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Granite Ware Enameled Cookware and Vintage Kitchenware - Made in America

Speckled enameled cookware dates back to the late 1800's and is called Granite Ware. It is still being manufactured and vintage kitchenware pieces are highly collectible.

Many people grew up with speckled cookware that came in common colors of black or blue. It seems like every household at least had the oval roaster with the domed lid. It is a part of Americana and as American as apple pie. It’s called Granite Ware and it is still being manufactured in the USA by Columbian Home Products, LLC, founded in 1871, located in Zurich, Illinois. There are many common pieces still being made and easily available at some of the big box stores and other kitchen, camping and kitchenware stores. There are, however, unique pieces that can only be obtained by hunting through antique stores, online bidding sites and virtual collector sites. Browsing on the National Graniteware Society website is a feast for the collector, showing colors from bright green and red to white, grey, purple and yellow.  

Granite Ware Products from Columbian Home Products

Canning

Cooks and homemakers have used the Granite Ware canner with the jar rack for generations. Many a mother has passed the setup on to daughters and sons who are beginning to put up preserves and pickles for their own families. The canner is available in 11 ½, 21 ½ and 33 quart capacity. To complete the canning set-up, you may also want to purchase the 12 piece canning set instead. It comes with everything you need to put up your jams, jellies, pickles and other high-acid foods using the water-bath method of canning. The set includes the 21 quart canner with the jar lifter along with the blancher pot, tongs, strainer, lid wrench, jar lifter, funnel and magnetic lid lifter.

Roasting

The domed roaster is still popular in many homes and comes in oval, round and rectangular shapes. There is also the two piece vertical roaster and open roasters with flat racks and v-racks.

Pots and Pans

Columbian Home Products offers a variety of big and small pots including stock pots, sauce pots, a double boiler and a steamer insert.

Miscellaneous Items

Yes, you can still buy the coffee pot, Granite Ware cup, bowl and plate along with a Granite Ware dishpan for washing up those camp dishes.

History

GraniteWare was first manufactured in the Unites States by two German immigrants, William and Fredrick Niedringhaus. They founded the St. Louis Stamping Co. which made kitchen utensils using a metal stamping process for mass production. While visiting Germany, William came upon a shop selling enameled utensils and brought the process to America and subsequently patented it and began production. The US Patent is titled “Improvement in Manufacture of Iron-Ware” number 177,953, dated May, 30th 1876.  In 1896 the brothers incorporated a city and called it Granite City across the Mississipi in Illinois where they established the National Enameling and Stamping Company (NESCO) which operated until 1956.

Enamel Ware

Granite Ware is steel coated with porcelain enamel inside and out and is a trademarked name of the Columbian Home Products Company. Enamelware or enamel ware is the generic term for this type of kitchen ware. You may also hear it called iron-ware. The porcelain enamel provides a non-porous, rust-proof coating for a durable long lasting cookware. It is important however to not drop your enamel ware or GraniteWare on the hard floor because it may chip. Chipped enamel-ware may rust at the exposed location.  

Granite Ware is widely collected and is still used for cooking and for vintage décor. And, it’s still made in Amereica.

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Comments (7)

Thanks for the info.

Ranked #54 in Food & Cooking

excellent thank you

Ranked #39 in Food & Cooking

Great history of the firm and its wares. This was new to me.

Very interesting read...

Ranked #53 in Food & Cooking

This article brings back memories of my youth. My mother and aunts always cooked and baked with enamel ware and they were always replacing it because a pan would get dropped and would become chipped. A few of my roasters are enamel ware, but I stay away from it as much as possible. I prefer going the stainless steel route in my kitchen.

Yes, it's true, it can and does chip. So many of the pieces now are just used for vintage decor and for collections. My canner though is great and that is something you don't worry about chipping so much.

Ranked #77 in Food & Cooking

I still use some of these pots and pans. They last forever!

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