Dating a CHF Skillet?


Picked up a very nice Chicago Hardware Foundry #5 skillet. Hammered finish, very smooth cooking surface. No heat ring; smooth bottom.

Any idea as to when it was manufactured?


I've never seen any real dates for CHF... other than some of the pieces marked chicago hardware with the favorite name on them are assumed to be sometime right after 1936 or so, when they acquired favorite brands and patterns.
It still seems odd to me that they made the items marked 'chicago hardware and foundry', the hammered pieces which are marked with completely different markings (8 8, and 83 and 85 and etc)... and the number in diamond pans, again, marked completely differently than anything else they made.


I finally got around to putting the CHF #5 skillet in the lye bath and plan to make it my daily user for breakfast.

It has the following markings: "8_5 k". It doesn't have the diamond. This skillet has the smoothest cooking surface I've ever seen.

I've attempted to narrow down a time frame as to when it was made, but I've only found vague references of 1900 - 1940s.

Any more specific information would be appreciated.

Doug D.

Site Admin
Staff member
Hammered CHF won't have a diamond marking. Hammered CI ware in general is fairly enigmatic. Several makers-- known and unknown-- produced it, but few (read: none) seem to have included it in catalogs. It's generally assumed that most was made during a period of popularity, late 1930s - early 1940s.


I found reports of a labor dispute at CHF with a riot in 1938. There was a mention of a fire that destroyed the foundry. Not sure if the foundry was rebuilt or not. It appears that CHF was a very large operation with cast iron being only one segment.


New member
Hi JB,

I picked up the exact same pan last October at a farm yard sale. I didn't know what it was at the time but $4 seemed like a no brainer.

It turned out to be my favorite over easy egg pan. Just a quick spray with Pam and wipe with a paper towel lets the egg slide around the inside like an ice cube. lol. After using it throughout the winter made me realize how much I would love to have a complete set of the CHF hammered finished pans!!


As I've never been much of a cook, this is my first CI daily user. Using the directions posted on this forum, I gave the CHF #5 about 20 very thin coats of Crisco. I used it twice for baking cornbread. Now, it's primary job is frying eggs every morning.

I absolutely love this skillet. As already mentioned, the eggs slide around with zero sticking. Like you, now I'd like a complete set of the CHF hammered skillets.

Can someone please post a list of the known CHF hammered skillets?