The Wagner Manufacturing company began making cookware in 1891 in Sidney, Ohio. Today, collectors prize Wagner cast iron frying pans, Dutch ovens and bakeware for both its beauty and durability. You can find Wagner cookware at garage and estate sales, thrift stores, antique stores and from online dealers. Dating Wagner cast iron can be tricky, but several clues can help you arrive at the approximate date your cookware was manufactured.
Turn over your cookware so the bottom is facing up. Make note of all markings on the bottom of the pan and their location. At various times the Wagner Manufacturing Company used curved and straight logos, with or without the "Sidney, O" designation underneath. Some older pans have no logo at all. Pans may or may not say Made in the USA. Also look for a size designation, usually a number, such as 8.
Examine the construction of the pan. Very old pans have a raised ring around the bottom. This kept the cookware from direct contact with the top of a wood stove. Study how the handle is connected to the cookware. Note if there is a sharp ridge or a hollowed-out section where handles connect to the bodies of skillets. All these things provide clues to the age of your cookware.
Consult a reputable guidebook. "The Book of Griswold and Wagner" is favored by many collectors. Compare the pictures in the guidebook with your cookware. Compare the markings on your cookware to the markings listed in the guidebook.
Post pictures of your skillet on the forum for Wagner and Griswold collectors. These collectors will help you identify and date your cookware.
Tips & Warnings
- Good photographs will aid you in consulting experts about your cookware.
- If the markings on the bottom of your cookware are unclear, lay a sheet of paper over the skillet and do a pencil rubbing with a soft leaded pencil. The markings should be easier to read on the paper.
- Griswold and Wagner Cast Iron Cookbook — Delicious and Simple Comfort Food: Joanne Pruess
- The Book of Griswold and Wagner: David Smith and Chuck Wafford
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
How to Troubleshoot a Wagner Paint Sprayer
You can spend tedious days painting your house by hand, or long, messy hours painting tricky surfaces like shutters and acoustic "popcorn"...
How to Identify Wagner Ware
Certain types of cast iron cookery is worth quite a bit on the secondary and collector’s markets, Wagner being one of them....
How to Value Antique Iron Skillets
Cast iron skillets have been in use for more than 2000 years, with some Chinese skillets dating to the second century B.C....
How to Date Griswold Cast Iron Pans
Griswold Manufacturing, makers of cast iron cookware, started business in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 1865. Wagner Manufacturing, an American competitor for years, purchased...
How to Identify Markings on Wagner Cast Iron
Wagner and Griswold are the leaders in the American cast-iron collectibles market. Wagner Manufacturing started business in 1891 in Sidney, Ohio. It...
How to Identify the Company of a Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
Cast-iron cookware retains its heat so well that some owners pass the piece down to younger family members. Whether your grandmother gave...
How to Tell the Age of Black Iron Skillets
Black cast-iron cookware can be found just about anywhere, from antique shops to yard sales. You may have a few pieces from...
How to Tell a Fake Cast Iron Pan
If you take good care of a cast iron pan, your great grandchildren will be able to pass it on to their...
Markings on 18th Century Primitive Tea Kettles
Tea kettles have been a necessary piece of kitchen equipment since tea was first introduced to the French aristocracy in Paris in...
The History of Wagner Cast Iron Pots
Cast iron pots, skillets, Dutch ovens and other cookware is made by pouring iron into a mold. Cast iron cookware became common...