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Dating Griswold by markings and trademarks (Read 3545 times)
Steve Stephens
Ex Member


Dating Griswold by markings and trademarks
Dec 28th, 2005 at 3:22am
 
Dating Griswold by markings and trademarks:

These dates are purely my own estimate and do not always agree with published dates.   In most cases exact dates are probably not possible to determine but we can try to estimate or guess some "circa" dates.

c.1880 or maybe a few years earlier:  The beginning of Griswold's production or iron cookware after having been making articles of hardware since 1865.  This date is my guess.  A Selden & Griswold catalog sheet I have that is dated 1883 shows a full line of cookware including skillets, wafflle irons, pots and bowls, gem pans and more.  It is known that S&G patented a waffle iron June 29, 1880 and that, to my knowledge is the first patent for cookware issued to Griswold.  Could the waffle iron have been Griswold's first item of cookware?  I don't know.  A very small number of earlier than the 1880 date irons exist marked Pat. Appl'd For

c.1891 is when it appears that Griswold may have first put pattern numbers on their pieces.  Of the many different pots and bowls with the 1891 patent date on them, a small percentage exist with no pattern number which does tell us that pieces were being made in 1891 or later with no p/n.  So, let's say c.1891-93 for the introduction of pattern numbers.

There are two series of ERIE skillets with no pattern numbers and both are not at all uncommon.   I am assuming (again, not a safe thing to do) that two series of ERIE skillets might take up a decade or dozen years roughly to produce given the approximated time period that Griswold would keep a certain style of pan in production.  So, two series of ERIE skillets would certainly fit in the time period of 1880-1892.   I agree that it is possible for Griswold to have made some cookware prior to 1880 but the earliest waffle irons must have been  no earlier than 1878 judging by the very small number of Pat. Appl'd For irons extant.

Marks and trademarks:

"ERIE"  c.1880 to c.1907    Existing catalogs dated 1905 show a full line of ERIE cookware.  Sometime after ERIE were some GRISWOLD'S ERIE skillets and griddles and a few other items.  But the small number that exist today tell me that the period of their production was quite short. so...

GRISWOLD'S ERIE  c.1907-c.1909

Slant TM/ERIE   c.1909-c.1916   I did some research on the Trademark Office site-
( http://www.griswoldandwagner.com/trademark.html ) and found some information indicating  the first commercial used of the slant TM was 1909.  

Slant TM/ERIE, PA. USA   c.1916-c.1924    Since the first use in commerce of the block TM was 1924 according to my interpretation of the Trademark Office info I cut the slant TM usage off at 1924.  The 1916 date is a guess which leaves a period for the use of the Slant/Erie TM and, also, for the Slant/EPU trademark.

Block TM   c.1924 to c.1940   See above for the 1924 date.  1940 Griswold catalogs show the No.4 skillet being offered and, as we know that no No.4 small TM skillet with the early handle has turned up, that says the No.4 pan in the 1940 catalog was the large TM skillet.   I would also include in the block TM or large TM what is often called the "medium TM" from the later 1930's.   That TM is somewhat smaller in general than the typical large block TM and the print is more squaty.  In my view it is only a variation or the large, block TM and does not warrent "medium" status.  The large block TM does vary in size a lot and even appears smaller than the small TM on the No.0 skillets.


Small TM   c.1939-1957   The first use of the small TM seems to be c.1939 with the hinged skillets and hammered ware.   I feel there was a very small period of overlap in any of the trademark usage (other than a few oddball pieces) so one TM was phased out as the new one came in over what probably was a short time of 1-2 years, maybe less.  It would take time to redo all of the patterns or make new ones.
The small TM skillets have three different handles with the old style, tear drop shaped cutout being the first.  I don't know when the second handle version was introduced but might guess shortly after WWII.  The third version-what we call the "grooved handle" probably came along c.1952 which leaves enough time for the first and second style of handles to be made.  There is a fourth handle on the No.3 skillet of which I have had and seen only one.  It could have been an early production pan for the late style handle that was produced only for a very short time (maybe days or one run?).  That handle is somewhat of a cross between the first and second styles.

