History Of Wagner Cast Iron

Rusty WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet - 1058
Rusty WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet – 1058

The use of cast iron for cookware is centuries old and many of the vintage pieces can still be used today. For example, cast iron Dutch ovens were used by the settlers of the United States as they traveled westward. Without their wood burning stoves, the camp Dutch oven provided a way for the travelers to cook their meals over an open fire.

Wagner Hollow Ware Company (Pre Wagner Manufacturing Company)

The  official start of the Wagner Manufacturing Company was in 1891 and you can see the centennial commemoration of this in the 1991 version of the cast iron frying pan.  However, the Wagner brothers, Bernard and Milton,  actually started making metal castings of light hardware for general stores back in 1881.  In addition, the brothers manufactured tin hollowware for government contracts. Tin hollowware is describes  general tableware like  sugar bowls, tea or coffee pots, soup containers, hot food covers, water pitchers, platters, butter plates and other metal items that went with the dishware on a table. Hollowware does not include flatware.  Bernard and Milton Wagner are credited as the first to cast iron for cookware in Sidney, Ohio. WagnerWare was born.

(A short footnote about the Centennial Commemoration of the 1991 version of the skillet, The Wagner’s 1891 Original Cast Iron Skillet - though it stated “Original,” along with a date, this line of cookware was manufactured in 1991 through the late 1990s.  You can tell the quality difference pretty much immediately. modemac over at Cast Iron Chaos has some additional details also.)

WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet - 1058
WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet – 1058

Wagner Manufacturing Company

This is the start of the Wagner cast iron dynasty as we are familiar with it. Two other brothers, William and Louis, were added to the mix in 1891 which triggered the beginning of WagnerWare cast iron cookware.  With the momentum of population growth and expansion, the Wagner brothers had a market ripe for growth and built the most modern and technologically advanced manufacturing facility for casting iron at the time.  Wagner Manufacturing was able to produce world class cookware, rivaling and later surpassing the other powerhouse in the cast iron cookware arena, Griswold.  WagnerWare Cookware was awarded in several nationwide as well as some international expositions, including but not limited to expositions in Chicago, Nashville, Paris, Buffalo, and St. Louis.

Size #3 Used for Serving
Cast Iron Skillet, WagnerWare Size #3 Used for Serving

Uniting Wagner and Griswold

In some circles, this is stated as “Wagner acquiring Griswold” but it is not that simple.  The real story is slightly more complicated and is quite common when small family operated business grow into large corporations.  Companies are bought and sold, consolidated and dismantled, and the cast iron cookware business is no different.  The Randall Corporation purchased Wagner Manufacturing in 1952. McGraw Edison Inc. bought Griswold on March 29, 1957 and then sold it in December 1957 to Randall who already owned Wagner.

Griswold Dutch Oven at the New Mexico History Museum in the Cowboy Exhibit
Griswold Dutch Oven at the New Mexico History Museum in the Cowboy Exhibit
http://www.nmhistorymuseum.org/
Griswold Dutch Oven at the New Mexico History Museum in the Cowboy Exhibit
Griswold Dutch Oven at the New Mexico History Museum in the Cowboy Exhibit
http://www.nmhistorymuseum.org/

 

Beginning of the End

WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet - 1056
Frying an Egg – WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet – 1056

 

Effectively, the Griswold manufacturing plant in Erie, Pennsylvania was shut down in 1957 and any Griswold cookware made after this period was out of the Wagner Manufacturing Sidney, Ohio plant.  This was the beginning of the end of the high quality cookware that both, Griswold and Wagner, were known for.  Well, that might be a little bit harsh but most experts do agree that the quality started to decline in quality at this point.  In 1959, the final nail in the coffin came when Randall sold off Griswold and Wagner to Textron.  It is widely accepted that post 1960 Griswold and Wagner cookware is not in the same collectable class as the pre 1960 cookware.  General Housewares Corp. bought Textron Inc. in 1969 and that included the Griswold and Wagner cast iron cookware lines.  One could argue that those cast iron skillets, dutch ovens, and griddles that were made after the merger and acquisitions are better than the ones made after 1990 or so, and that probably not far from the truth.  However, if you compare a modern day, Made in China, cast iron skillet to a 1970, Made in the USA WagnerWare cast iron skillet, to a 1920 Griswold or Wagner cast iron skillet, the difference will be clear.  An interesting note is that cookware that declares it was Made in the USA are typically not considered collectable pieces.


Modern Era

In 1996, a group of investors, which included a former employee of Wagner, purchased the Wagner and Griswold cookware lines.  This was known as the WagnerWare Corporation.  They continued manufacturing for another 3 years before closing their doors in Sidney in 1999.  In 2000, the American Culinary Corporation purchased the rights, legacy, and remaining facilities of the Wagner and Griswold lines.  The former employee noted above is Peter Pike and is the President/CEO of the American Culinary Corporation.  It is clear that Mr. Pike is dedicated to the legacy and quality of the Wagner and Griswold names.

