Cahill Iron Works - Chattanooga TN

JBPoole

Member
Went to a sale over the weekend and saw a very nice old skillet that looked very much like a BSR. On the bottom center it had CAHILL in a diamond. At 6 o'clock was 107. There was a very small plus sign on the bottom of the handle. I skipped on it because I had never heard of Cahill.

Tried to research it that night. The ONLY picture I could find was a Cahill griddle posted on this forum. Seems that Cahill was noted for andirons, fire place grills and cast iron bathtubs. Mr. Cahill died young and the company was eventually bought by Crane, the bathroom fixture folks.

Went back the next morning and the skillet was still there! It appears to be a #7 and has a really smooth cooking surface.

I'm thinking that my skillet may be extremely rare. I wonder if a piece can be so uncommon that people do not collect them because they are unaware of their existence...

Anyone have any info to share on Cahill? Any guess regarding it's worth?
 

Doug D.

Site Admin
Staff member
I have seen one of these with a lid that looks like both pieces were copied from Lodge. The lid had the Lodge drippers, but an "applied" style handle unlike Lodge.
 

Bonnie Scott

Active member
JBPoole, I buy and sell things that are collectibles but when I come across something really unusual I keep it for myself. It might not be valuable to collectors but I like the fact that I got one and you don't. :)
 
I had the Cahill griddle, and like you, didn't find out too much about it. This one seemed like the cooking suface had originally been plated, and subsequently worn off in most places, exposing the grinding/polishing marks beneath.
 

MDFraley

Member
Went to a sale over the weekend and saw a very nice old skillet that looked very much like a BSR. On the bottom center it had CAHILL in a diamond. At 6 o'clock was 107. There was a very small plus sign on the bottom of the handle. I skipped on it because I had never heard of Cahill.

Tried to research it that night. The ONLY picture I could find was a Cahill griddle posted on this forum. Seems that Cahill was noted for andirons, fire place grills and cast iron bathtubs. Mr. Cahill died young and the company was eventually bought by Crane, the bathroom fixture folks.

Went back the next morning and the skillet was still there! It appears to be a #7 and has a really smooth cooking surface.

I'm thinking that my skillet may be extremely rare. I wonder if a piece can be so uncommon that people do not collect them because they are unaware of their existence...

Anyone have any info to share on Cahill? Any guess regarding it's worth?

Being a new member I am not sure how all this works but here goes my efforts regarding the Cahill cast iron.
Found a piece yesterday at the local flea market labeled CAHILL inside the diamond shaped logo. Never heard of the brand but the piece was in excellent shape with the usual buildup from years of use.
I assume it is a chicken fryer due to the handle and depth of the pan. It is 3 3/4" deep with an inside dia. of 9 3/4". The bottom has a one piece heat ring with a notch in it at the 12 O'clock position with the number 8 just below the notch. At the 6 O'clock position the number 128 appears. Bottom side of handle has two dots at the tip of the tear-drop loop. Top side of handle has the number 8. Pot has two pour spouts at the 9 & 3 O'clock positions and a flat extended tab at the 12 O'clock position. Inside is smooth no pitting and no cracks. Wish I had the original lid that matched this pot but since I could not find any pictures of any Cahill cast iron I would not have any idea of what to look for. Hope this helps in regards to Cahill cast iron.
Regards,
Michael
 

JBPoole

Member
So, Michael, did you buy the chicken fryer?

I am still curious about Cahill cast iron. Maybe someone can post the information mentioned from the book...

Thanks for posting this. It appears that these are really quite rare pieces.
 

MDFraley

Member
Yes Joe I did. It came with a lid(not a matched set)which was a Martin Stove & Range #7 and the price for the two pieces was $39. I am now as I type this getting ready to season it. I took some steel wool (fine) and a little soap and it cleaned up like new out of the box. I suspect that some one bought this at an estate sale and did not have any idea what it was. I would like to think I have a one-of-a-kind piece since I have only found reference to anything regarding Cahill here at the cast iron collector forums.
I am having a bit of a problem trying to figure out how to post a new thread for all viewers to read and see if there is anyone else that has any other pieces other than the grills I have seen. I took a few pictures before cleaning and will take several more once seasoned. It also appears to be difficult to post a picture here without a web host for photos. I hate to download stuff on this computer due to all the stuff that can invade ones privacy. If you want to look at what I have give me a few days and then send me a mail at my SBC Global address and I will send to you. My address is (Michael_fraley (at) sbcglobal.net)
Thanks Joe
 

D_McKamey

New member
This is an aged thread, but I will respond as to what I know. John Thomas Cahill was one of many foundry folks located in the City of Chattanooga. He prospered in his business after the Civil War. I am the proud owner of a Cahill high dome dutch oven, #5 skillet, #8 skillet, and a #12 skillet. Cahill is known for their fire place andions, grates, surrounds, enameled sinks, bath tubs, water fountains, and cast iron store fronts and not so much for their skillets. Cahill pre-dated Blacklock and Lodge operations. I believe, but have no proof, that when Cahill sold to Crane enamel in 1922, that Lodge bought the patterns for the hollowware from Crane. The early Lodge high dome dutch over looks very much like the Cahill high dome dutch over. My Cahill dutch oven lid has the basteing drippers. This was way before the Lodge or Blacklock foundry came into being.
 

MDFraley

Member
Any idea as to the range of dates on the Cahill cookware?

Hard to say. Think you've already read the info available on the internet but according to what I have derived from that article and the quality of iron produced it could have been anytime during the 30 year timeline and or perhaps afterwards by the Crane Company out of Chicago.
Here attached is the link for those interested in reading should they want.

http://www.chattanoogan.com/2009/1/26/143307/J.T.-Cahill-Made-His-Name-in-Chattanooga.aspx
 

Ernest Worley

New member
About the Cahill. Look at the Timing of the Cahill Foundry and the origination of Lodge. . Every piece of Cahill I own is absolutely identical to the first few decades of Lodge and still the common Lodge patterns of today. Cahill used that common Lodge single notch in the heat ring. Cahill used the very same pointed basting drippers in the same pattern that Lodge still uses today. Why? Because in 1921 Lodge was copying the Cahil design in their later Arc Lodge Skillets and ALL Cast-iron. In 1921 when the J T Cahill foundry closed for good, Crane Plumbing Fixture acquired the Plumbing fixture design. J T Cahill was the person who perfected the enameled coating on plumbing fixtures that made Crane Enameled plumbing fixtures Famous.

However, Crane was not interested tn the cast-iron Cooking business and did not acquire that portion of the Company. I can not find records as of yet to verify that Joseph Lodge actually purchased the cast-iron business. But I do have evidence that as to the production in Early Lodge in the Mid-teens that Lodge was using the exact Patterns of everything Cahill. The Lodge Handle with the tear-drop cut out, The overall shape of the cast-iron and most obvious the Basting drippers in the Pot Lids. No Copyright laws applied back then. The Lodge foundry was approximately 35 Miles away from Cahill, So what was the reason Lodge would not pick up on a most excellent design from a real master?. Everything Lodge was copied from Cahill.
 

JBPoole

Member
Excellent information.

Is it safe to assume that nothing marked Cahill was manufactured after 1921?

Given it's rarity, is Cahill more valuable as collector pieces?
 
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