griswold had inferior machining, quality control and cast iron in an effort to put out a cheaper product. So why the infatuation with Wagner?

Hilditch
Because they are still better than what Lodge is making. That is my opinion.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:52 PM
Ty L. Ty L. is offline
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Default Re: Wagner Maker's Mark?

Whether or not Wagner copied or stole competitors' designs never really bothered me. As far as machining goes the 1920's and older Sidney/Wagner skillets I've seen and used are almost as good as if not equal to their contemporary Erie/Griswold counterparts. They have thinner but taller sidewalls and bigger pouring spouts than the ones that came out later. From a practical standpoint I think the big Dumbo eared Wagners spatter less than just about anything else thanks to their taller sidewalls.

There's also the fact that (at least around where I live) higher demand has driven the prices for Griswold higher than their Wagner counterparts.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:01 PM
Jeffrey R. Jeffrey R. is offline
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Default Re: Wagner Maker's Mark?

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Originally Posted by Ty L. View Post

I do agree with the earlier Wagners were better, but went down hill.

There's also the fact that (at least around where I live) higher demand has driven the prices for Griswold higher than their Wagner counterparts.
I was just looking on eBay, rusty #10 pop-over $69. and a broken one $49.00 10 cups, not 11
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:18 PM
Ty L. Ty L. is offline
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Default Re: Wagner Maker's Mark?

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Originally Posted by Jeffrey R. View Post
I was just looking on eBay, rusty #10 pop - over $69. and a broken one $49.00 10 cups, not 11
I've never bought CI on ebay. This is why.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:20 PM
W. Hilditch W. Hilditch is offline
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Default Re: Why Wagner?

Thanks Doug.

Hilditch
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:20 PM
KevinE KevinE is offline
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Default Re: Why Wagner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by W. Hilditch View Post
I understand that over time Wagner stole ideas, robbed patterns, made copies and compared to Griswold had inferior machining, quality control and cast iron in an effort to put out a cheaper product. So why the infatuation with Wagner?

Hilditch
Is there an infatuation with Wagner? I didn't know there was or is.

The big players in the cast iron business were not really all that numerous and they all knew each other. Wagner, Griswold, Wapak, CHF/Favorite, Martin, Lodge, Vollrath...............they all "stole" ideas from one another, made copies, bought patterns from others, etc. Take a look at the early shallow skillets. No one has been able to tell me yet who made the first one, but they all look like they came from the same mold. As far as machining goes I have yet to find any Wagner that was less finely machined/milled/ground (use whatever term floats your boat) than any Griswold. Early Lodge, Sydney Hollowware, BSR, and even some bottom gated stuff had absolutely beautiful grinding. Without any objective, quantifiable evidence it can only be conjecture based on personal experience as to whether the cast iron produced by Wagner was somehow inferior to others. I'm quite happy with all of the cast iron I have whether it was made by Wagner, Griswold, Lodge, or BSR, but the newest stuff I have was made in the early 70s when even Lodge was still making good stuff. (I wouldn't give ya 2 cents for anything Lodge makes today although I read a rumor somewhere the other day that they may start grinding some of their stuff again so that could change my opinion.)

This is not to say that I think Wagner was better than Griswold, but I don't believe the quality was any less. I wouldn't trade my #10 Wagner for a second series #10 Erie, but I'd sure like to have one! Conversely, I wouldn't trade my Griswold #8 Chicken Pan with button logo lid for a Wagner #8 Deep Skillet with ringed cover. As long as it's quality, and I believe there is a lot of quality CI out there regardless of maker, I'd be happy with it and especially so if it's old quality.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:42 PM
Sharon Shuman Sharon Shuman is offline
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Default Re: Why Wagner?

Just a thought: Most of these items were made in a day when distribution of products wasn't what we're used to seeing nowadays. I think that might have had an effect on manufacture. My Wagner pans make me very happy in use, but the day I have to choose just one to keep, the no. 8 "Sidney" I cleaned up last Summer will be what I take!
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:52 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Why Wagner?

It is clear that more than one maker, early in their production of cast iron hollow ware, "borrowed" from others, Sidney, Wagner, and Wapak (notoriously) among them. But Wagner moved beyond those audacious beginnings to create its own patented designs and produce an extensive line of quite fine, original products. Not sure where these claims of Wagner shortcomings originate from exactly. They certainly weren't out to undercut Griswold prices; mid-1920s catalogs from each show regular skillets priced the same, to the penny in fact. Wagner dutch ovens, with the addition of a trivet Griswold DOs included, actually cost more than Griswold's. Wagner may have lagged behind Griswold progress somewhat in the first decade or so of the 20th century, but ca. 1930 on up through the 50s, there was certainly parity between the two.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:09 PM
W. Hilditch W. Hilditch is offline
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Default Re: Why Wagner?

Not that Griswold was perfect, but one may notice they were not know for ‘borrowing’ designs and ideas from other US hollowware makers. As the leader Griswold did the development and Wagner was always playing catch up. Take waffle irons and hinges. Wagner never did put one out as good as Griswold and used troublesome wood handles way past their time. Take breakfast skillets. OK Wagner, put the handle on the wrong side so it isn’t an exact copy.

Between the two companies, who put out unmarked pieces? Who put out the most fragile cast iron? Who put out the pieces that could have used a little more edge machining? Which large skillet has the most intense hot spot? Who went for price cutting in the 30’s & 40’s? Who has the products that have increase in value the most? Why? Who was the Oldsmobile and who was the Chevy? Etc.

Yes, Wagner may have been competitive for a while, but I can’t use the term parity. Only one can be first.

Hilditch

OK Scott, you’re up.
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