Are you interested in buying vintage cast iron?

Please check out my post on how I acquired my first piece of Wagner Cast Iron.  It might be a different scenario than you think!

Curious about enameled cast iron?  The pretty, colorful stuff – read this blog entry for some of the finer points of Enameled Cast Iron vs. Cast Iron.

Preheating - WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet - 1056
Preheating – WagnerWare Cast Iron Skillet – 1056

 

Reference: http://www.americanculinarycorp.com/

 

125 thoughts on “History Of Wagner Cast Iron”

    1. Hi James,
      It isn’t aluminum but is just the raw cast iron. It was actually covered, and I mean covered, with black, gunk-y, cracked seasoning. So I had no idea that the hammered finish was there. After a few hours with some oven cleaner the beautiful, hammered finish was exposed.
      Thanks for the question.

    1. It depends a lot on the condition but it could be from $50 – $170++. Check out eBay periodically to get a good idea. Also, is that one of the deep versions?

    1. Hi Diane! Thanks for stopping by here again.

      I think you could have a nice piece on your hands! What are the markings on the bottom? Can you tell me the labeling and lettering? Wagner does have lids and you’d have to watch eBay for a week or two to find the right one for you. The prices range from about $9 – over $50. Let me know if you need help locating a suitable lid.

      Thanks!

  1. what is older wagner ware or wagner. i have a wagner fat free fryer and corn bread pan. think the corn bread pan c is from the 1950′s

    1. Hey Diane! Nice to see you back here. Can you tell me what is written on the bottom of the cornbread pan? That’s super cool that you have it. What is your standard cornbread recipe?

      Thanks!

  2. My dad has a Wagner 1891 original cast iron tea pot that is rustled or deteriorated inside Frm yrs of keeping water in it on their wood burning stove. Is it possible to clean the inside and is it of any value?

    1. Hi Margaret! Thanks for coming by.

      Well, you can clean the inside but it will definitely take some work. Review some of the processes here. There’s another step after the oven cleaner sessions where you treat the rusted area with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. The acid of the vinegar helps to remove the rust.

      However, the kettle might not be a “collectible” though it will probably hold some sentimental value. So, in the 1990s the company that owned the Wagner name started to make “The Wagner’s 1891 Original Cast Iron” series in commemoration of the original cast iron company. The bottom line is that if the tea pot says “1891 Original” then, against logic, the cast iron piece is probably only about 20 years old. Anyway, let me know about what the bottom of the tea pot says.
      Thanks!

      1. I inherited my grandmothers deep skillet which looks just like the one at the top of this site. However when trying to clean it up and put in the oven to season it the sheen turned to a thick glue like substance. I’ve no idea how to clean it. It doesn’t scrape out easily at all

  3. I’ve always favored cast iron, and particularly Wagner or Griswold because they had smooth finishes to cook on. Easier to care for too. The “L” word while they have a fine line-up are too rough. I miss the craftsmanship. Thanks for a great site. Now to find steel skillets.

    1. Hi Greg, Thanks for coming by… You have precisely described the way I found Wagner and Griswold. I had a small set of Lodge cookware that I assembled over the last few years and they were just so rough. I eventually sanded down the interior of the pans and skillets to smooth them out. It’s remarkable how nice the Lodge pans are after sanded them. You got it right – a craftsman used to sand each one of the pieces of cookware down. The difference is really something.

      What’s your prize piece of cast iron cookware?

      Thanks,
      Billy

  4. Margaret’s cleaning question reminded me of something I did 20 years ago. I had a dutch oven that was seriously deteriorated with thick rust to boot. I worked at a place that had a shot peening machine. I put the oven in it and in minutes shot peening cleaned the oven to bare clean metal ready for a wash and seasoning. I tried for 2 days to clean it before that. We still use it to this day.

  5. Looking for a polished inside cast iron skillet that has handle with opposing loop on other side. My first one 10 to 10 1/8 inches was a Wagner and was stolen! Ugh. I like the ease of two hand pick up with the loop. Know where I could find one. I still have the lid from my old one, but if one is available with lid – I could always use an extra lid.

    1. Hi Jill – Oh, no. Sorry to hear about the theft.

      eBay is the place to go for vintage cast iron since eBay is kind of like a consolidation of all the garage & estate sales across the country. There is a huge range of prices and quality. Try a search like “wagner 10 inch skillet” or “wagner #8 skillet” and you should have 10 or more results. Monitor for a couple weeks and if you’re savvy, you can set up an email alert to send you a message when new items are listed that meet your criteria.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

  6. I have a wagner Ware Fat-Free Fryer
    with -0- number. It has a low edge and a ditch around the cooking area, for grease(?). It is 11.5″ diameter measured across the two little pouring lips. How can I tell how old it is?

