Through the years, cast iron has provided all types of unique designs. From chicken fryers, corn stick pan, cornbread wedge pan, and combo tabs. These are a slight fraction of some of the old Americana cast ironware designs.
One of my favorite designs of cast ironware is what lays underneath the skillet. Through the years, Lodge has made some amazing prints. From business-related prints, disaster relief efforts, Cracker Barrell early Americana history, wildlife, and other unique designs. These unique prints have cast iron collectors scrambling to get their hands on a limited time offers.
One of the most remarkable pieces that will forever lay an impression on me and every Tennessean who cherishes our beloved Great Smokey Mountains is the 2016 Great Smokey Mountains. The proceeds went towards the Dollywood Foundation, "My People Fund." Within days, Lodge had raised over $100,000. The wildfires devastated over 10,000 acres of the historic national park.
Another unique cast iron theme from Lodge cast iron is the Lodge Wildlife series. The Wildlife series was released at different times, a total of six different types of cast iron pieces. When the series matures in age, the series will have more of a collector's value.
Lodge is no stranger to producing skillets for special business occasions. Several cast iron pieces were produced for Oscar Mayer, Hillshire Farm, and Walmart.
One of the most interesting of Lodge cast iron production is the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lodge produced an ashy tray skillet, standard size skillet, 12-inch camp oven, and a cookbook for the special occasion. The licensing committee had asked Bob Kellerman, former CEO of Lodge, to become a torchbearer. The jog would only be a half a mile. For practice rounds, Kellerman ran with an 8-inch skillet in hand, to match the weight of the three-pound torch.
These are just a few of the handful of stories that make cast iron production very unique to our state, Tennessee. Unique pieces of cast iron production place a unique marker in American history and reminders of America's first journey through freedom.