I love "my" thrift store up in Kennewick, Washington. I scored this weekend.
Three cast iron skillets, in pretty good condition, for only $2 each! Wahoo!
They weren't too gunked up or rusted, as you can see above, but still needed to be stripped and re-seasoned. These first pictures are of the as-bought condition, before re-seasoning.
The smallest one is a random Korean-made #3 skillet, 8" diameter. It's nothing special in and of itself and probably not very old (maybe 1980s?), but it's very smooth inside.
The middle size one is a Wagner Ware #6 skillet, 9" in diameter. This skillet was made some time between 1924 and 1935. (Wow!) It's in good condition, with some minor old rust pitting marks inside, but it's sound and sits perfectly level.
This pan is interesting because it's so much lighter than modern cast
iron pans, and much thinner-walled. It's the lightest of the three I got this weekend. I hadn't realized before doing my
internet research that this is the norm for older pans, since they
weren't machine-made. Makes sense, I guess, since they didn't have to
be able to handle the rougher automated manufacture, including machine
The largest pan is a Griswold #8, 10.5" in diameter. This pan was made between 1939 and 1944 (Wow!), and is also lighter and thinner-walled than modern pans, though not as thin as the Wagner Ware. This is also in good condition, with few blemishes, and sits flat.
Now even though these pans are moderately old, they're not really that rare. Griswold and Wagner Ware are the "collectible" brands, but these are pretty common models and would usually sell for $20 or less. However, I'm happy with them (especially for $2!), they will be great for cooking, and look how pretty they cleaned up!
Left to right again, that's the Korean #3, the Wagner Ware #6, an unmarked pan given to me by a friend a few months ago (the interwebs tell me it may have been made by American Brass & Iron out of Oakland, CA, in the 70s/80s), and the Griswold #8. You can see how much smoother the old Wagner Ware and Griswold are, especially compared to the newest one (third from left).
It's pretty humbling to cook with a pan that is 80-90 years old. Imagine how many family meals it has prepared...
And still going strong!