    1. Hi Earlene – It sounds like a nice piece of cast iron! The “-0-” is actually an “O” as in Ohio. :) The age is hard to pin point but based on what you’ve said the range is the early 1920s to as late as 1959. Is the logo in the middle or higher up on the bottom of the pan? Thanks for coming by!
      Billy

  7. Hi Billy, nice site. I’m always on the lookout for good cast iron. I did not see a single good piece I wanted for 6 months. In the last month I came across a stack of 6 skillets for $15. 3 large logo griswolds 2 small logo and 1 wagnerware. A AB&I dutch oven with lid for $8.98 first ab&i for me. unusual lid, flat on both sides with a polished cooking surface on both sides, a beautiful wagnerware #8 1058 for $10, and today I got a large logo Griswold #8 704 nickel plated skillet, marked $9.99 but it was half off day so it was $5. I kind of felt like a thief on that one, its in very good condition. here is my question, today I also acquired a kettle I have never seen. 10in across at the top, 6 in deep, has bail handle and a ring for pouring on 1 side. kinda rusty but I think I can save it. it has a ring around the bottom instead of 3 legs, and it is marked “WAGNER” and either a 3 or an 8. I have seen plenty of wagner’s and wagnerware but no WAGNER in quotes. any ideas, is this wagners? any idea of when they used that mark?

    1. Hey Timothy – I’m sorry about the delay in my reply. However, I was able to do a little research and I think you’ve got something special! You’re searching, hunting, and diligence paid off – I think it’s pre-1920s! I haven’t ever seen one of those up close and in person but that’s when they had the quotes in the logo. Now, is the logo in an arc or just a block of letters.
      I’m excited for you on this gem of a find!

      Where do you go to find your cast iron?

      Thanks for visiting,
      Billy

      1. Hi Billy.
        the “{WAGNER” is straight block letters with a sort of fancy G. After a couple of sessions in the electrolysis tank, the outside cleaned up great. Removed a lot of rust. I can now see it is a 3 not an 8. The area with the most rust is inside starting where the sides start to get straight and up 3 to 4 inches from there. I got creative with bailing wire and hung it on its side straight up and down. The bottom, inside and out cleaned up great but there is just no way to get a line of sight angle on those inside sides, so I am going to bolt an anode to a piece of wood so it hangs inside the kettle without touching or dropping. I will let you know how it goes. The first few videos I saw about using the electro tank on cast iron all used a 2 amp setting so that is what I have used. I just saw a video where it looked like the guy used 40 amps. Have you ever used more than 2 amps?
        Thanks for the info, pre 1920 would be great.

      2. I just cooked in the old ‘WAGNER’ in an arc # 8 that my grandfather born in 1878 passed down to me. It is the thinnest wall cast iron I have ever seen, much more so than my 1939 – 1944 Griswold. It has an outside heat ring and a raised straight line about 4″ long in the center of the bottom. Very thin and primitive looking.

      3. I just cooked in the old ‘WAGNER’ in an arc # 8 that my grandfather born in 1878 passed down to me. It is the thinnest wall cast iron I have ever seen, much more so than my 1939 – 1944 Griswold. It has an outside heat ring and a raised straight line about 4″ long in the center of the bottom. Very thin and primitive looking.

        1. Doye – That is great! They sure did make those versions thin. It is really cool to have a legacy from your Grandfather.
          Thanks for coming by.

  8. My Mom has a Wagner Ware Sidney -0- patent pending lid to a Dutch oven I believe, she got it from my Grandmother it’s big we use it as a skillet. I would like to try and find a bottom to it and also can you tell me how to get all of the gunk off the sides it does have a bit of build up.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Crista, That’s very cool to have an heirloom piece like that. I want to make sure I know what you have there – you have the lid to a dutch oven but no dutch oven, right?

      Based on that assumption, the easiest way to find a dutch oven to match the lid you have is to head to eBay and browse for a few days. They have a wide range quality and a huge selection.

      As far as cleaning, it can be quite a process. I would recommend using oven cleaner to strip the gunk and grease off of the lid. Check out this post as a guide since you have to take some safety precautions when dealing with oven cleaner.

    1. Hey Elizabeth, That sounds like a great little pan. I think you got a great deal there!

      I just reviewed some similar items on eBay and it looks like a minimum of $20-25. If the condition is really excellent and it sounds like it is, then it could be closer to $40 or so.

      It is tough to put a real accurate number on the value since there are some regional price differences. Also, this time of year around the holidays tends to make prices higher.

      Thanks for the comment and let me know if you have any other questions.
      Billy

  9. I bought a Wagner Ware hammered nickel plated cast iron skillet at a tag sale for $6.00. It is a little over 10 inches. Appears in good condition…no rust. On the bottom it has Wagner Ware Sidney O HS 1058 on it. I assume I got a deal. Not sure how old it is though. Just curious.

    1. Hey Kim – Great find! It sounds like one that I have, pretty much just like it too. I paid a lot more for mine too!

      I can’t say for sure but that will be in the range of 1935 – 1959. Sorry I can’t narrow it down more but that’s what I figured out for my skillet. Hope that helps!
      Billy

  10. I acquired my grandmother’s cast iron one skillet says 10 1/3 chicken fdyer. The other says ware sidney -0- round roaster. I have 2 that just have 5 H. ans tbe others need cleaned to read a y idea’s on how old?

