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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
BigButzBBQ
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Default Little Cast Iron tracking help.

I know that there are some brethren who have vast amount of cast iron knowledge and I'm hoping that they might be able to help me out.
While out wandering through garage sales a year or so ago, I came across a large cast iron frying pan. The seller informed me that they had had the pan for at least 10 years and that they always used it for frying up fish on canoe trips. From the sound of it they hadn't got it brand new but, no telling for sure. When they said they only wanted $5.00 for it, I couldn't get the money out to pay them fast enough, I actually argued with them to give them $10.00 but, they refused. Anywho, I've been using it for a while now and really like it but, I have started to wonder about the manufacture and possibly how old it really is. The only marking I can find on it is a large 14 and (u.s.) on the bottom. Here are some pics of it:



Any help someone can give me with info on this would be great!
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Unread 01-11-2011, 09:46 PM   #2
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I had a similar score about a year and a half ago! I found an add on CL for cast iron and when I got to the house, the lady sold me 6 different skillets for $60. One was a lodge 12", there were also 2 10", 2 8" and an AWESOME 16" with the same markings (if I recall) that yours has on it, with the obvious exception that it is marked with a "16" and not a "14".

I'll have to check when I'm home (not there now) for sure. It may have been one of the 8's that has the US on it.

I don't know the origin, but I'll be watching this thread to see what the Brethren have to say.

Beauty skillet! I L-O-V-E mine! I use my 12" all the time and have taken the 16" and the 12" camping plenty!
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Unread 01-11-2011, 09:48 PM   #3
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A 14 inch skillet. That is a score!
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Unread 01-11-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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Ive seen that (U.S.) stamp before.

Most older Iron that was made in the USA was marked, "Made in the U.S.A"

Alot of it came from the PA and OH area. Down stream of the Steel Mills.

The big boys got pretty fancy marking cast iron in the 30's or so.

Heres a couple things I found;

A shiny surface may indicate that the skillet is nickel-plated, a process that came into use around 1890. In the 1920s the outside of many cast iron skillets were covered with porcelain. Skillets with two-toned porcelain overlays on both the inside and outside were new in the 1930s.

A scooped handle includes a smooth recess for gripping around the handle's hole and is typical of early skillets. Later pieces use a rib handle, which does not have a beveled recess. Wood handles also were used from approximately 1885 until the turn of the century, but frequently dried out, cracked or burned with use.

Look for a heat ring on the bottom of the skillet. This slightly raised ring allows heat to circulate evenly. A ring on the outer edge of the skillet bottom indicates it was made before 1905, whereas a heat ring closer to the skillet's center, called an inset heat ring, was made after 1905.

Found this here,

http://www.ehow.com/how_5612856_iden...-skillets.html


That mark looks military to me. I think that is Government Issue.

Now I'm on the hunt!


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Unread 01-12-2011, 08:17 AM   #5
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Its a forgery not a real one will send you my adress and you send it to me dont want you using a fake one .................LOL the older the better
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Unread 01-12-2011, 10:48 AM   #6
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Good score it looks like a high quality skillet. It prolly is old
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Unread 01-12-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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That one is not nickel plated.

The two most common among collectors are Griswold and Wagner. Those would be clearly marked on the bottom of the pan. I'm a Griswold fan, myself, although the ex-wife got most of our large collection.

That pan was probably made by a foundry to be sold as a store brand, or something like that, since they didn't put manufacturer markings on it.

Military issue is another possibility, I suppose.

It looks like a nice pan, with a pretty smooth interior finish. Newer cast iron is too rough for my tastes. The smooth surface probably helps with guessing the age.

You made a good purchase, IMO.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff S. View Post
Ive seen that (U.S.) stamp before.

A scooped handle includes a smooth recess for gripping around the handle's hole and is typical of early skillets. Later pieces use a rib handle, which does not have a beveled recess. Wood handles also were used from approximately 1885 until the turn of the century, but frequently dried out, cracked or burned with use.

Look for a heat ring on the bottom of the skillet. This slightly raised ring allows heat to circulate evenly. A ring on the outer edge of the skillet bottom indicates it was made before 1905, whereas a heat ring closer to the skillet's center, called an inset heat ring, was made after 1905.

That mark looks military to me. I think that is Government Issue.
Thanks for the help! The handle does have beveling into the tear drop opening but, there is no way I could fit my fingers inside of it but, I do see how this might have helped with grip. The only ring on the bottom appears to run around the outside of the pan as you can see in the picture, not sure if this is the heat ring or not but, it is a ring on the bottom.

The military idea is an interesting one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
That pan was probably made by a foundry to be sold as a store brand, or something like that, since they didn't put manufacturer markings on it.

Military issue is another possibility, I suppose.

It looks like a nice pan, with a pretty smooth interior finish. Newer cast iron is too rough for my tastes. The smooth surface probably helps with guessing the age.
I was thinking that it might have been some sort of "generic" model but, not sure, if so, the military issue thing would make sense as well but, I have no real history information on it from the previous owners, one of those, "seems like we always had it around" sort of stories.

You're right about the interior bottom. It is ridiculously smooth and it's not from nickle. That was one of the things that most interested me in it. When they told me about it's use for frying fish when camping, I thought that maybe it had got that way from people using sand to clean it.
I remember when we would go on some fishing trips when I was younger that they would use shore sand to help scrape out any stuck on stuff. It's pretty obvious that the seasoning had been scraped off this pan in the past. So, not sure how many times this was done and don't know if it got it's superior smoothness because of this.

Thanks to everyone for you help in this!
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Unread 01-12-2011, 01:04 PM   #9
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That looks like a good skillet. Nice score!
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Unread 01-12-2011, 02:37 PM   #10
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I will consult others but it looks like a Vollrath manufactured piece. It is not extremely old because pre-1900 pieces all had gate marks from early molds on the bottom of the skillet. The Wagner and Griswold colletors website has info on other cast iron manufacturers. The Government Issued idea may be fact---but I think that the military mainly used stamped mild steel cookware because it was lighter ro pack around.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 04:39 PM   #11
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Think I've dug through just about every online resource and am still coming up with nothing.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 04:49 PM   #12
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The teardrop camper forum I belong to has a cast-iron forum. I posted the pics over there. Maybe one of those guys will recognize it.

My cast iron knowledge is pretty much limited to Griswold, because that is what the ex and I collected.

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Unread 01-13-2011, 04:55 PM   #13
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I have a 12" that looks exactly like that but can't help on the age cause I ran into the same dead end. its a great pan and I got mine for $5 with a similar 9" I use for corn bread.

Edit: OK I lied the design is the same with the ring round the bottom. Mine is cast with "Made in the USA" and on the opposite end is No. 10 12 7/16 inches
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Unread 01-13-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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Someone here should be able to identify your piece and tell you if it is real or a repoduction. You may have to register to access some sections of the site, regrestation is free. These people are like a watchdog group and like to bust people selling replicas on CL/E-bay as real.

Wagner & Griswold Society Forums


Before you buy it let someone here check it out for you.

Last edited by BMantlow; 01-13-2011 at 09:54 PM..
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:57 PM   #15
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My teardrop camper forum came through for us...

"It's a Lodge Circa 40's - 60's. Some people thought because the way the (U.S) was on the back that it was made for the Military but that is not the case. The US was put on the castings meaning United States to let everyone know they were American made and also of most importance to the molder was the casting number, its origin (US) and the molder mark, (this is how he was paid)."

The screen name of the guy who wrote this is "Ironhead," so I'm guessing he is into cast iron in a big way.

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