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Victor skillet age and value

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Steve_Stephens:
John,
I've seen them on ebay, at the Portland convention and elsewhere but the ones that I have seen in person just don't add up to being made by Griswold.  Have you ever checked the diameter CAREFULLY with a non-gated Griswold skillet of the same exact style?  I have on some and they are always smaller by the 1/8" per foot shrinkage factor.

Would you say that the gated Griswolds and Victors are earlier than ANY of the non-gated pans?  If you think that is so tell me why the undersides of the handles in most cases are of later versions of the handles and not the earliest "scoop" handle versions.  I've seen a scoop handle gated skillet, too , and it was smaller than the identical ungated one.  

Why are some gated ERIE skillets the ones with the inset heat ring?  That is a later ERIE pan.  Why would Griswold make ungated skillets at first and, later, make some gated pans?  Do you have any gated Griswold or Victor by Griswold skillets that have a pattern number?  The 1890-91 Griswold catalog states "The process by which this skillet is made gives it a clean, smooth casting, avoiding rough bottoms and sand holes, so often found in cheap painted ware."   By "clean, smooth casting avoiding rough bottoms" do you think they are speaking about the absence of gate marks?  I do.  So, in 1891 there were no gate marks on Griswold skillets.  There also were no Victor skillets in the 1891 catalog but a few Victor skillets exist with no pattern number.  Pattern numbers appear to have started in 1891 or 1892 (some very few 1891 patented pots do not have a pattern number but most of those pots do so that is my basis for my dating of p/n's).

A Fall, 1883  Selden & Griswold catalog states (and my copy is so poor as to be almost unreadable) but I can still make out "Our ware being gated on the side, we guarantee it against..."
When I say non-gated skillet, by the way, I do know that all skillets ARE gated but Griswold always gated on the side where the gate was ground off or broken off and tumbled so it was not very noticeable nor rough.  It seems that it was a pride of Griswold to be able to say their pans were smooth on the bottom and without gates there.  

I maintain very strongly that there are no skillets made by Griswold with a bottom gate mark.   (I'll extend that to Wagner, also, although I have seen a gated Wagner skillet).  I could be wrong but I don't think so.  If you can prove that I am wrong please do so but your arguments have tobe reasonable and make sense.  I LOVE to be proven wrong because I learn from that and it makes me more knowledgeable.    I think it is so very important to be correct and to give a basis for what you (and I) are saying.  Too often statements are made, photographs put in books, etc. and with no documentation.  Most people will take what they read and see at face value but I like to dig deeper and see if there could be something not right about that information.  Being a lover of skillets and early ones at that, I am very interested in whether or not there are bottom gated skillets made by Griswold, Wagner, Favorite, Sidney Hollow Ware and any of the other makers of QUALITY iron.  Wapak not included since they had a hard time maintaining quality.

I'd love to hear from anyone else on what they think about all this; do you have any bottom gated Griswold skillets that you think were made by Griswold, etc.
Steve

John Knapp:
Steve...  I would love to be able to measure the skillets, but all my iron is in Pa. and I am in Fla. for the winter...  I cant prove or disprove anything until mid May or so..  Hopefully I will remember this discussion and get the facts and post them.
John

Steve_Stephens:
Yes, I hope we will remember by then as you might come up with some great new information.  If you can post some pictures that would also be great.  I think some more research needs to be done on these gated skillets.
Steve

swamprat:
Steve,

Do you know what the measurements should be?  Where on the skillet would these be made?  I don't have a smooth-bottom Victor to compare this one to.  The skillet that this one is similar to is on the upper left corner of page 19 of the 'blue book'.  I didnt get it on ebay so I don't have a picture of it online...  The underside of the handle is the same, but my skillet doesnt have the pattern number, and the VICTOR arch is much closer to the heat ring (about 1/2" from it).  

Also, I have a 5-stick cornbread pan that says DURAWARE on the bottom, and says P-5 on the bottom as well.  Do you know who made DuraWare, and about when it was made?  

Thanks again,
Bill

Steve_Stephens:
Is your Duraware pan made or iron or aluminum?  I don't think I am familiar with it.

The best way to check for a copy casting and its resulting slightly smaller size is to compare, top to top, one skillet with another.  You can readily see the difference in top diameters.  I know the G&CICA club site has measurements for repros and originals to compare along with weights but they give those measurements and weights to the thousandth of an inch or pound.  That's completely useless since iron cookware is not even made to an accuracy of hundredths of an inch/pound.  I've seen identical skillets weighing about a half pound different from each other.  That is extreme but a quarter pound is not.  Variations in linear measurements should run pretty close for pans from the same or similiar patterns.  There are a LOT of variations in Victor skillets and I am not sure than all are of the same diameter.  With many early ERIE skillets, there are some quite noticeable differences in dimentions along with differences in pouring lip profile, etc.  Possibly the only sure check is to be sure you are comparing pans of the same variation.
I should add that if any bottom gated "Griswold" skillets are not ground on the inside you can be pretty certain it was not made by Griswold.  Ever seen a Griswold regular skillet not ground on the inside other than many size 0 toys?  I can't think of any.  Also, does the quality and details of the bottom gated skillets match that of Griswold pans?  I bet not.
Your Victor must be one of the very earliest ones.
Steve

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