    1. Hi Hope! Thanks for coming by and that sounds like a really nice fryer. It is hard to pin point the age sometimes. But if you can tell me where on the bottom of the cookware the writing is located, it would help. Is it in the center, at the top, or at the bottom. I can say it is probably between 1924 – 1959. We might not be able to narrow it down much more but it sounds like there is some nice family history.

      Hope that helps!

      Thanks!

  11. Hi Sir, I bought an Wagner Ware, magnalite 4508-p at a garage sale! ( my mom bought a few pieces a 10-15 years back n was very excited and speaks of them allll the time) I was starting a family and getting the hang of cooking for hubby and kids so basic pots and pans where good enough! BUT 20 YEARS LATER I SPEND $5 on this pan and I LOVE IT!!!! (Hmmm should of listened to mom back then)! My quick question is, how old is this frying pan? And I will be searching for more!

    1. Hey Laura – That’s really cool. The Magnalite line is a special blend of aluminum alloy that Wagner produced. They look unique and clearly have a high level of durability! I am not as familiar with the Magnalite line but I know they were produced starting in the 1930s and the production ended in the early 1970s. So, either way you have a vintage piece there.

      Hope that helps!
      Billy

  12. I would love to share a picture of my 8″ Wagner Skillet that I use almost daily. It was given to me(or pasted down)by my father. There were 2 other larger sizes in the set. My bother got one and my father broke the Cardal Rule of Cast Iron and submerged a hot pan in cold water and it cracked in half. I love mine! Believe it or not, I have one(of a set of two-father has other)of a set of Cast Iron End Tables made by Wagner also. The tables and skillets all originally belonged to my great grandmother.

    1. Hi Connie! That would be great and I would be honored to display the picture here! I will send you an email to get the picture. Thank you so much!

  13. Hi. I am new to buying antiques and primitives but I just love the stories behind them! I just bought a 12″ square griswald Wagner ware skillet at an auction for 12$ and I would love to know more about it! The Griswald name is in a cross with circles around it and Wagner ware appears on the edge in a rounded style lettering. Its about 2″ deep. I hope I don’t sound too “green” with my descriptions but its the best I can do. There is very little rust. What can u tell me? Thanks!!

    1. Hey Sue! Thanks for stopping by!

      Congratulations on finding some really nice pieces! That skillet was probably made between 1952 and 1969. Wagner bought Griswold in 1952 and some manufacturing was done by Wagner with some equipment from Griswold.

      how do you like the skillet? Does the food taste better when you cook with it? :)

      Thanks again, Sue. Come by again soon!

  14. I inherited a Wagner Ware 9″ chef skillet 1386B from my mother-in-law back in the 1960s; however I have no idea where or when she acquired it. It’s my favorite skillet and I use it almost daily. My favorite feature (besides the smooth interior, of course) is the thumb depression in the handle and the wonderful control and balance it imparts. Do you have any idea of the vintage of the 1386B?

    1. Hi There Amy! That sounds like a great skillet and I like to hear that it was a family heirloom. Very cool!

      It’s pretty hard to tell the exact manufacturing date but we can narrow it down to a range. Can you tell me what the logo looks like?

      Thanks!
      Billy

      1. Thanks, Billy. The logo on my skillet looks like the one in the 2nd photo above but the skillet does not have the decorated look on the outer side of the skillet. (I would attach a photo, but don’t see a way to do it.) The word Wagner is curved and the rest of the wording is straight. The initial single large W stands for both words in the name.

    1. Hey James – I have the same skillet. :) It’s my favorite skillet.
      I think it is in the 1924 – 1959 range. It’s tough to narrow it down more than that.
      How did you acquire the skillet?
      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Does the Wagner Ware Sidney O #9 1059E fall into that same era as James’ 1058? I ran across one today that was raw cast iron similar to your photo.

      2. I picked it up at a flea market for $10.oo. I do a lot of out-door camping and other activities with the family.
        I just got into collecting vantage Cast iron as a hobby.

        1. Hey James. That’s really cool and a great deal!

          This vintage stuff is fun to collect and search for. I saw some really nice pieces over the weekend at a garage sale that I randomly saw.

    1. Hey Shaun, I haven’t been able to check them out closely yet. It looks like they are smoother than Lodge Cast Iron.

      But I don’t think they are as smooth as the old stuff pre-1960.

      Let me know if you do get some and what you think of them.

  15. Hi, I have had for some time an 11 3/4″ skillet, can’t find any like it on web searches.
    Markings on the bottom have the fancy W starting both words “wagner ware”. There is no other marking at the top, though, no sidney O like most of the others have. At the bottom it says in all caps, “11 3/4 INCH SKILLET” then underneath that “MADE IN USA” and at the very bottom a small character it’s in pretty rough shape but it looks like A or maybe 4.
    Do you have any idea the origins of this, or where I could look for more information? Thanks!

