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MAMAW'S WAGNER WARE FLAT IRON SKILLET - TRYING TO DOCUMENT THE AGE

Hawging It

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I have several styles and sizes of cast iron skillets that I use often. I was shocked today while cleaning out and rearranging our kitchen cabinets. I found my grandmother's flat skillet that I had forgotten about. It was in the lower base cabinet hidden in an area where you could't see it. My Mamaw was born in 1902 and and passed away of old age . She was 98 years young with a sharp mind even at the end. She taught me how to cook southern soul food at a young age. I can still remember sitting on a stool in her kitchen watching her cook different things. Seems like yesterday. I'm 63 so it wasn't yesterday but my memories of her cooking and the smell of cooked food in her house are still very, very clear. Anyway, back to the Wagner Ware flat skillet. I got on the internet today in an attempt to age the skillet. From my research, it appears from the attached pics and document I found on the internet, it was manufactured between 1925 - 1959. The only thing not mentioned in the document is the 1109-S imprinted on the skillet opposite end of the Wagner logo. I was hoping we have a Wagner Ware expert member on SMF that will review the attached document and my pics and see if I am correct. Still very interested what 1109-S means. Hoping for an expert. Sorry for the long post. PS. Used it tonight over coals on the Weber Kettle and made smash burgers on it. The flat skillet worked perfectly Mamaw would be happy for new ways to use her skillet.
SKILLET 1.jpg

I seasoned it with lard in the oven after I took the pics
SKILLET 3.jpg

Over view pre seasoning
WAGNER WARE SIDNEY-0.jpg

The attached document explained how the logo changed during the years.
1109-S.jpg

1109-S was not discussed in the document. Curious what it means.
 

Attachments

eddiememphis

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There is a lot of conflicting information out there (on the internet? Say it ain't so!), but it seems the -S is a mold number.

I worked at Coors in the mold shop, repairing the molds used to make bottles. Every bottle has small numbers along the bottom designating the time and place of manufacture, along with the molds that were used when the bottle was manufactured. These molds wear out and need to be replaced. Your -S skillet mold wore to the point it needed to be replaced, likely with a fresh -T mold.

The molten metal (or glass) injected into the mold wears it. As the heat and mixture of the cast material vary, it will cause imperfections in the mold. The molds have to be cleaned often as imperfections will result in a flawed product. This is more important on a glass bottle since it contains a product that is under pressure but a cast iron skillet needs to have a tight cooking surface. A worn mold would be too porous and require too much surface grinding to stay within the prescribed specifications. (I am guessing.)

Molds can be repaired but only a few times before the are too "out of spec" and need to be replaced. In the mold shop, this was done by "flame spraying" and re-machining the molds but this doesn't last long and each time, less so, until they are out of spec and become very heavy paperweights.

Obviously, cast iron is different than glass but I am sure the principles apply to both.
 

danmcg

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Great piece, I've been looking for one for a while. I think Eddie is right about the S but I've never read anything to confirm the letters, With the heat ring and catalog number (1109), I think it dates 1924-35.

Here's almost more then you'd really want to know about cast iron cookware;
 
Last edited:

Hawging It

Master of the Pit
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700
Joined Jan 1, 2019
There is a lot of conflicting information out there (on the internet? Say it ain't so!), but it seems the -S is a mold number.

I worked at Coors in the mold shop, repairing the molds used to make bottles. Every bottle has small numbers along the bottom designating the time and place of manufacture, along with the molds that were used when the bottle was manufactured. These molds wear out and need to be replaced. Your -S skillet mold wore to the point it needed to be replaced, likely with a fresh -T mold.

The molten metal (or glass) injected into the mold wears it. As the heat and mixture of the cast material vary, it will cause imperfections in the mold. The molds have to be cleaned often as imperfections will result in a flawed product. This is more important on a glass bottle since it contains a product that is under pressure but a cast iron skillet needs to have a tight cooking surface. A worn mold would be too porous and require too much surface grinding to stay within the prescribed specifications. (I am guessing.)

Molds can be repaired but only a few times before the are too "out of spec" and need to be replaced. In the mold shop, this was done by "flame spraying" and re-machining the molds but this doesn't last long and each time, less so, until they are out of spec and become very heavy paperweights.

Obviously, cast iron is different than glass but I am sure the principles apply to both.
Wow. That is interesting. Thank you sir!
 

Hawging It

Master of the Pit
1,724
700
Joined Jan 1, 2019
Great piece, I've been looking for one for a while. I think Eddie is right about the S but I've never read anything to confirm the letters, With the heat ring and catalog number (1109), I think it dates 1924-35.

Here's almost more then you'd really want to know about cast iron cookware;
Great piece, I've been looking for one for a while. I think Eddie is right about the S but I've never read anything to confirm the letters, With the heat ring and catalog number (1109), I think it dates 1924-35.

Here's almost more then you'd really want to know about cast iron cookware;
Wow, possibly older than I thought. Mamaw's daughter is 86 or so. I am going to discuss with her. There is still a chance this was my Great grandmothers.
 

Hawging It

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jan 1, 2019
Question? I never saw her use it but obviously it has been used many, many times. What was it used for back in the day??
 

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