Dating cast iron cornbread stick pans

Some manufacturers even went so far as to intentionally make their pans a fraction of an inch wider than those of their competitors, so they could advertise them as being larger.Things can become more confusing when you start noticing inscriptions like "3B" or "8CX", or "710D" or "1053C" on pieces. The letter or letters after the numerals, in all four cases, are what's known as pattern letters.

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A unique letter on each working pattern provided the solution.

Some pieces may have only required a few patterns to fulfill manufacturing demand, so one would not expect to see those pieces with anything other than the first few letters of the alphabet.

Or, in some cases, the stove maker also produced pans, which they supplied for use with their units. catalog lists roughly the same dimensions for its regular skillets, with the #3 and #4 being somewhat smaller than Wagner's, and the #13 and #14 somewhat wider.

Even after gas-fired ranges-- and, eventually, electric stoves-- became ubiquitous, cast iron cookware continued to be manufactured in the sizes and with the designations originally established for its use on wood-burning stoves. catalog gives these as the bottom diameters of their regular cast iron skillets: These dimensions, however, were not standard across all makers. And a Martin #3 skillet is the same size as a Wagner #2.

A measurement of both the top and the bottom rim of a pan, however, will quickly confirm that the number has no direct correlation to either dimension.

With the advent of wood-burning stoves, pans were produced to conform to the sizes of the openings in their tops known as "stove eyes".

A size #6 Griswold skillet, for example, is pattern number "699", a size #7 is pattern "701", and a size #8 is pattern "704".

A number 273 corn stick pan is pattern number 930, which might seem a little redundant, as there is no other item 273 nor pattern 930.

The letters do not represent pattern design revisions, but only served to identify which individual pattern among several was used to make which pans.

The creation of a pattern with no letter just meant one more pattern that could be used for high-demand piece production.

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