    1. Hey Traci, that’s really cool! I haven’t seen many of those either.

      Where did you get it? Just curious…

      So, it looks like it will be post 1960…before 1960, the manufacturers didn’t really put anything about being made in the USA since everything used to be made in the USA. :)

  16. We just purchased a Wagner fat free fryer and I was hoping you could give us some insight into the possible age. It has the Wagner Ware Sidney logo toward the top with the fancy W, fat free fryer in the center, pat app’ld for and the number 1102 underneath that. It is about 12 inches across, about an inch deep, and has the thumb depression on the handle. It has a swirled finish on the cooking surface, which I’ve never seen on cast iron. Is this part of the design?

    Thanks for any info, and great site! I’ve learned a lot.

    1. Hey Jennifer! That sounds like a really cool piece. I think the swirled pattern may be some sanding or grinding probably from the original workings. It is pretty faint or distinct?

      I think you have a nice piece from the early 1920s to the mid 1930s, roughly. Probably 1922 – 1934. Very cool!

      Where did you find it?
      Billy

    2. Thank you for the reply, Billy. The pattern on it is very distinct. It looks original to the piece. We live in the Sierra foothills in California, and there is a little small town cafe near us that sells old cast iron (the owners ex husband travels the states and collects them) We try to go there a couple times a year to check out if they have any uncommon pieces (we recently purchased a waffler). I use our pieces nearly every day. They are superior to anything on the market today. I also have some of my grandmother’s pieces as well. My grandpa taught me all about the use and care of cast iron from the time I was a little girl. I love it!!

  17. I have 3 skillets;large,medium,small the mediem one has number 1056 N on the bottom.Do they last forever? Is it vintage, and what is the value? It is marked on the bottom with Wagner Ware Sidney. Very exciting because I thought of throwing them away! greetings from Holland,Beatrijs Kuyck

    1. Hey Kuyck – Great set up you have there.

      They just about do last forever if you take care of them. Keep them seasoned and don’t drop them.

      They are vintage but it’s hard to tell the exact age – probably in the 1920 – 1959 range though.

      The value depends on the condition but it could range from about $15 per skillet to over $200 per skillet. Most likely, each one is probably worth about $35-75 USD.

      Thanks for coming by – I’m a big fan of the beers in your area of the world! Cheers!

  18. I have a square piece divided into three sections; two small, equally divided at one end, and a third, wider, reaching from side to side. The back has ‘bacon and egg skillet’ cast in along with the Wagner Ware O logo and PAT. PENDING. I grew up using cast iron cookware–my father owned the first foundry in north Alabama– but I’ve never seen anything like this.
    Any information would be most appreciated.

    1. Hey Bonnie – That’s a great piece you have there. I’ve heard of the bacon & egg skillet before and only seen a couple of them.

      That’s cool about your dad having the 1st foundry in N. Alabama. They have a lot of metal trade in Alabama…

      I think you have a piece from the early 1920s to the mid 1930s, roughly. Probably 1924 – 1935… It’s quite hard to pinpoint exactly but I think that is pretty close.

  19. We had a good Wagner 1891 skillet and the whole handle just snapped off with a little of the side of skillet, Is there anyway to get a replacement? We loved this skillet!!!

    1. Hey Mary – Oh no! Sorry to hear that. What a bummer.

      So, the bad news is that you can’t do much about that. The good news is that the “Wagner 1891″ Skillet that you had was a “throw back” manufacturing run in 1991.

      It was not an antique or particularly valuable.

      Have you been able to replace it yet?

  20. I have a Wagner Ware skillet, 8″. On the bottom it has the Wagner Ware Sydney logo on the bottom with the “0″. There is also stamp that reads 1058 L on the bottom. This skillet belonged to my other and her mother before that. Ant thoughts on this piece?

    1. Hey Mark –
      That’s a nice one. I have a 1058 as well.

      The “O” stands for Ohio. It’s probably from the 1920s to 1935 or so. It’s a little hard to tell.

      Where on the bottom does the logo appear?

  21. I have a Wagner Ware skillet I found in my grandmother’s attic. It had the number 1056 M on the bottom and either a 6 or 9 on the handle. It also has a pour spout on either dude of the skillet. I would love any information you could offer on this piece.

    1. Hey Lo La –
      That’s really cool that you found that 1056M. It is probably a 6 on the handle too.

      It’s probably from the 1922 to 1935 or so. It’s a little hard to tell sometimes so it might be a recent as the 1950s.

      Where on the bottom does the logo appear?

  22. I only have cast iron that is more than 20 years old, so I don’t know about the new stuff. I know that Lodge has that bumpy stuff that is supposed to be pre seasoned. Don’t like it.

    1. Hey DrJill. I agree with you 100%. I like the idea of cast iron and I have a few things from Lodge…But it is like cooking on cement!

