an off grid life

Vintage Cast-Iron: How Old Is My Cast Iron Skillet?

Sarita Harbour

Have you ever picked up a cast iron skillet at a yard sale or been given one by your grandparents?

It's true. Old cast iron holds many secrets: a pattern number hinting at its birth era or a faint manufacturer logo revealing its lineage. When you learn how to decode those cryptic signs, you'll get a better idea of the age of your cast-iron cookware.

DECIPHERING THE AGE

Determining the age of your cast-iron pan can turn an everyday cooking tool into a valuable collectible.

EXAMINING MANUFACTURER'S MARKS AND LOGOS

Look for a manufacturer logo or mark on the bottom of your cast iron skillet or pan.

INTERPRETING NUMBERS AND PATTERN MARKS

Pattern letters or numbers often indicate which mold made them; manufacturers used these before computerized systems came around.

Learn to carefully care for your cast iron. If taken care of properly, these pans could last over 150 years.

Think of your old cast iron pieces as culinary history that could have been part of countless family dinners or even historical events.

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