Here is my little collection of the mini toy
Revere Ware pots and pans. I feel fortunate to have acquired the mini double boiler, and the solid copper whistling tea kettle. The miniature pans were introduced in the 1950’s, and continued sales into the 1960’s, from what I can tell by the old advertisements for them. They really are smaller versions of the full size pots and pans. The tea kettles measure about 3 inches in diameter, so you can get an idea of the size.
My set consists of 3 different size sauce pans, a stock pot, two different sized open skillets, a coffee pot, mixing bowl, whistling tea kettle, solid copper whistling tea kettle, and a measuring cup with lid. The measuring cup is the same size as the large sauce pan. All are copper clad on the bottom with double circle logo, but some are pretty faded.
The original boxes for these toy pans could be flipped over and made into a stove-top.
This is a great pan! Not just for chicken-frying, but for just about anything. It was made in Clinton, Illinois in 1985. They aren’t super rare, but they are not as easily found as some Revere Ware items. When it is full, it is pretty heavy, so the opposite handle is great for two-handed lifting. This is the newest piece of Revere Ware that I own, and one of the last made in the good old USA.
Super low heat is the key to cooking with this pan. As with all Revere Ware, the copper conducts the heat so much better than other metals, so high heat is a no-no. The Revere company put out several recipe books specifically for cooking with copper bottomed Revere Ware pans.
If anyone would like a free copy of this e-book, leave a comment on this post, and I will email you one. The book is great, but I have found one thing that removes copper tarnish even better than the cleaners mentioned in the book.
If I did all the technical stuff correctly, you can click on the picture of this copper cleaner “Texas Magic Sparkle” and the link will take you to where you can get some. It is all natural, and made from food-grade ingredients, and it isn’t a messy powder, it is a nice gel consistency, so it stays on the copper, and in about 1 minute or less, the copper tarnish is gone! No abrasives either, which I like, because there is only so much copper on the bottom of a Revere Ware pan, so why scratch off any when you don’t have to?
This pan is HUGE! 10 diameter, it is a steamer on top of a 6 QT Dutch Oven. It was made in 1978 in Clinton, Illinois, and is still perfect. I mostly only use it for steaming/blanching. This pan is one year older than my son, and now I am telling my age! But considering this age, I have learned the importance of fresh vegetables, so gardening is becoming one of my favorite hobbies. When I manage to grow more than I can eat or share, preserving food is necessary. Some of it is easily frozen, but canning and dehydrating are important ways to preserve food, too.
Here is where this Revere Ware Steamer comes in. It is a wonderful blanching machine! Many vegetables should be blanched before freezing, or dehydrating. Seems like there is always an excess of squash each year, so this year, I bought a dehydrator for that purpose. Squash that is canned or frozen becomes mushy, and dehydration is supposed to do better. Blanching the squash before dehydrating opens up the fibers, allowing it to better rehydrate, without all the mush. If steam is used to rehydrate, the food is not soaking in the water, as it would be with boiling.
That is where this steamer will come in handy again, it is perfect to rehydrate dried foods. Since it is so big, you can do a large batch, or just spread a smaller amount out across the bottom. Everything the food touches is stainless steel, and the more I cook with stainless steel on the stove, the less I care for plastic and microwave ovens.
If anyone has any food preservation tips, please share them! Thanks.
Most of my posts have to do with Revere Ware, the copper and stainless steel cookware, but did you know that Paul Revere was actually a silver smith? Later in life, he started the first copper rolling mill in the USA, but before that, he made many things out of silver.
I have always been fond of silver. I love feeling it, hearing it, and just the general sight of it. There is certainly no other metal quite like it. Aside from it being a precious metal, coins used to be made from silver in several mints across the USA.
One little known thing about silver is its antiseptic properties. Silver flatware, hollow ware, and table ware, or at least their plated counterparts were used just for this purpose, to stop the bacteria from spreading while contacting food.
Double boiler insert. I’ve only seen 2 ever. This one fits this 3 qt stock pot, the 2 and 4 qt stock pots, and the 3 qt sauce pan. There is also a ceramic one that is technically a Bain Marie, and it fits the 2 qt sauce pan. See the post here that I’ve written that contains the set and you can see what it looks like.
Fondue pot. This is the same size pan as the smallest (2 qt) stock pot, but with a single handle. I don’t believe they made them very long, because I’ve not seen one with a signature, but there may be one out there. This is a limited edition.
Small round paella or two-handled skillet. The 10″ one is fairly rare, but this small one is only 8″ diameter. Even rarer.
The Revere Company spent years making cookware from the late 1880’s, but during the 1930’s tried to come up with something lighter than the heavy cast iron that was the main source of every day cookware. Restaurants and people with a lot of money used copper pans with tin lining, but it was expensive to re-tin. Tin is a very soft metal, almost as soft as aluminum, and a lining was just that, a thin layer inside the copper.
