Griswold Family Association


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A 71-piece collection of Griswold cast iron items is for sale by Gordon and Louise Hawley, who are downsizing several of their extensive collections. The set includes several fairly rare items, including the "O" skillet, a sun-dial, the lamb and bunny molds, a lemon squeezer, oval dampers, a lard press and much more. The collection has been priced, but since its size and weight would require pickup arrangements, some negotiation would be considered. A CD of the collection is available, along with an inventory including product numbers. Those interested may contact Louise through our Facebook page, or through our email,

Does anyone have an interest in writing up the Griswold cast iron ware story? We have many members who collect the pieces but no “resident expert”. These two articles came up on a search with Google. There are many more references and dealers out there...
Griswold & Cast Iron Cookware Association
Matthew Griswold and the Selden brothers started their business by manufacturing separable butt hinges and other articles of light hardware in 1865. They worked in a building know as the "Butt Factory." The building was on West 10th and Chestnut Streets, on the bank of the Erie Extension Canal. The closest I can get to the date they started making cookware is 1865.
The name was changed to the Selden & Griswold Manufacturing Company in 1873.
The firm was reorganized in 1887, and the Griswold Manufacturing Company was chartered.
They added aluminum cookware to their line before the turn of the century. Records show that the first aluminum piece (a tea kettle) was made in approximately 1893.
The firm moved onto the corners of 12th and Raspberry Streets in 1903.
Griswold Mfg. Co. started enameling some items in the 1920's and within 10 years had branched into some electric cooking items.
The Griswold Manufacturing Company was sold in 1946 to a syndicate of New York City investors. By 1947, all members of the Griswold family had left the company.
In March of 1957, McGraw Edison of Chicago, Illinois purchased Griswold, ending the 81 years that the Griswold family owned the company. On October 7, 1957, it was announced that the Housewares Division and the Griswold name and trademarks were to be sold to a competitor, the Wagner Manufacturing Company of Sidney, Ohio.
On December 7, 1957, the plant in Erie, PA closed its doors.
The Wagner Manufacturing Company continued the Griswold name and trademark, but pieces made during that time period did not have the phrase "Erie, Pa." on them.
Wagner transferred all Griswold trademark rights to Textron Inc. (Randall Company) in January of 1959. Until 1969, cast iron cookware marketed with the Griswold trademark was manufactured in Sidney, Ohio by the Randall Company.
In August of 1969 General House wares Corp. acquired all rights to both the Griswold and Wagner trademarks.

In 1865, two Erie families associated by marriage, joined in a modest venture to manufacture door hinges. The Selden and Griswold union paved the way for The Griswold Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pennsylvania, recognized world wide as producers of fine cast iron products, especially cookware.
Between 1865 and 1957 when they closed production of the plant at the corner of 12th and Raspberry Street, their line of cookware had been sold and used around the world. Their designers and engineers produced many patents spanning almost 100 years of manufacture. Before the turn of the 20th century, they added cast aluminum products to their line. In the 1920's they enameled some cookware and by the 1930's they offered electric items to their product list. They produced commercial pieces for use in restaurants.
The company was in trouble by the 1940's for a variety of reasons. Many products were being introduced by other cookware companies that seemed more attractive to modern cooks. Problems within the company between management and employees widened, the quality of the products seemed to decline, and in 1957 the doors of GMC closed leaving 60+ employees without jobs.
While most of the GMC cookware is a desired collectible, almost all collectors avoid the small Griswold logo era. The former quality and casting isn't there, for the most part. There seems to be a much larger demand for cast iron, compared to those seeking cast aluminum, enameled, electric, or plated pieces. Eventually, Griswold's strongest competitor, The Wagner Manufacturing Company of Sydney, Ohio, ended up with ownership of their molds. The "double stamped" Wagner/Griswold emblems are not considered important collector's items, nor are the items that say Griswold but were really manufactured in Sydney, Ohio by Wagner.

From We Get Mail, a regular feature in the GFA Quarterly Bulletin:
I just joined recently-have Griswold cast iron cookware. How is it related? Maybe you have had a story on it before.
Genealogist Coralee Griswold responds:
This Manufacturing Company was established by Matthew Griswold, a son of Governor Roger Griswold, and grandson of Governor Matthew Griswold. There is a brief history at: We have in our archives a photo album that includes pictures, advertising and photos of the Company, probably around 1920+.

Do you have historical information to share with us about Griswold Cast Iron Hardware? Email us at:
Sorry, we can't evaluate your hardware pieces or quote prices!  


Griswold Cast Iron:

 Information & Resources 

New contact for Griswold cast iron collectors:
R&G Antiques
Rebecca and Gregory L. Stahl
290 Chestnut Street
Clinton, MA 01510

The Book of Griswold & Wagner. David G. Smith & Charles Wafford , Schiffer Pub Ltd., 77 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen PA 19310 (ISBN 0-88740-836-2)  

Visit "The Pan Man" to shop for collectible cast iron.  More information is available through David Smith, a dealer in antique cast-iron cookware and author of The Book of Griswold and Wagner. Visit Smith's Web site at, or e-mail your questions to

Join the Griswold and Cast Iron Cookware Association at  The G&CICA is a non-profit national organization dedicated to sharing history, information, research and enjoyment of fine cast iron cookware.  Join for $25/2 people with same address, or $20 for a single.  For information,  write G&CICA Secretary, PO Box 552, Sagertown, PA 16433
A good source for Griswold ironware information is Doris and Bob Mosier, 17424 Jordan Drive, Saegertown, PA 16433 (814) 763-4819. The Mosiers publish a listing of their inventory and the listings of other collectors and dealers. Their website is:

Griswold Family Reunion: Ohio Style, 1901

Many thanks to Jan Robinson for sending us this historic document and to Coralee Griswold for the genealogy. 

The program is signed by H. Warren PHELPS, President. He was married to Louise M. Clark who was the daughter of George B. and Mindwell E. (GRISWOLD) CLARK. Louisa Clark-PHELPS > Mindwell Griswold > Isaac Griswold (FFG 540/863) This is what the French's have written in the Sixth regarding Isaac: b. 27 Oct 1779 Windsor, Hartford Co., CT; m. 14 Feb 1801 Ursula CLARK , b. 1 Jan. 1783 in Windsor, daughter of Moses Clark, she died in 1854 at Blendon, Franklin Co., OH. Isaac d. July 1869 Blendon, OH.
"Isaac made the journey to Oho in 1805 in company with Col. Kilbourne and Isaac Phelps on horseback. They located land in Blendon Township, Franklin Co., OH and returned to CT. Isaac and his family returned to Ohio in 1806 with ox teams and all their belongings. They were among the earliest settlers in Blendon where Isaac soon became a prominent and influential citizen. In 1808 he was a corporal in the militia and saw active service in the War of 1812. In 1824 he was appointed postmaster and served until 1864 when he was succeeded by his son Cicero PHELPS."
Children: Eunice d. 12 Apr 1803
+Isaac Mortimer b. 23 Dec 1803
Edwin B. b. 23 Aug 1805 d. 17 May 1834 unm
+Christina b. 23 Feb 1808
Fredus Niles b. 11 May 1811 d. 16 July 1881 unm
Cicero Phelps b. 6 Dec 1815 d. 10 Aug 1885 unm
+ Mindwell b. 9 Oct 1822

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Last update: January 26, 2011

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