We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Tell the Age of Cast Iron

Updated February 21, 2017

If you're looking at cast iron cooking implements or other items at an antique sale, you can avoid overpaying for that Excelsior skillet if you can tell the time period when it was really manufactured. While unmarked cast iron skillets are just about impossible to date, if you look at the maker's markings, you can at least categorise the pieces by time period and manufacturer.

Loading ...
  1. Look at the city or place where your cast iron piece was made. Between 1865 and 1909, Griswold marked its pieces with the word "Erie," so if you can find that word on a skillet, you can look in a collector's guide and find out how much it is worth at that time, based on the condition.

  2. Read the manufacturer's name, which was generally stamped on the underside of the skillet. You can usually find the company logo, name and main city there. Wagner and Griswold are the two foremost brands for cast iron, but other coveted manufacturers include Excelsior, Dixie, Sidney, Favorite, Columbus and Piqua.

  3. Check out the surface. If the surface has a matt-based sheen to it, it may have nickel plating, so it's definitely after the 1890s, when that process was invented. During the 1920s and 1930s, skillets were inlaid with porcelain on the top and bottom.

  4. Analyse the heat ring that goes around the bottom side of the skillet. If it's closer to the outside of the skillet's circumference, it was likely made before 1905, when these heat rings moved to the centre of the skillet.

  5. Check out the handle. If it's wooden, it was most likely made between 1885 and 1900. These handles were popular because they didn't conduct as much heat and were easier to pick up, but they also would crack because of the heat and dryness involved in the cooking process.

Loading ...

About the Author

Leslie Renico's grant-writing career began in 2006 and her grants have brought in millions of dollars for nonprofits serving the poor and providing medical care for the needy. Renico has appeared on television and her articles have appeared in various online publications. She graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice in 1997.

Loading ...