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How Do You Identify Antique Cast Iron Skillets?

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Many pieces of cast iron cookware have been handed down through the generations, and still produce fried chicken or pork chops as succulent and golden brown as when your great-grandma first used them. But how can you tell if your cast iron skillet is an antique or one of many modern reproductions? Your skillet itself holds the clues to its age and value, and unlocking those clues only takes a discerning eye and some knowledge. Identify the manufacturer by examining the bottom of the skillet. Most companies imprint their name, logos and/or city of manufacture on the bottom. Griswold and Wagner are the premier names in cast iron cookware, and their pieces are the most sought after by collectors. Other popular companies include Favorite, Columbus, Dixie, Excelsior, Piqua and Sidney. Identify the city of manufacture, logo and writing style and compare to your identification guide. The city of manufacture can provide further clues to your skillet's age. For example, Griswold used "Erie," ... more
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