My adventure into the world of vintage cast iron cookware began in around 2010, with the spontaneous purchase of a pretty Griswold gem pan. The next thing you know, I purchased about 60 pieces of crusty, rusty iron at an estate sale. From there, I dove into learning about vintage cast iron cookware, including how to clean and restore, and identify vintage cast iron pieces. I founded the e-Commerce site thepan-handler.com in around 2013, and started blogging about and selling vintage cast iron cookware around the globe. You can see the blog here. I have never been one to dabble in an interest; I tend to dive right in. My interest in vintage and antique cast iron cookware is no exception. I have a particular interest in Griswold cast iron cookware.
When I began my “hobby” of collecting and selling vintage cast iron cookware, I was employed full-time. In 2015, I retired from my full-time job and began selling cast iron in earnest. As time went on, I realized that “retirement” was supposed to mean “doing exactly what I want to do” – at least in my definition of the word. I decided to step back from the business-end of The Pan Handler LLC, but to continue my education and adventures in the world of vintage cast iron.
On January 1, 2017, Anna Haas took the helm at The Pan Handler LLC. I continue to collaborate with Anna and the business as a consultant. I created this website so that I can continue to share my adventures in the world of vintage cast iron cookware, and hopefully help to educate others as I continue to educate myself. I learn something new every day!
Many cast iron collectors have helped me along this journey. I am particularly grateful to the members of the Griswold & Cast Iron Cookware Association and the Wagner and Griswold Society. Long-time collectors in these groups have been generous in sharing with me the vast knowledge they have about vintage cast iron cookware. I have enjoyed traveling across the United States and meeting folks who collect vintage cast iron, and memorializing their stories (see my blog post on Larry and Marg O’Neil of Tacoma WA here, and my blog post on Harold R. Henry of Hamilton, MO here). While there is not presently a comprehensive reference book on all vintage and antique cast iron cookware, there is a plethora of information about vintage and antique cast iron cookware to be found on the forums of those clubs. It is well worth the $25/year membership fee to join. You can join G&CICA here, and WaGs here.