Author Topic: “Initials Skillet” Question  (Read 140 times)

Offline Doris Mertz

  • Regular member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • WAGS: the heartbeat of cast iron collecting
“Initials Skillet” Question
« on: November 18, 2021, 12:11:42 AM »
Can anyone tell me more about this skillet, which I’ve been told is referred to as an “Initials Skillet” — maker unknown. Do we know what decades they were produced?

Offline Russell Ware

  • Administrator
  • Regular member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Karma: +4/-0
  • WAGS: Heartbeat of Cast Iron Cookware Collecting
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2021, 08:31:35 AM »
I would refer to your skillet as a turn of the century skillet. A rough estimate of the date of manufacture could be 1890-1910. If you look on ebay, many sellers call skillets with these markings Blacklock skillets. But no one in the collecting world has definitive proof of what a Blacklock (a.k.a. early Lodge) skillet looked like. It is only postulated at this point. But don’t let that distract from the fact that it is a nice skillet, and an old one at that. There are many old pieces of essentially unmarked cast iron cookware that are next to impossible to identify as belonging to a specific foundry. But the molder marks (Initials) on the bottom of your skillet are consistent with early Lodge markings.
Post some more photos once you have this one cleaned up.

Offline Doris Mertz

  • Regular member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • WAGS: the heartbeat of cast iron collecting
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2021, 09:21:54 AM »
Thank you! I’ll do that. That’s really old. I guessed it was fairly old due to the heat ring and sulphur pitting. I have another unknown skillet that I figure is probably old, but this one is even older. The other one is my lightest skillet. Let me just find a picture of it to post and get your opinion on it’s approximate decade.

Offline Frank Dimos

  • WAGS member
  • Regular member
  • *****
  • Posts: 432
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • WAGS: Heartbeat of Cast Iron Cookware Collecting
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2021, 09:29:46 AM »
I've got one of those. What's interesting to me on this one is the "gate" mark at the heat ring edge. When I first saw it, I thought "this has to have a bottom gate under all the gunk". But nothing. Then I noticed the heat ring edge. It certainly looks to me like a gate/sand casting.

Offline Doris Mertz

  • Regular member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • WAGS: the heartbeat of cast iron collecting
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2021, 10:08:15 AM »
I didn’t realize that gate marks could show up along the heat ring. Yours has the SW initials just like mine. Originally, I thought I’d clean it up and give it to my cousin whose initials are SW. But, if it’s turn of the century, that’s the oldest skillet I own, and it will be hard to let it go.  :evil: :angel:

Offline Frank Dimos

  • WAGS member
  • Regular member
  • *****
  • Posts: 432
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • WAGS: Heartbeat of Cast Iron Cookware Collecting
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2021, 10:32:49 AM »
I'm not sure they can--just what it looks like to me.

Offline Roger Barfield

  • Administrator
  • Regular member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8641
  • Karma: +2/-0
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2021, 10:54:08 PM »
I don't believe that's a gate mark.  It looks like a casting flaw.  Look around the sides of the handle and see if you see grind marks.  That would be the gate location. 
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Offline Jim Fuchs

  • WAGS member
  • Regular member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Phoenix Works
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2021, 11:27:33 PM »
I agree with Roger....that is not a "gate mark"
« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 02:40:09 AM by Jim Fuchs »

Offline Frank Dimos

  • WAGS member
  • Regular member
  • *****
  • Posts: 432
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • WAGS: Heartbeat of Cast Iron Cookware Collecting
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2021, 03:35:52 AM »
That's just it--the standard grinding you would expect near the handle indicating a multi-skillet casting is not there. Instead, the skillet has a slight flair (perhaps 3/8" wide) at the top and is ground around the entire rim AND the handle, indicating to me a single skillet pour and considerable flashing.

Offline Duke Gilleland

  • WAGS member
  • Regular member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4610
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • WAGS: The heartbeat of cast iron collecting!
Re: “Initials Skillet” Question
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2021, 04:05:35 AM »
I'm with Roger on this one. Poor grade casting. I have 2-3 like this in my "jungle". Can remember reading somewhere that it was thought these were pre Lodge Blacklocks  :scratchchin: The plot thickens.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 04:07:17 AM by Duke Gilleland »
Nowhere But TEXAS!