Saturday, February 1, 2014

An Ironclad Weekend

Hello again. I've had exciting times treasure hunting and can't wait to tell you about it. My last blog post focused on the moment my second hand shopping addiction sprang to life.  The,  "Aha!" moment happened when I found my first set of iron skillets at a thrift shop. That find shoved me from the retail kingdom,  into the dusty, messy, adventurous world of thrift store shopping.

The set of skillets that started it all. 

The weekend after posting 'Old School Tools And Memories',  a series of unexpected, and serendipitous events occurred. The result? I acquired FOUR additional pieces of iron cookware. 


    My 4 additions--3 WagnerWare and one Griswold (bottom right)

Last weekend's experience is the kind this thrift store addict dreams of. I always enjoy sifting through discarded "junk" for potential treasures, but weekend results like this are icing on the cake! These amazing finds came two days apart, and I didn't even set out with iron cookware in mind! For me, this is the allure of prowling through second hand stores. The majority of my life is scheduled, planned, predictable. With this hobby, I "float" along and "let" treasures present themselves to me. In my planned and ordered day to day routine, this is as close to spontaneity as I get.


Three of these are WagnerWare made in Sidney, OH.  Prior to this I never knew there was a Sidney, OH!  I got these by having the winning bid in a silent auction at a local Habitat for Humanity Home Store.  Since my first set is Wagner,  I'm very pleased to have gotten these older ones.  

This find prompted me to research iron cookware, and it is actually very interesting. The Wagner and Griswold brands date back to the 1800's. Throughout their history, they had several notable phases of manufacturing which can be identified by the logo design.  Eventually, I'd like to have a piece from each manufacturing era. This calls for a lot of time spent second hand shopping.   (yay) 

According to my research, this logo style indicates a manufacturing period anywhere from 1925-1959. We often hear the adage, "If walls could talk." I wonder what tales we'd hear if skillets could talk?  :)


The skillet pictured above is from my very first thrift store find. It was made sometime in the nineties.

I haven't used the most recently acquired Wagner skillets. Even though they look seasoned, I need to work on them. The pics show that the undersides have a bit of rust. Luckily, it's confined to the bottom, and I am optimistic that I can get these restored to good condition. 

Here you can see the rust--Luckily a small amount. 

The griddle pictured below also has some rust. I like the shape of it. In all of my thrift store shopping, I've never come across one like it.  Maybe because folks like them so well that they rarely part with them.

WagnerWare griddle

My ironclad adventure wasn't over. Two days after purchasing the WagnerWare,  I got a call from my favorite thrift store that routinely auctions its nicer items. The caller  informed  me that I was the winning bidder of a Griswold skillet! Unbelievable!!! This was quite a coup, because I never dreamed my bid would survive the competition. I've learned that Griswold is a big name for serious collectors. I've tried,  several times (unsuccessfully) to get Griswold pieces. But this time, my modest bid staved off the competition, and I now have my first Griswold!

This was made anywhere from 1939-1957. 

I'm pleased with the depth of this one. I've placed a small tupperware piece by the lip, in an attempt to demonstrate how deep this skillet is.   I'd describe it as having lots of room for delicious fried chicken like my grandma used to make. 

As you can see, it's in excellent condition. I will season it one time, then, like my mother, grandmother and great grandmother, I will use it. My cooking isn't nearly as good as theirs, but I can keep trying.

In the meantime, I look forward to my next adventure in second hand shopping. There is no telling what "treasure" will reveal itself.  Until then, I'll be researching how to get rust off of iron cookware.  :)

Bo sitting in the Griswold. This item is now Bo Cat approved.  :)