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How do you identify an antique cast- iron skillet?

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Quick Answer

An antique cast-iron skillet may be identified by the markings on the bottom of the skillet, the location of those markings, the pour spout, and the characteristics of the handle and lid. A good photograph of the skillet of interest is also a good idea to compare with the skillet that is available to examine in person. If unsure about the age of a skillet or if it has any value as antique, consulting with a professional collector can help as well.

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Full Answer

Several companies manufactured cast-iron skillets from the early 1900s to the 1970s that are considered vintage or antique. These brands include Birmingham Stove and Range Co., Chicago Hardware Factory, Lodge Manufacturing Co. and Griswold Manufacturing Co. Birmingham Stove and Range Co. had two series, Red Mountain and Century, that were manufactured between 1930 and 1950 and that contain several distinctive markings, such as indentations for basters.

Antique skillets are known for their markings at positions on the bottom of the skillet reflecting positions on a time clock. The Red Mountain series have patterns or dots at the 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30 positions. While older versions of this series have larger pour spouts, the Century series of these skillets have small pour spouts that reflect the automated molding technique introduced at the time. The lids have baster dimples arranged in a radial pattern.

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