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What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost (Read 11776 times)
Duke Gilleland
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #27 - Apr 14th, 2018 at 11:12pm
 
In '04 I brushed the rust out of and oiled up a 4 gallon d/o that my Daddy had bought back in the '50's. Cooked it full of red beans for my kid's graduation party.
Everyone raved how good they were! So a few days later I looked on Ebay to see if I could find one like it. Lo and behold I did with a finish price tag of $200+! Now I know my ol' Daddy would not have give over $5 for it at tops. I noticed all this Griswold and Wagner iron and my curiosity got the best of me. Had to have one. Yep, I was BIT!!!
The I soon ran across this site and all the nice folks on here... Smiley
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Lee Bowen
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #26 - Apr 14th, 2018 at 12:04am
 
When I do, I'll be glad to do so.  At this point, my lye vat is under five years of blackberry vine growth.  The good news is that my wife has plans for the corner of the black yard where it is located.  Might be simpler and less painful to set up an electrolysis vat.  Time will tell.
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Dwayne Henson
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #25 - Apr 13th, 2018 at 1:20pm
 
Lee when you get it done you have to post some pictures!
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Lee Bowen
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #24 - Apr 8th, 2018 at 7:17pm
 
My mother had several cast iron skillets.  I remember baking corn bread in a ten inch skillet as young as 9 years old.  This was in the early '60's.  I know now that her collection (maybe 5 pieces) were in all probability BS&R, as I have her #14 16 inch.  I have had several pieces of iron over the years, but what really started my addiction/collecting was a good friend of mine that I worked with for a couple of years building clothing stores in shopping malls.  We were in Los Angeles for seven months, and knew every thrift store, goodwill store and flea market in the immediate vicinity.  We stopped in at the South Street Thrift Store one afternoon, on the way home, and on the bottom shelf, under a pile of Tupperware, Corning Ware, and other miscellaneous stuff, I saw a piece of dark brown metal.  Pulling it out, I was holding a Griswold #712 oval griddle, marked $5.  My friend offered me $10 on the spot, before checkout, and he would pay the store for it, also.  I still have the griddle, plus several more oval griddles, round griddles, skillets, DO's, a Chicago DFF, spiders, camp ovens, the list goes on. Last week, I picked up a Favorite Piqua Ware Smiley-Face #5 that was at some point painted a robin-egg blue.  I rescued it for $5, then identified it for the vendor, that had no clue who made it. It will be my first piece to refurbish when I set up my restoration process, after a five year hiatus.  Thanks for letting me expound on one of my favorite subjects.
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Jeff Parsons
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #23 - Aug 14th, 2014 at 5:51am
 
I think it was a Lodge/Walmart 29th Anniversary #8 skillet, so roughly cast I had to sand it inside to keep the spatula from "sproing-ing" and flinging roux all over the kitchen. That one is long gone, I now have about 70 keeper pieces, and currently have about 20 pieces on consignment in a friend's antique shop. Thanks to my education here, she's happy to have my stuff in her shop due to it's appearance and condition. I also have three end-grain cutting boards there for sale, similar to what I'm holding in my icon picture.

I now have about 70 keeper pieces hanging in the kitchen, on shelves, on the cabinet top, ...

A Griswold 202 burner is one of my most valued. We occasionally have a hurricane here, and it's also nice to make smoke outside the house sometimes.

Least known, but very nice, a Copco porcelain-coated #4 DO, almost new. About 7 quarts. Excellent for slow tomato sauces, other acidic dishes. Ironically, found it for $25 just after I bought a Lodge 7.5 qt porcelain-coated DO for $80 through Walmart's pick-up-at-the-store deal. It's also a fine thing.
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Bob Henrick
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #22 - Aug 5th, 2014 at 9:37pm
 
Dwayne Henson wrote on Apr 3rd, 2014 at 3:17am:
We have an older neighbor that found out my one daughter like hinting, and that we cooked outdoors. One day he showed up with his pickup. He gave us a few Coleman stoves, a few COs, a Griswold Chicken Fryer with lid. One of the COs was obviously older, so I started to look for more information, and found this site, and never left. Here's a pic of that COs lid.



Dwayne,

You are a very lucky fellow to have a neighbor such as you have. I will be 76 years old come 8/7, and I remember neighbors like that. Now days if you live in the city you are lucky to know the name of one neighbor on the same street you live on. In some ways I miss the old days.
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Jim Glatthaar
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #21 - Aug 5th, 2014 at 4:40am
 
Great story, Greg, and thanks to your father for getting you started.
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Greg Stahl
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #20 - Aug 5th, 2014 at 1:29am
 
It's a great question that has been asked many times over the last 10+ years this forum has been active.

