Wagner Ware Cast Iron: The Ultimate Guide - My Kitchen ToolkitWagner Ware history, dates and logos.

As far as vintage cast iron is concerned, I think that Wagner Ware is the way to go.There is no way to beat the quality.When people say that they don't make them like they used to, I assume they're talking about Wagner Ware.

There is a lot to consider if you want to purchase, restore or cook with cast iron.

Everything you need to know about the best vintage cast iron out there is covered in this article.The ultimate guide is here.

The brand name of the family-owned manufacturer of cast iron and aluminum products was "Wagner Ware".The Randall Company of Cincinnati acquired the Wagner Manufacturing Company in 1952.

The cast iron kitchen products produced by the Wagner Ware brand were of high quality and affordable.A line of superior cast iron included dutch ovens, muffin pans, waffle irons and even griddles.

The Wagner Ware cast iron skillet is perhaps the most famous, ubiquitous, and cherished item of its kind, in addition to these super smooth, high quality products.

In reference to the location of manufacture, the name is often referred to as Wagner Ware Sidney.The same line of high quality products are referred to by each of these names.

The brand is often referred to by multiple names due to the fact that the logo has changed over time.One of the best ways to date vintage cast iron is by changing the logo.

The answer is yes, the cast iron cookware is very high quality.

The long answer is yes.There is a reason why Wagner Ware cast iron is great.The focus of the company was on quality.

Most vintage Wagner Ware cast iron products are as good as when they were cast.The company wrote that in an ad.

We don't try to make hollow ware cheap, but as good as possible.We don't want to put on the market ware that will hurt our reputation.Each piece of ware has a name cast on it.

This wasn't just empty rhetoric to sell a few pans.The vintage Wagner Manufacturing Company products are still in circulation because they were made to last.

My largest skillet, an 8 inch one that I use on a daily basis, is more than 100 years old and was dated recently by me.

Vintage cast iron has a number of advantages that make it superior to modern, mass produced cast irons.

There is a lot of vintage cast iron still in circulation, as evidenced by the fact that it was made to last.Many of the pans are over 100 years old.

The workers at the factory in Sidney, Ohio paid attention to each piece, casting and smoothing it with a machine.When juxtaposing a vintage cast iron skillet next to a modern colleague, you can see the difference this kind of skill makes.

Modern cast iron skillets are mass produced and often have casting flaws, pits or bubbles, but Wagner Ware never left the factory if it wasn't perfect.

Modern cast iron manufacturers make great cookware.Le Creuset is one of these.Even Le Creuset coats their cast iron in enamel, which is convenient, but also hides any manufacturing flaws.

You will be paying a lot more for newer cast iron than you would for vintage.If there is cast iron out there that has already passed the test of time, why not keep it?

The Wagner Manufacturing Company was founded in Sidney, Ohio in 1891 and sold to the Randall Company of Cincinnati in 1952.

During the early years of the company's history, there was no doubt about the Wagner Ware heyday.The golden years of cast iron production were when the most sought after products were made.

After being acquired by the Randall Company of Cincinnati in 1952, the Wagner Ware brand was quickly shuffled between owners, passing through a number or corporate hands until finding its current resting place with American Culinary.

The pans produced in the old Sidney, Ohio factory are not the same pans that were later produced under the Wagner name.

The factory was abandoned in 2008 after being used by a few unremarkable manufacturers.

There is a more detailed history of the company and brand.

The most sought after and authentic Wagner cast iron pieces come from the last decade of the 19th century and the first half the 20th.

At a time when care and craftsmanship was put into every single piece leaving the Sidney, Ohio factory, these pieces are incredibly old.If you do a simple search, you will find a lot of neat advertisements from this era.

For over a quarter of a century, Wagner Cooking Utensils have been the pride of thousands of housewives.They appeal to the woman who takes pride in her home because of their distinct quality and sturdy usefulness.

Even though the gendered language that once sold their products has fallen out of fashion, the Wagner Ware products of this era are still around, and as tough as the day they were made.

American Culinary produced cast iron for a few years in the early 2000s, but eventually closed production.

After the company was sold to the Randall Company of Cincinnati in 1952, it changed hands a number of times.

There is no evidence that the company is still making cookware, and their factory in Ohio has closed permanently.

In 1891, the company began making cast iron cookware in Sidney, Ohio.American Culinary, the company that made the Wagner products, went out of business in 2015.

The vintage pieces are still in circulation, which is even more reason to keep them.

After a brief revival in 2000 by American Culinary, a company based in Ohio and committed to American manufacturing, production has once again gone dark.

