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Skillet Marked National

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Can anyone give me information on a cast iron manufacturer named "National"...knowing I had gottne the cast iron bug, a friend aked me to try to clean up a skillet marked on the bottom with the name National and the number 8...The skillet looks well used and the friend says it has been in his family for years...His family is from the central Penn. area...I'd appreciate any thoughts on this...Bill

Hi Bill,
Your National skillet was a regular product produced by Wagner for many years in sizes 7-9 only.  It was offered as a lower cost skillet to compete with other pans of lesser quality from other makers.  The quality of National pans, however, seems to be every bit as good as regular Wagner skillets.  Covers were made for the National skillets but are very hard to find.  Griswold (Victor), Wapak (Oneta), and Favorite (Miami) all made similiar skillets which are slightly smaller in diameter than their regular skillets and a bit lower, too.  National skillets are probably priced close to Wagner's regular skillets and are farily plentiful.  Only Griswold made these pans in sizes other than 7-9.  They made the rare No.5 and 6 sizes.  No covers, to my knowledge, were made for any of those other makes of pans.

Thanks Steve...I knew I came to the right place...Bill

JR Doffin:
Hey everyone, I'm a newbe at this , but I sure know how hard that "bug" bites. Seems I can't pass up an iron pan at estate sales.  This past saturday I bought one of those NATIONAL pans with a lid. It is marked with the wagner logo and national and the number 1359. The lid is marked wagner drip drop No.9 national skillet cover. It apears to have a chrome finish. While the pan is quite shiny although very worn, the lid has a dull finish and looks very little use. Can anyone tell me what kind of a finish wagner used on these pans?  should it be dull or shiny?  What should I use to clean or polish this pan?     Thanks JR Doffin

Hi JR and welcome,
Wagner used nickel plating on their pieces until the early 30's maybe and then I "think" they continued but may have changed to chrome.  But the color of Wagner's plating looks more like nickel to me.

Wagner seems to have left their later plated pieces in the "as-cast" state instead of highly polishing them as did Griswold on most of their pieces.  Early Wagner pieces are highly polished and nickeled.

To clean the plated pieces it is safe to use the regular lye bath or lye based oven cleaner methods but do not put it in a self-cleaning oven as the high temperature can turn the color of the plating.  

That was a nice find as the covers are very rare for the National skillets.  Not necessarily worth as much are the plated pieces but they are probably even rarer than the black iron.

One more thing:  Can you click on "Profile" at the top of the page, and go in there and add your real first name instead of JR?   That way we all know who we are talking to.  If you need any help just ask here but it's really easy and you can't mess things up I don't think.  Thanks.


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