For me, my dad was collecting Griswold skillets and gave me a list of skillets he needed.  He lives in PA and I live in MA and at the time (before kids), Becky and I would antique shop every weekend in the Northeast.  Well I never found any skillet he needed on that list.  One weekend, I forgot to take the list and damn if I didn't find three Griswold skillets and thought, there is no way he has these skillets.  After I paid $25 for three skillets, I find out he had all three.

As a researcher, I started to look into what I had and then started to buy Griswold items and made friends and bought many items from Harry Riva (on this site too) on Ebay.  I then started a Bulletin Board on a site that I started and that grew quickly, so I then purchase this URL and started this Yabb forum.  After being threatened with a lawsuit from another cast iron collecting group, I invested some money and started the Wagner and Griswold Society (WAGS).

That's my story and how this site and WAGS started (the short version).
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James King
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #19 - Aug 4th, 2014 at 5:30am
 
After a day of panning for gold up in the Olympic Mountains, I was on my way home when I randomly stopped in consignment shop. When I entered the door I wiped my feet on the mat. The owner noticed this and commented that I was the first person she had ever seen do that at the store and asked me if I would be willing to rent a few shelves to sell items at her store. Despite not understanding the connection between wiping the mud off my boots and being a consignor at her shop I took the bait. I asked her what she would have me sell and without batting an eye, she said, "Cast Iron!"

Well, I agreed to do so. At first I would buy pieces that seemed to be ready to use, but I quickly noticed there was a much larger choice of dirty, rusty, crusty iron to find. So I started to search for ways to restore the cast iron to sell a better product. In that research, I learned about Wagner, Griswold, Lodge, Favorite, Wapak etc... and I learned how to clean and cure iron. Soon, the pieces were flying off the shelf faster than I can clean and cure.

Eventually, regular trips to this remote shop was too taxing on the gas money, and I moved my booth of wares to a local store in Port Orchard, WA. That move boosted sales substantially and I have started keeping a request book at the shop.

Somewhere along the way, I started using the product I was selling and fell in love with the non-stick feature of well maintained cast iron. I really caught the collecting bug when I was digging around an old antique shop and was on my hands and knees, headfirst and waist deep into a cabinet when I found a #947 Griswold Brownie Cake Pan variation #6. It had been setting in that dark corner for years. The ink had faded on the price tag. I was able to procure it for $34.00. I took that pan home and somehow it started to reproduce into a few other pans, #140 Turk head, #262 Corn stick and a #866 Lamb Cake among the various skillets that I use on a regular basis.

Though my collection is small, I have purchased, cured and sold over 100 pans through the shop and I keep buying more. I love this hobby, the income it has produced has helped me get through some tight times. The food tastes better, and it is easy on the eyes and easy to talk about.

The attached pictures are the before and after of the one that started it all!
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Frank Burkhead
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #18 - Aug 1st, 2014 at 5:28am
 
Janis Berzins wrote on Apr 3rd, 2014 at 2:47pm:
Dwayne Henson wrote on Apr 3rd, 2014 at 3:17am:
We have an older neighbor that found out my one daughter like hinting, and that we cooked outdoors. One day he showed up with his pickup. He gave us a few Coleman stoves, a few COs, a Griswold Chicken Fryer with lid. One of the COs was obviously older, so I started to look for more information, and found this site, and never left. Here's a pic of that COs lid.


What a great start. I love those old Coleman stoves as well. I have sort of started to collect some of the lanterns as well.


I have been collecting and restoring Coleman lanterns and stoves for around a decade now! My late grandfather was a certified Coleman repairman back in the 60's-80's, and I inherited his collection of parts and literature. I also inherited his CI...

What started me collecting CI was driving past a trash pile and spotting a huge skillet (A BS&R #12) sitting on top. I turned around and picked it up, thinking "These things never go bad, why is this pan in the trash?" I began reading up on the proper way to clean and season cast iron pans, and roughly 300 pieces later, here I am.  Roll Eyes
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Douglas Ballard III
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #17 - Apr 8th, 2014 at 5:13pm
 
I found this pan in my basement. At that point I already owned some CI(Lodge), but wasn't "into" it. I ended doing a lot of research to identify the pan, and how to clean it right. I ended up making an electrolysis tank, and cleaning it.

I now have a fair sized collection. Can season a pan until it's "shiny", and I can cook an egg on without grease, and still have it slide around the pan.   
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Claudia Killebrew
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #16 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 10:01pm
 
Best part of all?... meeting new friends with a common interest!   

