Learn to date and identify your Griswold cast iron skillet and house brands made by the Griswold Manufacturing Company.
If you have a Griswold cast iron skillet that has been hiding in the back of your kitchen cupboard. Then it’s time to bring it out, dust it off and start using these wonderful old pans. People really enjoy and treasure these old skillets including myself.
In this article you can learn to date and identify your skillet using markings. And also by the different logos and brands Selden & Griswold and Griswold Manufacturing Company used between 1873-1957.
Table: Griswold Manufacturing background
The origins of Griswold Manufacturing Company
dates back to 1868 as a very small operation making door hinges.
Selden & Griswold Manufacturing Company
|The Selden and Griswold family business becomes the Selden & Griswold Manufacturing company.|
Griswold Manufacturing Company
The company grew to become one of Americas largest and most respected cast-iron manufacturers of the 20th century.
Reasons for collectibility
Griswold cast iron skillets are highly regarded and sought after because of their smooth cooking surfaces and lighter weight.
Desired and rare skillets
Keep an eye out for the first series “Erie” and “Erie Spider” skillets. These two skillets stand out as the most sought after by collectors.
Also rare sizes such the Griswold #13 and #20 are also prized by collectors and enthusiasts.
|Most valuable Griswold skillet|
The Erie Spider and Griswold no13 can cost a pretty penny.
But the most valuable Griswold skillet, is your family skillet.
Family skillets vary in size, condition and have various logos. However, they are the most treasured and are often regarded as priceless.
If you want to learn more about the history of the Griswold Manufacturing Company. Or if you want some tips when buying Griswold cookware, check out this article on Griswold cast iron cookware. It’s packed full of useful, well researched information on the company.
Table of contents
- Selden & Griswold cast iron
- Erie cast iron
- Griswold cast iron skillet logos
- Victor cast iron
- Iron Mountain
- Good Health cast iron
- Best Made skillets
- Puritan cast iron
- Merit cast iron
Disclaimer: I’ve tried my best to keep the information as accurate as possible by carefully researching. I have also collected cast iron for over 10 years, so I a little experience behind me. But dates vary between sources and factors such as handle design can slightly change the date of manufacture.
However, I have spent many hours creating this identification guide and I hope you find it useful and informative.
Selden & Griswold cast iron 1873-1884
Matthew Griswold and two brothers from the Selden teamed up and started to make door hinges in 1868. Their factory was known as the “Butt Factory,” named after the type of door hinge (butt hinge) manufactured in the ironworks.
Selden & Griswold started to manufacture hollowware from 1973. But most of the cookware with this logo was probably made in the 1880s. Even though Mathew Griswold bought out the company in 1884, he still used the Selden Griswold logos.
After all, it would have taken a lot time and money to register new patents and to make new molds. Check out our other article to learn about the history of Griswold Manufacturing. Wikipedia also some information on Griswold. Although I hope my article is a little more detailed.
Griswold cast iron markings include:
|Made around 1880-1907|
(Griswold diamond logo)
New logo introduced called circle cross
With heat ring circa 1906-1916
Slant logo with EPU
Slant logo without Erie
No Erie under logo circa 1909-1920
Griswold with large block logo
Without italic lettering 1920-1930
Large block logo
(without heat ring)
Griswold large slant logo
(without heat ring)
Small block logo
|Notable reduction in logo size. Circa 1939-1957|
Erie cast iron (approximation date 1880-1907)
Erie cast iron is some of the most sought after vintage cast iron you can collect. Griswold used this logo between 1880-1907.
Erie cast iron skillets are very thin and light. Because of this they are more prone to warping. So if you are buying an Erie online, make sure you ask the seller if the skillet rocks or spins. That being said, I wouldn’t look past an Erie skillet just because it has a little movement.
Erie skillets are also known to be super smooth and are often priced similar to other vintage pans.
If you have an Erie skillet, you can further break the Erie logo into 6 different versions of the pan. The Wagner and Griswold Society has an article on the different Erie series.
If you look on the back of you cast iron griddle and you see a diamond logo then it’s your lucky day. The Griswold Diamond logo is an early logo and it’s more scarce than other logos.
Griswold manufactured griddles with this logo Circa 1884-1910. The logo is positioned in the center. Unfortunately, this is an area on cast iron often damaged by sulphur pitting.
