Turn over your cookware so the bottom is facing up.Make note of all markings on the bottom of the pan and their location. Also look for a size designation, usually a number, such as 8. Very old pans have a raised ring around the bottom.
It is good because as users of old cast iron we get to buy some superb pieces for a lot less money than a comparable Griswold.It is bad because I think the old and Wagner Ware pieces deserve a little more respect.For example, if you have a cast iron skillet that has only markings on the bottom that say VICTOR 722 8, try a Google images search for “Victor 722 8 cast iron skillet”, and see if a match to your pan shows up in the images.If not, try broadening the search, to “Victor cast iron skillet.” Many images result from the search.It can be challenging to identify pieces that do not have clear maker’s marks on them. Here are tips to help you with your research as you venture into the world of vintage cast iron skillet identification.
This is an overview; there are many ins and outs and exceptions, of course.Compare the pictures in the guidebook with your cookware.Compare the markings on your cookware to the markings listed in the guidebook.At various times the Wagner Manufacturing Company used curved and straight logos, with or without the "Sidney, O" designation underneath. This kept the cookware from direct contact with the top of a wood stove. 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. "The Book of Griswold and Wagner" is favored by many collectors.Or through expansion the foundries would get more moulds to increase production or to make another piece of cookware. Well, the logos and markings on the bottom and handles of cookware would change over time.