      I have been able to sand down a griddle from Lodge and it’s pretty nice to cook in now. Back in the day, the factories used to grind down the cast iron but now they just sell the rough cast iron and tell you to keep cooking on it and seasoning it.

      I like the classics myself. :)

    1. Hey Charlie,
      That sounds like you have a classic dutch oven there. Very cool!
      It’s probably from around the 1920s – 1959 or so.

      If it says “made in the USA” that means it’s probably from post 1959 when Wagner changed ownership.

  23. I have a CRAPE-ETTE MASTER*****WAGNER WARE*****U.S. PATENT PEND.

    I have looked on Google and ebay but could not find it anywhere. Can you provide me with any information; When it was patented, how rare, what is it worth? Thank you!

    1. Hey Chuck – That sounds pretty darn rare. I haven’t seen one myself and I didn’t see much in my searches either.

      Sorry I can’t offer more help on that!

  24. I just inherited my 91 year-old mother’s skillet when she passed away last month. I’m 53 and can remember it in it’s storage place on top of the stove (as well as being used daily to fry or make cornbread) for my entire life. I’m 6th of 7 kids, so I presume she had it already long before I was born in 1960. I’ve just gone through the process of restoring it and I’m trying to get an idea of just how old it is.

    On the bottom of the pan are: Wagner Ware (where there is actually just one “W” and the two words are on top of each other and share it), then Sydney, then – O -. Then, also on the bottom, but at the opposite side from the other writing it has 1056 and below that, an O.

    Any ideas as to the true age of it? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Keith, Sorry to hear about your mother’s passing.

      That’s cool that you’ll be able to keep that very nice heirloom. I think it’s probably from the 1922 – 1959 range. Can you tell me where on the bottom the logo appears?

      Is it more towards the top, middle, or bottom?

      1. Thank Billy. If I hold the pan with the handle pointing down, the logo is printed on the top (it’s opposite the handle).

  25. I love to collect vintage cast iron and have several pieces. I bought a WAPAK skillet last week for $1 and it was covered with thick layers of burnt on gunk. I finally got brave and set it in our woodstove on a glowing bed of hot coals. I watched it carefully for about a half hour. Took it out and it is absolutely like new! It just needs to be seasoned and I can’t wait to use it. I wanted to share this hint so more people save these priceless pieces!!!

    1. Hey Kim – Great tip! And, what a great deal at $1. :)

      I know a couple of my friends have put their cast iron in the electric oven on the self cleaning cycle but I wouldn’t do it with something that is one of a kind. It could crack under the intense heat.

      I also wouldn’t want to heat up my kitchen with the oven in the HOT Georgia Summer. haha, I’ll wait for the winter when we don’t mind the extra heat in the kitchen.

      Cheers, Kim, and thanks for the tip.

  26. Hi, I just purchased three Wagner Ware skillets: 6 1/2, 8 and 9 and inches. The 6 1/2 has the number 3 at the base of the handles on top and the letter D on the bottom of the skillet. The 8 has 5 on top and the letter N on the bottom and the 9 has 6 on top and the letter K on the bottom. Anything you could tell me I would appreciate it.

    1. Hi Steve, Congrats on your new purchases!

      They are probably from the period around 1922 – 1959.

      The numbers are designated for the old wood burning stoves…not the size in inches like you discovered. Even after modern stoves were used they kept using the same size designations.

      So how smooth are those pans compared to the modern Lodge Cast Iron you can get nowadays?

  27. I purchased a Wagner Sidney O skillet, medium sized, at the Cameron Antique Festival,and the ‘blacking’ came off just from sitting on the stove next to the skillet that was being used. It looks like shiny aluminum that had been ‘blacked’, and the color came off the sides. the bottom and the insides are still black. I’m puzzled. It’s lighter than the other skillet, but then it is slightly smaller as well. ???

    1. Hey Marykay – Congrats on the new purchase.

      The blacking is the seasoning that keeps things from sticking to the skillet when you are cooking.

      As long as the cooking surface is still black and seasoned as we say, then don’t worry about it. It is just superficial and you’ll be able to cook just find in the skillet.

      Here is how to season cast iron.

  28. I just purchased a Wagnerware 11.5″ skillet in great shape at a yard sale . Can you tell me what the numbers s0901 stand for on the bottom?

    1. Hey Sharon,
      Great find!

      I am a little stumped about what “s0901″ stands for. It might just be some designation about the model # or cast in the factory that was used.

      What else is listed on the bottom too?

  29. I have a wagner ware sidney 0 its smaller than the #3 has a 2A on the back. Anyone know about this small skillet? thank you, Paula

    1. Hey Paula,
      It’s smaller than the #3. Hmm, you have a #2 skillet!

      It must 4-7/8″ which is just a little smaller than the #3.

      The “A” tells the factory the cast mold that was used.

      I like to use the small sizes as a serving dish since it’s pretty small to actually cook in unless I am baking.