Griswold’s Erie Trademark
Griswold used this logo somewhere between 1905-1909. There are conflicting dates so I used the wider conservative timeline. Since Griswold used the Griswold’s Erie logo for a short time it is harder to find skillets using this logo.
The Griswold’s Erie logo is the first Griswold logo. It transitions from previously used Erie logos to Griswold logos. However, the Griswold’s Erie logo shares similarities which Erie skillets.
Look for Griswolds’s Erie skillets between sizes 6-9 and 11 to 12.
Griswold Slant logo with heat ring no EPU
The first of the famous Griswold skillet logos. The Griswold Manufacturing company used the Slant trademark from 1906-1916. Again this is a wide conservative range.
The Griswold slant logo is easily with the word Griswold which is in italics. Also the Slant logo has characteristics which differ from Erie and Griswold’s Erie skillets.
Changes Griswold made on their Slant logo skillets
- The size number on the base of the skillet moved from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock.
- Erie placed below the Griswold logo. From 1880-1907 the word Erie was place at 12 o’clock.
- The patten number moved from the center of the skillet to 6 o’clock on skillet to make room for the Griswold circle cross logo.
Griswold Slant logo sizes
Slant logo sizes range from 1-14. The largest skillet with the Griswold Slant logo is #14. A Griswold #13 slant logo can cost thousands of dollars to the serious collector. Needless to say, the skillet has to be in great condition for this price.
Griswold slant logo with E.P.U and heat ring
The Griswold slant trademark changed to add the words cast iron skillet in an arc at 12 o’clock on the skillet. The EPU is in reference to the words Erie PA., U.S.A., added to the skillet.
The slant logo, however, remained the same. Again I cannot pinpoint the exact date of manufacture of the Griswold slant logo with EPU. If you have a Griswold slant logo with EPU the manufacture date is around 1909-1929.
Slant logo without Erie marking
I have only seen this trademark used on a few Griswold cast iron skillets. It seems to be quite rare. The logo is the same as Slant logo without EPU however this logo also omits the marking Erie.
Griswold cast iron skillets without Erie marking had a manufacture date around 1909-1920.
Sizes available: I have only seen the large slant logo without Erie on size #9 skillets. I don’t know of other sizes with this logo.
Large block logo
One of the more popular markings or trademarks is know as the Griswold block logo. The block logo is very similar the slant logo however, Griswold is no longer in italics. Griswold is in straight block letters.
Skillets with the block logo probably were made between 1920-1930.
Griswold also made a wide of sizes ranging from 0-14, however Griswold Manufacturing also made a larger number 20. The Griswold #20 is a huge skillet and can cost a pretty penny online.
The Griswold no20 is huge. The skillet is called the “Griswold Hotel skillet”.
Large block logo without heat ring (smooth bottom)
Griswold also made the large block cast iron skillet with a smooth bottom rather than the familiar heat ring. However, the sizes were more limited. Look out for sizes between 2-10 if you want to collect a full set.
Smooth bottom skillet are not as desirable to collectors as skillets with heats rings so you can expect to pay less for a Griswold without a heat ring.
Why the change? Cookware with heat rings were for use on wood or coal ranges. However, with the introduction electric cookers, cast iron cookware with heat rings slowly gave way to cast iron skillets without heat rings.
So if you want a great old skillet without the price tag of highly collectable pieces then a skillet Griswold Large block trademark could be a great option.
Griswold made skillets with the large block logo and a flat bottom between 1930-1939.
Griswold slant logo without heat ring
Griswold also used slant logo on smooth bottom pans. Smooth bottom pans are like what we use today.
However, slant logos on skillets without a heat ring is not as common as skillets with a heat ring. These pieces seem to sell at a similar price to a smooth bottom Griswold with a block logo.
Griswold made these skillets between 1939-1944
Small block logo.
The Griswold Small Block trademark is not as collectable to cast iron enthusiasts but they are still fantastic skillets. Griswold drastically reduced the size of the logo and skillets came without a heat ring. Skillets lost much of their character however, there are some beautiful skillets around with the small block logo.
Watch out for sellers pricing these skillets at high prices. You can expect to pick up a skillet with the Griswold small block logo at lower price than more collectable skillets.
Not the say small block skillets are not any good. Rather the small block logo is simply not as collectible, so you may pick a good skillet at bargain prices.
The Small Block logo were made between 1939-1957.
