GFA MEMBER LOUISE HAWLEY
IS OFFERING HER GRISWOLD CAST IRON COLLECTION FOR SALE
A 71-piece collection of Griswold cast iron items is for sale by Gordon and
Louise Hawley, who are downsizing several of their extensive collections.
The set includes several fairly rare items, including the "O" skillet, a
sun-dial, the lamb and bunny molds, a lemon squeezer, oval dampers, a lard
press and much more. The collection has been priced, but since its size and
weight would require pickup arrangements, some negotiation would be
considered. A CD of the collection is available, along with an inventory
including product numbers. Those interested may contact Louise through our
Facebook page, or through our email,
Does anyone have an interest in writing up the Griswold cast iron ware
story? We have many members who collect the pieces but no “resident expert”.
These two articles came up on a search with Google. There are many more
references and dealers out there...
Griswold & Cast Iron Cookware Association
Matthew Griswold and the Selden brothers started their business by
manufacturing separable butt hinges and other articles of light hardware in
1865. They worked in a building know as the "Butt Factory." The building was
on West 10th and Chestnut Streets, on the bank of the Erie Extension Canal.
The closest I can get to the date they started making cookware is 1865.
The name was changed to the Selden & Griswold Manufacturing Company in 1873.
The firm was reorganized in 1887, and the Griswold Manufacturing Company was
They added aluminum cookware to their line before the turn of the century.
Records show that the first aluminum piece (a tea kettle) was made in
The firm moved onto the corners of 12th and Raspberry Streets in 1903.
Griswold Mfg. Co. started enameling some items in the 1920's and within 10
years had branched into some electric cooking items.
The Griswold Manufacturing Company was sold in 1946 to a syndicate of New
York City investors. By 1947, all members of the Griswold family had left
In March of 1957, McGraw Edison of Chicago, Illinois purchased Griswold,
ending the 81 years that the Griswold family owned the company. On October
7, 1957, it was announced that the Housewares Division and the Griswold name
and trademarks were to be sold to a competitor, the Wagner Manufacturing
Company of Sidney, Ohio.
On December 7, 1957, the plant in Erie, PA closed its doors.
The Wagner Manufacturing Company continued the Griswold name and trademark,
but pieces made during that time period did not have the phrase "Erie, Pa."
Wagner transferred all Griswold trademark rights to Textron Inc. (Randall
Company) in January of 1959. Until 1969, cast iron cookware marketed with
the Griswold trademark was manufactured in Sidney, Ohio by the Randall
In August of 1969 General House wares Corp. acquired all rights to both the
Griswold and Wagner trademarks.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GRISWOLD MANUFACTURING
COMPANY OF ERIE, PA...
In 1865, two Erie families associated by marriage, joined in
a modest venture to manufacture door hinges. The Selden and Griswold union
paved the way for The Griswold Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pennsylvania,
recognized world wide as producers of fine cast iron products, especially
Between 1865 and 1957 when they closed production of the plant at the corner
of 12th and Raspberry Street, their line of cookware had been sold and used
around the world. Their designers and engineers produced many patents
spanning almost 100 years of manufacture. Before the turn of the 20th
century, they added cast aluminum products to their line. In the 1920's they
enameled some cookware and by the 1930's they offered electric items to
their product list. They produced commercial pieces for use in restaurants.
The company was in trouble by the 1940's for a variety of reasons. Many
products were being introduced by other cookware companies that seemed more
attractive to modern cooks. Problems within the company between management
and employees widened, the quality of the products seemed to decline, and in
1957 the doors of GMC closed leaving 60+ employees without jobs.
While most of the GMC cookware is a desired collectible, almost all
collectors avoid the small Griswold logo era. The former quality and casting
isn't there, for the most part. There seems to be a much larger demand for
cast iron, compared to those seeking cast aluminum, enameled, electric, or
plated pieces. Eventually, Griswold's strongest competitor, The Wagner
Manufacturing Company of Sydney, Ohio, ended up with ownership of their
molds. The "double stamped" Wagner/Griswold emblems are not considered
important collector's items, nor are the items that say Griswold but were
really manufactured in Sydney, Ohio by Wagner.
From We Get Mail, a regular feature in the GFA
I just joined recently-have Griswold cast iron cookware. How
is it related? Maybe you have had a story on it before.
Coralee Griswold responds:
This Manufacturing Company was established by Matthew
Griswold, a son of Governor Roger Griswold, and grandson of Governor Matthew
Griswold. There is a brief history at:
We have in our archives a photo album that includes pictures, advertising
and photos of the Company, probably around 1920+.
Do you have historical information
to share with us about Griswold Cast Iron Hardware? Email us at:
Sorry, we can't evaluate your hardware pieces or quote