On Sunday driving in the Coachella Valley, taking in some much needed vitamin "D," when I happened to come across a little collectible shop. The valley is peppered with all sorts of collectible gems. As I meandered through the aisle, I could feel my collectible senses guiding me (Spider-Man has spidy senses and I have collectible senses) towards this handsomely designed casserole pot. Yes, pots can be handsome if designed properly, and right in front of me was such a specimen. A 1934 Wagner Ware casserole pot—a collectible one at that.
Ever wondered what that lonely "O" meant at the bottom of your Wagner Ware pots or skillet? Well, Wagner Ware was founded by Milton and Bernard Wagner in 1891 in Sidney, Ohio. Their focus was on cooking ware, and they succeeded in producing some of America's most collectible cookware.Wagner Ware Manufacturing was acquired by the Randall Company in 1952. However, Wagner Ware continues to be produced today. That being said, the wares manufactured from 1891 to 1959 remain the most sought-after by collectors.
Wagner Ware had many brands over the years. The one featured on this pot is what is known as the stylized logo. The single, large, fancy "W" for both words, along with "SIDNEY" and "O," was first used circa 1922 and last used in 1959 when the "O" was removed from the logo. The stylized logo has become Wagner Ware’s most iconic trademark.
Wagner Ware was not resistant to the effects of the depression era, and that is when they decided to introduce the "Magnalite" line of cast aluminum products. The "Magnalite" line, made from a patented aluminum alloy, was introduced in the 1930’s. In 1934, Wagner Ware designed the Magnalite aluminum-covered casserole featured in this post.
Skillets with the wording "Cast Iron Skillet" together with the stylized logo surrounded by a border which happened to form the wedge of a pie, which are known as "pie logos," have become some of the most collectible Wagner Ware.