Griswold Manufacturing’s big brands were Erie and Griswold. But they also made cast iron cookware under different brands.
Griswold like many other foundries such as: Wapak, Wagner and Favorite cast iron made a lower grade range of cast iron cookware which was more budget friendly.
Table: Griswold Manufacturing’s budget friendly line
Circa 1880s to the 1930s
Victor cast iron
Victor was Griswold’s budget-friendly grade of cast iron. Griswold made Victor skillets between the 1880s to the 1930s. The Victor logo also changed over the 50 years. Simply marked in the beginning with Victor at the 12 o’clock position like Erie skillets. Later Victor cast iron skillets became embellished.
Griswold Manufacturing marketed Victor cast iron as a lower grade however this does not mean lower quality. Victor skillets have super smooth cooking surfaces.
Griswold made another lower-priced range of cast iron known as Iron Mountain. Unlike other cookware made by Griswold Manufacturing the Iron Mountain range doesn’t have any logos or trademarks which makes it hard to identify than other skillets.
But there are a few characteristics which the Iron Mountain skillet series have which can identify them. Look for rectangular hole in the handle.
Griswold made Iron Mountain cast iron between 1930s-1940s. Since Iron Mountain cast iron was a budget range it’s probably not a surprise Iron Mountain skillets have a heat ring for use on older wood and coal ranges rather than new electric technology.
Griswold Manufacturing made skillets for other companies
Sears contracted with Griswold Manufacturing Company to make cast iron cookware for their department stores. The Cast Iron Collector also has some great information on cast iron store brands. Griswold store bands included:
Table: Store brands manufactured in the Griswold foundry
Manufactured in the 1920s
From the 1920s-1930s Griswold Puritan cast iron will have
a pattern number at 6 o’clock
Made from 1920s-1930s
Griswold identification and dating main points
- Griswold cast iron skillets remain popular with cast iron enthusiasts and those who want a great vintage pan
- You can identify your skillet by using logos and marking on your skillet. This site and other online resources can help you date you Griswold cast iron skillet
- While the Griswold slant logo block logo with a heat ring are more desired by collectors they also tend to be more expensive than skillets without a heat ring
- You However you will most likely pick up a great Griswold skillet without a heat ring at a lower price
“Pre Griswold” is a term used for Erie skillets
Erie cast iron is sometimes described as “Pre Griswold”. Griswold Manufacturing Company made Erie cast iron cookware. However, the Erie logo was used before Griswold started to place their company name on their cookware.
Griswold Skillets are wonderful but take your time if you want to buy one
If you have a Griswold Cast iron skillet then you should be one proud owner. Many pay a premium for Griswold cast iron skillets. However, the word is out Griswold to the name to have and some sellers are asking some hefty prices. Just take your time if you want to buy one of these beauties.
Griswold made other brands and they are pretty fine too.
If you have an Erie or a Griswold or another skillet made by the Griswold Manufacturing Company then you have yourself one fine skillet.
But the store brands and the Iron Mountain range are pretty good too. Even though smooth bottom skillets are not as collectible many prefer them on modern hobs.
There’s good reason Griswold has the reputation making some of the best cast iron you can cook with. Enjoy your skillet.
Here are some FAQs
Even though an exact amount can’t be placed on your skillet there are certain sizes and logos which are more desired by collectors and enthusiasts. Generally skillets with heat rings and larger skillets sell at higher prices.
Some Griswold cast iron skillets are rarer than others. While the word is out that Griswold cast iron is the name to collect, some asking prices have skyrocketed and are getting onto the crazy territory.
However, many sellers value their sellers at market value. Especially those who specialize and trade in vintage cast iron. Another place to look is the sold listings on eBay. It will give you an idea on the value of your skillet.
If your skillet has a Griswold logo it was made between 1905-1957. During this time the Griswold Manufacturing Company used a variety of logos and markings Griswold skillets. Luckily we can use these markings to determine the age of your Griswold cast iron skillet.
If you have enjoyed this article be sure to check out my other articles on vintage cast iron.
- Wagner Wagner which was a Griswold Manufacturing main Competitor
- Wapak Hollow Ware which may have use used Erie skillet for templates for their own cast iron skillets
- Favorite Stove and Range which made amazing cast iron. Favorite Piqua Ware my in opinion equal to Wagner and Griswold
- Sidney Hollow Ware which is one of my favorite makers. They also made their cast iron very light like Erie pans