That was another draw here for me. I wanted to find other people who loved cast iron the way I did. And actually knew how to take care of it.
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Mark Zizzi
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #15 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 9:47pm
 
Thanks Perry, I know I've been here most everyday being a PIA.  Grin Some days it's a little slow, so I admit I'll stir the fire a bit with a controversial topic or two just to give you all something to do. What would y'all do without me!  Grin
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C. Perry Rapier
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #14 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 8:00pm
 
Hello Mark. We are so glad that you found us. And yes, you have been a PIA.  Grin Grin

Just kidding of course. Its folks and new members like you that keep stirring the fires and bringing up information and getting others to think as well. So keep stirring the embers.  Smiley
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Mark Zizzi
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #13 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 7:44pm
 
Well, I just joined in January, and most of you have already heard what led me here. I was at a good friends house watching football. He was cooking some sausage and peppers in an extremely crusty old skillet. I admired the pan as I told him I used to have one but don't know what happened to it.
When it was time to go he gave it to me..said he had a couple others. I used it like that once or twice, surface was nice, but the sides and bottom were thick with burnt on crud. My first thought was a wire brush on my drill. Thankfully, I googled about cleaning cast iron first, which led me here.  And I've been a pest here ever since, lol.  But I've come a long way in a short amount of time, I think.  That first skillet turned out to be a 2nd series Erie. It has grown into 8 more skillets, 2 DO's, a deep fat fryer, a muffin pan, an old bacon press..and a lye bath and electro setup. My latest addition is a 3rd series #10 Erie that just came today...it's a beauty!
Best part of all?... meeting new friends with a common interest!    Smiley Wink
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Janis Berzins
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #12 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 7:10pm
 
I agree Perry.
It is also interesting to see how many people just sort of "fell" into collecting cast iron. I have to say, before finding this forum, I had no idea the extent many collectors have gone to. I still find it funny when I talk to someone and say I collect cast iron and they get that weird look on their face and say, "you mean like old skillets?". Smiley
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C. Perry Rapier
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #11 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 6:11pm
 
These are neat stories everybody. Thanks for sharing them with us. It is true that this question has been asked a few times but we have had members come and members go so there is always stories to be told. And its nice hearing them.  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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Claudia Killebrew
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #10 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 5:53pm
 
I grew up seeing my mother and grandmother cook with CI. When I got married, I wanted a "starter" set of CI for myself. Back then you could get 3 pieces for about $10. Over the years, I sort of stopped using them, but got back to them after reading all the warnings about Teflon and birds. I had forgotten how wonderful they were to cook with. I started raving about CI to my father. He found a really gunked up Wapak Z at a yard sale and gave it to me. I had never heard of that brand, so I started searching. That led me here. I also found out my "starter" set was a set of 3 notch Lodges.

I now have my family's CI (mother, grandmother, aunts, etc.), along with a few other pieces I have picked up here and there.
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Trevor Lawrence
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #9 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 10:44am
 
Sorry for the long rant..

I lived in michigan for 16 years (until i was 16), then moved to NC because of my mom's job. My godfather lives in Michigan only a few miles down the road from my grandparents. When I was young I didn't spend a ton of time with him, just at the holidays.

He has been collecting antiques for 60+ years. He knows all the old trades (Chair Caning, How to Fix Clocks, How to Fix Organs/Piano's, ect). His whole house is covered top to bottom in antiques.

After we moved, I really started getting interested in Antiques. I  started with wrist watch's. I would goto thrift shows and antique shows looking for old watch's. When I went to the antique shows, i became interested in a lot more than just watch's. I knew my godfather knew a ton about antiques and I started talking to him a lot on the phone, trying to get as much info as I could. I kept wanting to go upto michigan and spend some time with him, but it never worked.

I ended up getting laid off.... and decided I wanted to spend some time with him. I planed on going for 2 weeks, but got called back to work after 1 week. While i was at his house... I think he showed me every last item he owned and told me a story about it and all the info he could. I was basically a Sponge at this point! He has a old coal stove in his kitchen that he cooks  on and uses to heat his house in the winter. He has a stack of griswold's sitting on top along with a few griddles. I remember walking through his house for a couple of days and not paying any attention to the cast iron. One day I noticed them and asked about them. He told me the story about griswold, why they are better, ect. He said he found them and cleaned them up. I think i was immediately hooked! I love to restore items and this really hit home being able to see the transformation from old to new.

I think that day we headed out for 5 hours, hitting all the antique stores we could find. I ended up coming home with a #9 small logo. I didn't really know much about it, so I started looking online and found this forum. I am actually on a forum for all my interests lol (probably 40).

The End.
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Jim Glatthaar
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Re: What started you on CI, sorry if this a repost
Reply #8 - Apr 4th, 2014 at 4:49am
 
Keith, I'd say you've done rather well in 4 years   Cool

My story is I started looking for alternatives to non-stick cookware after reading about cancer links.  More research identified seasoned cast iron as a good alternative.  Even more research taught me that many people prefer vintage iron over newer iron.

So, I bought myself 2 Wagner stylized logo skillets, #8 & #10 on ebay.  Then I bought my first Griswold and I was hooked.  Many pieces later ... but not as many as Keith ... Wink
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