One of the popular collectibles for many years has been the cast iron products from Griswold. Here’s a little information on the company and what to look for if you are trying to collect their products.
Starting in 1865 through the late 1950s, the Griswold Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pa. made cast iron cookware included skillets, muffin pans, waffle irons, kettles, bread molds and dutch ovens. These well made pieces have stood the test of time and are highly collectible today.
The distinctive mark on the back of each piece frequently confirms a Griswold find, but they actually used a number of different markings during the life of the company.
The logos you’ll find on these products include these:
1865-1883 Selden & Griswold
1865-1909 ERIE or “ERIE”
1874-1905 Spider and Web
1884-1912 GRISWOLD’S ERIE
1884-1909 Diamond (with ERIE inside the diamond)
1897-1920 Griswold Manufacturing Company (italic lettering, large cross logo)
1919-1940 Griswold Manufacturing Company (block lettering, large cross logo)
1937-1957 Griswold (block lettering, small cross logo)
You’ll also find these terms connected with Grisowld pieces:
Heat Ring or Smoke ring: Some of the skillets have a ridge that runs the circumference of the bottomof them. This rim kept the surface elevated above the heat source. If it has a heat ring or not can make a large difference in the value of some pieces.
Smooth bottom: Any skillets without the heat ring is referred to as smooth bottom. They don’t have the raised rim on the bottom of the skillet.
Pattern number: Griswold was not always consistent with their identification. However many of their cookware pieces are marked with both a size and a pattern number. Sometimes a letter or small number might follow the size or part number. These apparently indicate a run series, and usually can be ignored as to value. Some muffin pans can be identified as a Griswold piece only by the pattern number as they have no logo.
Many Griswold items like the skillets came in a range of sizes so the numbers located on the backs of most pieces helped customers to note the size they needed when they were new. Collectors now use these numbers as indicators of value or rarity. For instance, collectors may come across #12 or #14 skillets fairly readily, but have much more difficulty finding a #13 to complete their collection.
At the Allegheny Book Mart you’ll usually find a few Griswold pieces in stock though they are still good sellers.