February 27, 2019

Women in Cast Iron History

Posted By: Maggie Stamper February 27, 2019
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When I meet customers for cast iron pick-up, I often hear stories about how a great grandmother or grandmother who forever set a huge impression in their family with delicious cooked meals. Restoring those pieces warm my heart.

Cast ironware history has a deep past influenced by women! Yes, women. Homemakers who were the backbone in their family, also became influential leaders in the manufacturing of cast iron and advertisement.

One of the most unique pieces of cast ironware, the cornbread wedge pan, became one of the best sellers for Birmingham Stove and Range. The wedge pan design makes amazing cornbread, biscuits, and brownies. The ideas are limitless. The inspiration for this piece came from one of the lead foundry foremen's wife. The foundry foreman's wife wanted a design that could provide a delicate crust on all sides. After the design was built and placed through production, sales for the wedge pan went through the roof. This became one of the best sellers for Birmingham Stove and Range.

Griswold's Aunt Ellen became one of their shining stars. Aunt Ellen started working with Griswold in 1922, in receiving mail from customers.

When replying, she dubbed herself as Aunt Ellen, when signing off her letters. Customers were obsessed over Aunt Ellen and loved her advice with cast iron care and tips regarding her recipes. Griswold soon used Aunt Ellen to market their products for their customers and sales took off. As the Aunt Ellen effect took aim towards the homemakers of the day, Griswold's demand for more cast iron production took off.

Today, Aunt Ellen pamphlets and letters are considered collector items in the cast iron community.

You can read more about the history of Aunt Ellen in the Southern Cast Iron magazine (March/April 2019).

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Maggie Stamper, Old Time Cast Iron Restoration
Hey, ya'll! I'm Maggie Stamper founder and blogger of Old Time Cast Iron. Thanks for joining me and allowing me to share some of my favorite memories, recipes, and finds with you.

I'm a wife and mother to three children. Born and raised as a farm girl in the small town of Greenbrier, Tennessee, I loved spending time with Mammie (grandmother). That's where my love for cooking started, right at her farm table which launched into cast iron skillet cooking later as a young adult.

Today, I love to blog, restore, cook, and treasure hunt for cast iron skillets. Be sure to check back in often because you'll always find something new to enjoy!

Be sure to follow me.
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