The best way to see the Wagner Ware logo is to look at the bottom of your cast iron.The company's founding in 1891 led to the redesign of the logo on the pan every few years.

The company's logo was changed more than a dozen times.These markings can be used to narrow its casting down to the correct decade, even though you can't use the logo to establish an exact year of fabrication.

The largest and most commonly used pan in my collection, a 10 inch skillet, was manufactured between 1915 and the early 1920s.

Along with the writing at the bottom of your pan, you can check a few other design features that have changed over time.The company removed the heat ring from the bottom of their pans in 1935.

The bottom of the pan with the "SIDNEY" logo in either straight or arched letters was made in the Sidney Hollow Ware factory.Between 1897 and 1903, these pans were produced.

The logo on the skillet is farthest from the handle.The SIDNEY logo is centered.

The bottom of the pan with the "SIDNEY" logo in either straight or arched letters was made in the Sidney Hollow Ware factory.Between 1897 and 1903, these pans were produced.

The logo on the skillet is farthest from the handle.The SIDNEY logo is centered.

The skillet was one of the first products manufactured at the Sidney, Ohio foundry and was marked on the bottom with theWAGNER logo in arched capital letters.The products date from 1891 to 1910.

The first products manufactured at the Sidney, Ohio foundry were marked on the bottom of the pan with theWAGNER logo in straight, capital letters, centered and slightly raised.The products date from 1891 to 1915.

The double arch logo was used by the Wagner Manufacturing Company.The letters WAGNER and SIDNEY will appear toward the top of the skillet, opposite the handle.

The pans were manufactured between 1895 and 1915.The Wagner Ware skillets with these markings are more rare than other pieces from this era.

If your cast iron has aWAGNER logo above a straight, centered, and slightly smaller "SIDNEY O" logo, then this pan would have been manufactured in the five years between 1910 and 1915.

Between 1915 and the early 1920s is when the cast iron was most likely made.

The bottom of the pan still has a heat ring around the lower perimeter, something that wouldn't be phased out for another ten years or so.I used to date this piece because of the close up of that logo, marking the era.

The Wagner Manufacturing Company produced wares with an arched WAGNER logo above a straight, centered WARE and straight and centered SIDNEY O, which are rare and date to the same 1915 to early 1920s period.

In 1920, the company began marking their pans with a stylized "Wagner Ware" logo in which a scripted W is used for both words, often above a centered "SIDNEY O."

The pan would have been made between 1920 and 1935 if theWagner Ware logo was centered on the bottom of the pan.

The size markings are the same between the cast iron pieces and those described below.Between 1924 and 1935, if your skillet has these markings, a heat ring, and a four digit number, it was made.

Sometimes cast iron from this era has been made with a stylized logo within a pie shape.

During the Great Depression, Wagner tried a number of different re-designs to get new clients.There was a four digit size indicator, no heat ring, and a triangular pie outline in these re-designs.

The logo is the same, but there will be no heat ring.The pan would have been manufactured after 1935 if it is completely flat on the bottom.

This is an example of a piece.These are some of the most common.The heat ring and stylized "W" are absent.

Pricing your item will be more important than the condition and rarity of yourWagner Ware.Since cast iron can be easily restored, even Wagner Ware in poor condition can still be valuable.

The price for an unrestored skillet can be as low as $20 to $50, while a fully restored piece can cost as much as $100.

The easiest and fastest way to buy vintage Wagner Ware is through eBay.It is full of cast iron in all conditions, but prices can be high, and you will need to pay for shipping.

There are always nice pieces turning up at yard sales and thrift stores if you don't find something in your price range on eBay.

Restoring a cast iron is easy if you know how to remove crusted on food and rust with iron wool or a similarly tough abrasive brush before re-seasoning with a neutral oil.

These two measures can be broken down into more methodical steps for returning old yard sale finds to their glory days, and resulting in fully restored, re-seasoned and ready to use cast iron cookware.

There is an entire post dedicated to restoring an old skillet.Check it out for tips and best practices, and watch as we break the process down step by step.

The best way to clean the cast iron is with hot water and some paper towels.After rinsing the pan with hot water, wipe it clean with a paper towel.

If you find a lot of food stuck to the bottom of your pan, you can use a lightly abrasive sponge or brush, but do not use dish soap.

There are plenty of abrasive products on the market now being advertised for cast iron, and some of them, like the Ringer, are pretty cool.

Don't use dish soap, that's the only thing that should be repeated here.If you use dish soap on your cast iron, it will ruin the seasoning on it, meaning you will have to re-season it.

It's obvious that the best way to protect your glass top stove is gentle.If you don't drop your cast iron pan on the glass top or slide it around, your stovetop should be fine.

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