  30. We found two Wagners at the thrift store and On the bottom of one it says Wagners 1891 original cast iron cook wear..seasoning instructions and then has a 4 step instructions….does any one know anything about this…we have never seen one with that on it

    1. Hey Shelly – The “Wagner 1891″ Skillet that you had was a “throw back” manufacturing run in 1991.

      So it is not an antique but something Wagner put out before they stopped making cookware.

  31. I have a question maybe someone can help me with, I have a Wagner Ware Waffle Iron and on side it has a 1408 stamped into it. Thank you for your help. I still use it, it makes the best waffles that the new electric can’t beat.

    1. Hey Marilyn,
      That’s super cool!

      I think that is worth about $70 – $150++ depending on what condition it’s in. I don’t think you’ll want to sell it since the waffles are so good coming out of it!

      I just have an electric waffle maker here at home so I can only imagine how good those waffles are.

  32. I have a pan with markings on the bottom that has Sidney in quotation marks(“SIDNEY”) in an arc at the top with a number 7 that has a dot to the right of it(7.) at the bottom near the handle base. Does any one have any information about this pan?

    1. Paul, that’s awesome!

      I think that is quite rare these days and comes from a while back!

      I’m guessing 1895 – 1915 roughly.

      What kind of shape is that skillet in?

  33. We hvae a cast iron skillet that we have had for about 10 years. We used it on a gas stove mostly. Sadly, after such a short time (for cast iron) we are now seeing a visible crack in it. Does Wagner offer a warantee on their product? I can’t seem to find any information. If not this will be last Wagner we buy. I am sorely disappointed.

    1. Hey Lara,
      Sorry to hear about that.

      This site isn’t the official Wagner site…however, they don’t make these pans anymore. It’s quite rare when they crack but often times, you can just keep using them if the crack is small.

      In fact, my nicest pan has a hairline crack that was not visible until I totalled cleaned it. Turns out it was fine and I can still cook in it.

  34. I was given a cast iron 8″ skillet with about 30 yrs of rust & dirt on it. I got it cleaned up & on the bottom it says
    Wagner Ware Sidney 0. On the bottom it has 1057 & a marking I can’t make out. Is this an oldie?

    1. Hey Barbara – Yes, I think that’s roughly from the 1922 – 1959 period. The other marking is probably just a notation of what mold was used in the factory, like a model number.

      How do you like the skillet?

  35. I just bought some skillets and one is a #10 Wagner. I looked at the photos on castisroncollector.com and do not see one that matches. I also looked in the book, “Collectors Guide to Wagner Ware” and did not find this exact marking.

    It has the script-style on the “W” where there is a small loop in the center. The logo and writing is in the center near the top, or opposite the handle. The “Wagner” has a bit of an arc to it, while “Ware” is written straight with no arc.

    At the bottom of the skillet, it says – “11 /34″ SKILLET” and “MADE IN USA”. Below that is an ‘X’.

    Do you have any information regarding this marking?

    Kind regards,
    Pamela

    1. Hey Pamela,
      That’s a cool pan and you have done your research!

      I think the “X” is just a model number for the factory to know what mold was used to make that pan.

      Since it says “Made in the USA”, it is probably from the 1950s or later. The early pieces were from an era where everything was from the USA so there was no need to make such a notation.

      Hope that helps

  36. I am trying ti date my 10″ wagner ware dutch oven that has a lid that is another frying pan that hooks onto the bottom pan. It has the “O” for Ohio.
    The # is 1402A

    Pat Nos. 97022- 1554360

    I never saw one like it.

    Thanks for your help.

    Geri

    1. Hey Geri,
      That’s a great Dutch Oven! Very cool.

      If it is in poor condition it’s probably worth $130-150. In good shape it’s probably worth $250++.

      The dating…I think it’s in the range from 1922 – 1959. And upon further investigation, I found a similar model online. The Pan-Handler stated that it’s manufactured in 1941.

      So there you go, 1941.

  37. Thank you all for the wealth of information. I have been frying steaks in my Wagner centennial fat free pan , that my wife found for a buck, and love its’ performance. Now I can’t wait to find a vintage one to compare.

    1. Hey Charlie – Thanks for coming by and I appreciate the compliment.

      You will love the vintage cast iron, buddy! Happy hunting.

  38. My mom has a collection of cast iron. I found wagner ware (arch cursive like w) sidney -O- 1056 M #6. Also a wagnerware (same symbol) 1055 c #5. And a wagner ware (block letters)1891 8″ skillet with seasoning instructions hammered in. Any idea as to what these are worth? We plan on keeping them but would like to know what we have.

    1. Hey Tiffany, that’s a great collection!

      First off, the 1891 skillet isn’t worth much. The “Wagner 1891″ Skillet that you had was a “throw back” manufacturing run in 1991. It’s not an antique or particularly valuable.

      The #5 & #6 are probably from the 1922 – 1959 range. They are most likely worth from about $25 – $75+ each. It depends on what kind of shape they are in. If you clean them up and season them very carefully, then you can pretty much get them to look great, driving up the value.