Late, large trademark     c.1956-57   This mark was used only on the No.3 regular skillet along with a number of other pieces (777 deep chicken fryer, many casseroles, etc).   I would guess that Griswold started to change the small TM to the late, large TM but the changeover was interupted with the closure of the Griswold foundry in Dec. 1957 or, maybe, management decided not to change over the other sizes of regular skillets.  I call this the "late, large TM" to differentiate it from the c.1920's-30's large block TM.  It has different proportions and the "GRISWOLD" is in a different style.  It does not appear to be a reuse of the old, large TM.

The typical small TM was used on some pieces after Griswold and Wagner came under the same ownership.   However,  many of what look to be the small TM on post-1957 "Griswold" pieces are really a newly designed TM that is slightly larger than the small TM and the print style is different.

Well, that's the way I see things but, by no means, is this the last word.   I might be inclined to go a bit earlier on the first Griswold production of iron cookware into the 1870's instead of c.1880.   I think it's pretty much an educated guess on most of the trademark usage as catalogs do not usually show or tell which TM's were being used.  Sometimes a magazine ad will indicate the style of TM.

Oddball usage of trademarks:  No.0 skillets kept the large TM until the end of Griswold production.  The breakfast skillets used the large TM quite late.  A small number of slant/EPU skillets were made in sizes 2, 5, and 8 at some time which I would think would have been right at the end of slant/EPU production when electric stoves were coming into use.  But the blue  book says they were made c.1939-44.  But for what reason would Griswold use an old pattern (modified to remove the heat rim) at such a late date?   I guess it's possible but makes no sense unless some wartime act warrented it.   They seem to me to be an early foray into trying out smooth bottom skillets for electric stoves.  The cover for the No.10 camp oven used the slant/ERIE mark until the end of Griswold production whenever that was but, possibly, into the 1950's.   It probably was not worth making a new pattern for such a low production item or one used out of doors.  Once Griswold started to change to a new trademark or marking I would think they would change over all skillets and all other items that were similiar to each other in a relatively short time.  I don't think, for popular items, that Griswold would have wanted two different TM's or markings to appear on store shelves at the same time.  Wouldn't it be interesting to know the exact details?

Victor    c.1890 to c.1930's.    VICTOR skillets were a less expensive line of skillets by Griswold and were made in sizes 7-9 from c.1890 with no pattern number up into the mid 30's with the Nos. 5 and 6 sizes added in the early-mid 30's.

I wrote this up quickly and may have omitted some facts.   And, again, it's mostly my opinion so let's hear from you if you think something should be changed or added to.

Edit:  More info on the block TM.  See attached photo.  This invoice is 1922 and shows the block TM that I said I date to c.1924.  However, this is used on Griswold letterhead and not on a piece of cookware.  Thinking a bit more one sees the 1922 patent waffle irons were marked with the block TM while the earlier 1920 patent Heart Star waffle iron had the slant TM.  That would show the slant TM was in use in 1920 but, by 1922 the block TM COULD have been in use.  We don't know when the 1922 patent waffle irons were actully put into production.  Just something to keep in mind and, maybe, the date of introduction of the block TM needs to be c.1922.  But that doesn't agree with the Trademark registration at the Trademark Office.  We need to keep looking, thinking, and putting all the facts and other info together.

Steve
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Jesse Whitlock
Ex Member


Re: Dating Griswold by markings and trademarks
Reply #1 - Dec 28th, 2005 at 4:07am
 
I tend not to believe everything I read in ads, but...

There's an ad on page 54 of the L-W griswold book that states:
"There are Griswold skillets fifty years old still in use, and giving good service to-day!"
The book says that the ad was from February, 1923.  That would seem to indicate that they may have been making skillets in 1873, if you believe the ad weasels.   Wink

Just found that interesting,

Jesse
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Steve Stephens
Ex Member


Re: Dating Griswold by markings and trademarks
Reply #2 - Dec 28th, 2005 at 4:23am
 
Thanks for pointing this out Jessee.   Could be correct.  What has to be done is to gather all the information we can and see what fits in where and agrees with other information.  I have a couple of saved items that are of interest here; the photo attached here and I just added the other to my first post, above.

Note that, in July 1908, that Griswold was still using it's spider TM in correspondence.  Had the slant TM been in use by that time it would seem that it would also be used on their letterhead.  Can we conclude that the slant TM was not in use until after July 1908?

Steve
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