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They are then tumbled in a “wheelabrator” which does fine, rudimentary sanding of the rough edges.If necessary, remaining small burrs can be filed off by hand before a final tumble.Milling was not used as often as polishing, so one is lucky to find the circular milling marks or spiraled grinding marks.
On this point, it is also highly probable that cast iron, unlike its more ancient and equally tenacious metal partner, copper, has remained in our pantries because it’s generally less expensive than copper and therefore more available.
Speaking of skillets, by the late 1800’s, skillets, sauce plans and frying pans were all lumped together under one umbrella called “skillets” regardless of the sides, bottom and leg treatments that originally set them apart by name.
It should also be noted that the idea of “spider” skillets — those with legs — was a purely American term unused in other countries.
That is an entirely different discussion that includes polymerization, oil varieties, types of heat, and, like so many things, there is truly no right or wrong preference.
It’s the offspring of even older cookware — the earthenware pot — in its slow heating and long retention — which seems to prompt a visceral response.
Then it’s time to bring it out, dust it off and start using these wonderful old pieces.