  39. From my research, the pan you described is of a fairly recent origin. I believe that they were cast in the 90′s for the centennial celebration of Wagner

    1. Hey Paul, You’re right. That’s centennial skillet isn’t very old…

      After all, back in 1891, they didn’t put the dates on the pans. :)

  40. I have a deep dish fryer. Says Wagner Ware in an arch. It has one W for both. It says National at top and at the bottom it say 1359C. I got this in the 1970′s at a flea market. Please tell me how old it is. Thank you

  41. I found my second 10 inch skillet at a tag sale for $20 which I thought I might have paid too much for. It is a Wagner. On the bottom it says Wagner Ware Sydney -O- 1058 I. Can you give me any info on this? It also has a heat ring on the bottom.

    1. Hey Kim –
      That’s not a bad deal if it was in pretty good condition. How smooth is the inside and how does the seasoning look?

      I have the 1058 too and probably paid about the same amount.

      I think it’s from the 1922 – 1959 period… How do you like it?

  42. My mother, who just passed away at 92, has a Wagner Ware deep skillet, double pour. The company name appears at the top of the bottom, opposite the handle end, and the WAGNER is arched, with the W being for the company name and the WARE, and the SIDNEY O completes the name. The bottom is smooth. The number at the bottom is 1056 followed by what appears to be the capital letter I or a T, but looks more like an I. The number on the top of the handle appears to be a 6. Any idea on when this was manufactured? Its in very good condition, a beautiful deep smooth black color inside.

    1. Hi there, Fred. Sorry to hear about your mother.

      That sounds like a really great heirloom. I think that’s in the range from about 1924 – 1945. The “I” or “T” is probably denoting the casting mold in the factory.

      I know you’ll keep that skillet in good shape! Cheers.

  43. Hi there
    I have a Wagner skillet that measures 9 1/2 inches across the bottom and has pour spouts…but the Wagner name is very simple , not with the fancy W that i see the other vintage pans having. Also the O for ohio just has a . behind it ( O. ) like this. the pan has no number on the handle, just a 9 on the bottom of the pan. I wanted another, and can’t find any on the internet like it.
    Now i’m curious about the approximate age and value of the pan?
    thanks for your time,
    Martha Mora

    1. Hey Martha – Good to hear from you. Wow, that sounds like a rare piece right there. I think that it may be from the pre-1915 era! The value depends on the condition. It sounds like it might be in good shape. If it is in poor condition it might be $25-50 or so.

      If it is in good condition it might be worth over $200. If the condition is excellent, it might be worth well over $200++ !

  44. Hello I would like to know about how much a Wager ware -o- 1059 is worth ? it is in good condition we use it everyday.

    1. Hi Michelle, it is probably worth $30 – 75+. It all depends on the condition but you say it’s good. I have one just like it and love it! I just cooked up some bacon today.

  45. I have a pan that I would like to sell … do not know how to price it … can you help please?

    It is marked on the bottom “WAGNER” (straight), and the number 8. It has a silver color finish on the outside and handle (nickel plated)? I believe it is from the 1890′s based on my research.

    Help please!! :)

    1. Hey Ester – That sounds like a really nice piece of cast iron!

      That sounds like a pre-1915 era piece..I agree.

      How are you going to sell it? On eBay or privately?

      If you are going to sell it on eBay I would probably just set the auction for 7 days with no reserve and an initial bid of $0.99. That will encourage the highest number of bids.

      If you are going to sell it another way, I would monitor eBay for 2-3 weeks for the exact same item, if you can find it. Price it around 25% HIGHER than the maximum sale price you can find. That will give you some room to bargain if needed.

  46. I have a nickel plated “WAGNER” (straight) 8 pan and would like to know how much it is worth.

    Any help out there?

  47. My husband & I just picked up a Wagner while antiquing this weekend. The bottom says Wagner Ware (the W is shared) and says Sidney -O- underneath. At 6 o’clock it is marked with 1401 and a C underneath. The too side of the handle is shiny (nickel?) and also has a C. Can you please help me date this. Also we gave $25 for it. Did we overpay? Thanks!

    1. Hey Jessica! Congrats on the purchase. Have you cooked anything on it yet?

      I think you got a great deal! Well done! You got a good value and probably cheaper than you could have gotten on eBay.

      Based on what you said, it’s probably from the mid 1920s to about 1959. it’s hard to tell exactly most of the time. The “C” denotes the specific cast mold that was used in the factory.
      Hope that helps!

  48. Thanks Billy! Your suggestions make sense!!

    I am selling it for a client, so am not sure I comfortable without the reserve. Do you have any suggestions on that point? I have been monitoring and searching other sources, but to no avail.

    Also, is that nickel plate? Do you want a pic??

    1. Yes, send a pic to billy (@) wagnercastironskillet (dot) com

      The other thing you can do is just have the starting price at $200 and go from there. Maybe you can just set the price very high and if it doesn’t sell just keep lowering the price each week.

      I’ve never done that but it would help to get the highest value…the downside is it would take many weeks.

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