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.

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

Table of contents

  • About the Sidney Hollowware Company.
  • Is the ironware rare?
  • Different logo variations and dates of manufacture
  • Do you have a Sidney Hollowware or a Wagner Sidney skillet?
  • Is Sidney Hollowware collectable?
  • Buying considerations
  • Final thoughts

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 regular cast iron, nickel plating, and polished cast iron.

Looking for a light pan? Then it is hard to look past Sidney Hollowware.

It must have been standard practice to cast iron thinner back then. Sidney skillets are great if you are 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 collectible 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

Did you have any Sidney Hollowware cast iron?

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

They are 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 if you want to learn more about the history of the Sidney Hollow Ware Company. Just double-click the banner below.

Learn the history banner

Despite the short history of the company, it seems the company had several logo variations.
However, all of the logos have an old-world charm from a bygone era. They really look great. If you are looking for a vintage pan, these old-timers are really good-looking.

As with any antique, dates are estimations from research that should be considered as a guide. And not as an indication as concrete dates of manufacture. Although, I have tried to make the dates as accurate as possible.

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. And I am 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 oldest of the logo design. The logo is quite beautiful and also simple. It is embossed with the word Sidney followed by 0 for Ohio, and the lettering is in a cursive writing style.

Antique Sidney cast iron skillet with script logo
Special thanks to Ms. F. Smith for donating pictures of her number 12 Sidney Hollowware Skillet. The embellishment of the script logo on the skillet is simply stunning.

The Sidney Hollowware Company logo (block printed lettering). Circa 1886-1897

The second logo is called the block logo, and it has the company name in block lettering. The logos are either straight or in an arc shape. But both logos 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 picture below 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 sulfur pitting in both examples above and below. Sulfur pitting is not uncommon on Sidney skillets. Most likely, this is due to the time of manufacture. After all, the company was manufacturing 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 company. The Sidney Hollowware Co in block lettering. Those familiar with vintage cast-iron might notice the number 7 is similar to some Erie skillets.

Scarce Straight logo Circa 1886-1897

Sidney Hollow Ware cast iron kettle
Thanks, Michelle Cook. from Wyoming. Michelle sent in a few photos of her restoration project. I have never seen a Sidney Hollow Ware straight logo before. So, it is great to add it to the resource.

The Sidney Logo Confusion

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

If you are looking for a real Sidney Hollowware ironware, then look for the script logo. But those Wagner skillets that were made in the Sidney foundry are extremely well-made too.

Sidney cast iron made by Wagner
Photo credit to Lanny Wadle


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 inaccurately. 

Sidney Hollow Ware skillet with fancy logo
Look for the Sidney logo written in script lettering to identify the cast iron made by the 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 and pieces are harder to come by. They made some great 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 modern cast-iron cookware.

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 fun to collect.

What 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. Thinly cast 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. 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. And if you are 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.

References

10 COMMENTS

  1. I bought a Sidney waffle iron it appears to be aluminum it doesn’t have the wagner label on it and the Sidney is written in script or cursive and I cant find any info on it, it is a nice piece seems to be rare if you have any info I sure would like to here from you
    Rick

    • Hi Rick

      It sounds like you have a Sidney Hollow Ware iron from your description. Although, I’m not familiar with the piece, the company were early adopters of nickel plating. They also highly polished some of their ironware, but I’m unaware if the company produced aluminum items.

      I’d love to see a picture, here’s my email address if you have time booniehicks@gmail.com

      Cheers Rick

  2. Hi Boonie

    I hope you can help with a question.
    Is the 3 hole handle Sidney Hollow Ware Co. or Wagner?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Tom

      Both Sidney Hollow Ware and Wagner had skillets with the three hole design.

      You’ll notice the skillet walls are not as high as a regular skillet. This type of skillet is known as a shallow skillet. Griswold also made a shallow skillet with a three hole handle. My guess it was a way to reduce the temperature of the handle.

  3. I just scored a deep 10” block-logo “Sidney” (so made by Wagner, right?) for $7 at a thrift shop. A little light rust on the outside. Any way to tell when it was made?

    It’ll go well with the Griswold I got for free a few months ago. 🙂

    FWIW I’m a cook, not a collector. I have a bunch of Revere Ware as well. (Nabbed a12” skillet w lid along with the Wagner/Sidney.)

    • Hi Corrie

      Hey that’s fantastic, it sounds like you found yourself a bargain. You’re right those Sidney Block logo skillets were made by Wagner. Head on over to the Wagner page, and I have some information on your skillet. Revere pots and are top quality too.

      I’m sure you’re going to be cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Enjoy.

  4. Hi – is there a way to upload a photo? I have a skillet that may be Sidney Hollowware but what is visible of the logo doesn’t match any of the logos you posted. My son is currently trying to carefully scrape some of the buildup off the pan to see what we can see. I’d love to get your opinion once we have unearthed more of the logo!

  5. Your sight has been very helpful.

    I was very lucky and got a box of 6 pans free at a garage sale. Due to age, surface rust and build up they are kinda hard to read but consisted of (from what I can tell from your sight).

    A Sidney Hollow Ware circa 1886-97 all I could read on the pan was OLLOW and part of the W in ware. That’s how thick the build up is. It looks like melted plastic.

    2nd is a Wagner Ware #8 1088 or 98 no heat ring, hard to tell, it’s a deep frying pan.
    3rd is a Wards Long Life #9 skillet 1759 “A” (I think it’s an A) circa 1930s.
    4th a Vollrath #5 skillet, I haven’t yet aged.

    And 2 steel skillet pans one with a rolled handle about 10″ (the pan not the handle…lol). With pouring lips on each side No markings and a small light weight 6″ one with a fancier handle that reads 39 1/2 on the handle. Well, worth what I paid for them. Anything free is worth saving up for.

    Thanks for having such a helpful site. As I know nothing about cast iron. I just thought they would make a fun restoration project.

    • Hi Ricky

      Thanks for sharing your haul of cast iron.

      It sounds like you have a great project ahead of you. Your wrought iron pans sound very old. I have also noticed an increased interest in fancy handled skillets. And as you know I have a soft spot for Sidney Hollow Ware.

      Good on you for restoring these little pieces of history. I’d love to see some pictures once you have restored them.

      Fully marked Vollrath Circa 1920s-1940s.

      Good luck with your project.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here