Revere was the first to decide that stainless steel was the overall best material for a cooking surface, and spent over two years developing new production techniques. Finally they patented a stainless steel cooking surface, with an electroplated copper clad bottom for better heat distribution, and added Bakelite handles. They applied for the patent in 1938, and introduced “Revere Ware” as we know it today in 1939.
Revere never changed their product materials, although as years went by they used both thinner copper and stainless in their cookware. When their heavy solid copper/stainless cookware came out in 1967 (which includes the Bicentennial edition in 1976, and signature collection after that), they changed the process a bit. Rather than simply electro-plating the copper onto the stainless steel, they used two equal sheets of each and pressure bonded them together.
Stainless steel and copper have been the foundation for the growth of the Revere Ware company and much of the history of the evolution of cookware in the 20th century, and Revere Ware proudly displayed their choice of materials on logos, boxes and labels as long as they made them here in the USA.
In 1986, with the advent of the “smooth cook tops”, Revere introduced their new Aluminum Bottom Cookware, which we know as the “Tri-Ply” or “Disc-Bottom”.
The best metals for conducting (transmitting) energy are, in this order, silver, copper, and aluminum. That is why electrical contacts are silver and copper, and also why wire is copper or aluminum. No one can afford silver electrical wire, I guess, although there are many small electrical components in computers that use silver to make the contact. As with wire, silver was not an affordable option for cookware, and I suppose it may even conduct a little too well for cooking. Meanwhile, copper was and still is the excellent affordable choice for rapid disbursement of energy, whether it be electricity or heat. Aluminum is the next choice, so for direct contact on a smooth top stove, the aluminum disc on the bottom of the stainless steel pan was the logical option. This line continued to be produced in the USA from 1986 until the late 90’s, when all production was moved out of the country. I believe it still continued with “China” production, but I am not sure if it still is manufactured there. I have lost both the trail and the interest for Revere Ware overseas production, and just concentrate on what was made in the USA.
Revere did not change their logo much, once they dropped the “Process Patent” Double Circle logo in 1968, and started using the 1801 profile, and added the pot/pan size. The one change of much significance is that in 1978 they started adding the year of manufacture. As seen in this photo, -78 is placed beside the size. This continued until the 90’s, when they started adding letters after the year. I’ve read that the letters might represent the month of manufacture, but I can not find any evidence to substantiate this, nor does it seem likely. A year of manufacture is common with almost all items produced anywhere, but rarely is there a need for the month. Many items are produced as an assembly, so it is likely their production times span over more than one month.
If anyone has any more information on these letters added to the 1990-99 years of manufacture for Revere Ware, please comment and let me know.
The Clinton, Illinois plant produced more Revere Ware than the others simply because it was open for the longest. It was opened in 1950, and continued production of some type of Revere Cookware until it was closed in 1999. I am putting together a time-line of Revere Copper & Brass history, mostly about the Revere Ware cookware line, but other aspects of the company’s productions are relevant as well. I hope to post it soon.
After Revere decided to thin down the copper and stainless in their cookware in 1968, simultaneously changing the logo to appear like this one pictured, production continued only in the Clinton plant for 6 years.
Rome was the original home of Revere Copper & Brass as early as the 1880’s, and later opened the Riverside, CA plant specifically for cookware in 1949, and Clinton, Il a year later. Revere closed the Riverside facility down forever in 1962, after 13 years in operation. Rome ceased cookware production in 1968, except for maybe tea kettles, and did not reopen until 1974, so if you see this logo with a “Rome” stamp, it was made in 1974 or later. The picture in this post of the “Rome” logo was from a pan manufactured in 1979. This stamp without a date with the “Clinton” stamp could have been produced from 1968 to 1977.
Any cookware with “Riverside” printed on the bottom will be “Process Patent”, and is actually fairly rare. You won’t see this logo with Riverside on it. In 1978, Revere started including the year of production in their logo.
Revere had been producing cookware for years, and came up with their method of producing a stainless/copper combination along with a plastic (bakelite) handle during these years, but applied for the patent for it and decided to use this logo. It was stamped on the bottom of their cookware for almost 20 years. In 1968, they changed their process to use a thinner stainless steel, and also a thinner electroplated copper bottom. Copper prices, along with all metal prices were rising and it was a way to cut costs. The reduction of both stainless steel and copper continued throughout the decades. (More on that in future posts.)
Revere also changed their logo in 1968. They simply removed the double circle, the “copper clad” writing inside the circle, and the patent information below the circle, leaving the 1801, the profile, an “Revere Ware”. They continued with this logo with a few minor changes through the late 1990’s, when production within the USA shut down permanently. You can still buy Revere Ware, which is now owned by Corning, (AKA World Kitchens), but it is stamped “China” or “Indonesia”, and one variation (Pro Line) was made in Thailand for a while. The “good old pans” were and still are MUCH heavier and better than what you can buy today at Wal-Mart.