Vintage cast iron. How to identify Sidney Hollowware cast iron.

Sidney Hollowware Cast iron skillet.

How to identify Sidney Hollowware Cast iron.

Sidney Hollowware Company has to be one of my favorite companies that made cast-iron cookware. The cast iron tends to have very few molding imperfections and is smooth on both the interior and the exterior. Unfortunately, the company is not as well known as Griswold or Wagner Ware and only manufactured cast iron for a short period of time.

In this article, you can learn to identify cast-iron made by the Sidney Hollow Ware Co. But first, here’s some information about the former company. See the table below.

About Sidney Hollowware


Founder

Philip Smith

Location

Sidney, Shelby County, Ohio

Manufacture date

The foundry was operational between 1886-1897
(Sold to Wagner Manufacturing Company in 1897)

Product line

Sidney made a limited selection of cast iron hollowware and kettles

Product finishes

Sidney Hollowware products came in cast-iron, nickel plating and polished cast-iron

Looking for a light pan then it’s hard to look past Sidney Hollowware

It must have been standard practice to cast iron thinner back then. Sidney skillets are great if you’re looking for a lighter pan but without the price of an early Wagner cast iron skillet or Griswold skillet. However, larger skillets in good condition are highly collectable and can command some healthy prices.

I have also seen a notable increase in the asking price with some online sellers. So if you are looking for Sidney Hollow Ware cast iron, I urge a little caution to select a good piece from a fair seller.

English breakfast cooking in a vintage cast-iron skillet

If you have any Sidney Hollowware cast iron, then you’re lucky, they only manufactured cookware between 1886-1897.

Sidney Hollow Ware Co. had their foundry based in Sidney Ohio and only made cast iron cookware between 1886-1897. I reckon you’re lucky if you have old an old Sidney Hollowware skillet in your possession. There aren’t too many of these pieces around.

They’re more scarce than Wagner and Griswold cast iron and rarely come up on online auction sites, so keep an eye out for them. I also have an interesting article find you want to learn more about the history about the Sidney Hollow Ware Company, just double click the banner below.

Learn the history banner

Each skillet made by Sidney Hollowware had either one of two main logos. However, both of the logos have an old world charm from a bygone era. They really look great. If you’re looking for a vintage pan, these old-timers are really good looking.

The Sidney Hollowware logos

1. Sidney O logo with script lettering Circa: 1886-1897

Sidney Hollow Ware Script logo
I really love the look of this old world logo. The picture was donated to the site by a kind reader. I’m very lucky to use this picture for identification because the skillet is in perfect condition. You can see two versions of the “S” on the script logo.
Vintage Sidney Hollowware skillet

The script logo is considered the older of the two logos. This logo is quite beautiful and also simple. This logo is embossed with the word “Sidney” followed by “0″ for Ohio and the lettering is in a cursive writing style.

2. The Sidney Hollowware Co, logo (block printed lettering). Circa 1886-1897

The second logo is called the block logo which has the full company name. The logos is either straight or in an arc shape. But both logo have Sidney and the letter 0 placed in the center. This logo has an “Old West” look to it. 

Sidney Hollowware with block lettering

The next picture was donated by a very kind reader from New Hampshire. The skillet is another example of the Sidney Hollow Ware Co logo with block lettering. Interestingly the #7 looks very similar to the #7 seen on some Erie skillets.

You will also notice sulphur pitting on both examples above and below. Sulphur pitting is not uncommon on Sidney skillets. Mostly likely this is due to the time of manufacture. All of the company production was in the late 19th century when wood and coal stoves were commonly used.

Sidney Hollowware identification
These photos were very kindly donated by Connie from New Hampshire. This beautiful skillet with a logo with the full company name, Sidney Hollowware Co in block lettering. Those familiar with vintage cast-iron might notice the number 7 is similar to some Erie skillets.

The Sidney Logo Confusion

There is another Sidney cast iron logo which is often confused with Sidney Hollowware. This logo is considered to made under the ownership of Wagner Ware which bought-out Sidney Hollowware Co, in 1897.

If you’re looking for a true Sidney Hollowware piece then look for the script logo. But those Wagner skillets that were made in the Sidney foundry are extremely well made.

Sidney cast iron made by Wagner
Photo credit to Lanny Wadle

Some common terms you may come across when researching vintage cast-iron. “Pre Wagner” and “made by Wagner”

Sidney cast iron may be described as “Pre Wagner” or “Made by Wagner.” This is really referring to the different logos mentioned above. This is to correctly identify Sidney Hollowware cast-iron from Wagner produced cast iron in the Sidney foundry.

Sidney Hollowware used the script logo under the ownership of Phillip Smith. While Wagner used “Sidney” block lettering.

Boonie Hicks

If you want to buy a piece of Sidney cast iron please check the logo carefully before deciding to purchase. Understandably those selling one or two pieces of cast iron may label it incorrectly. 

Sidney Hollow Ware skillet with fancy logo
Look for the Sidney logo written in script to identify the cast-iron made by Sidney Hollow Ware Co.

Is Sidney Hollowware collectible? 

While people value Wagner cast iron and Griswold cast iron more highly for their collectibility. Sidney Hollowware is still very collectible also pieces are harder to come by. They made some really nice iron which you can be proud of.

The logos also have that old world wow factor that looks wonderful. I really enjoy my Sidney skillets.

You might want to consider Sidney Hollowware only manufactured cookware from 1886-1897. So while Griswold and Wagner maybe are more well known as quality vintage iron. There is also a lot more it around. Sidney Hollowware, on the other hand, is more scarce and less information is documented on the company. 

Two vintage Sidney Hollowware cast-iron skillets

Did Sidney Hollowware make good cast iron?

Sidney Hollow Ware seemed to cast their iron very well. With very smooth cooking surfaces and exteriors. The iron made is lighter than today’s cast-iron cookware. How light are Sidney skillets? Well, like many of the vintage cast-iron manufactures there is a noticeable difference with cast-iron cookware made today.

However, vintage cast iron may have imperfections so they have lots of character. Wapak Hollow Ware tends to have more casting flaws. However, those characteristics are what really make vintage cast iron fascinating. 

Things to consider before purchasing Sidney cast iron

  • Check the logo carefully before you buy
  • Older pans such as Sidney Hollowware are lighter than other iron. Lighter pans are more prone to warping and the iron may rock or wobble on a flat surface
  • Thin pans can warp and bow easily. (Preheat your skillet on a lower temperature first)
  • Check to see or if the cookware sits flat. Ask if there is any movement when pressing down on the edges
  • Is the iron shiny? Many Sidney Hollow Ware pieces are plated with nickel

Vintage Sidney Hollowware skillet cooking a fried breakfast

Final thoughts

I have tried my best to research and to give accurate information. The guide is to the best of my knowledge. I’m are no-means an expert in the field of cast iron but rather a keen hobbyist. 

However, as an owner of a small collection of cast iron, I can say that Sidney Hollowware is incredible. Many of these pieces are still usable today as they were all those years ago.

If you come across a piece for sale it may pay to take a second look. If you’re thinking about selling a family heirloom I’d think about keeping it in the family. After all, you don’t come across these old pieces every day.

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