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Copper bottom blistering

Reader Harold contacted us with this question:

My mother has some revere ware.  I am noting some blistering on the bottom of the pan.  Photo attached.  What is causing this?

I suspect it is due to defects in the manufacturing process.  If moisture gets trapped between the layers of metal (copper, stainless) it can expand when heated and case the blistering.  Given the style of the piece, it was made during the period where the Revere Ware quality was not super great (post 1968), and there are a higher number of defects like this as compared to the period prior to 1968.
I suspect the blistering doesn’t affect the usage of the pan too much, except for hot spots where the blisters occur.
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Worn Revere Ware stamps

Reader Camille asks:

There is one piece left of a set of Revere Ware that was my mother’s and is at least 65 years old. It is definitely pre—1968, and I’m thinking that it was gifted to her in the early 1950s. The piece that’s left is the large pot and it is so old that only way you can see the stamp is with a bright light and a magnifying glass. Is this common for the older pots?

This is common with older pots. The copper does oxidize over time, and when you use copper cleaner regularly it can slowly remove some copper.  I personally have quite a few pieces that have very faint stamps like this.
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The timelessness of Revere Ware

We put some of our Revere Ware cookware to good use this Thanksgiving.  Here is my 12 year old daughter working on the filling for an apple pie.

This is such a great picture because she was featured in some of the early pictures we did when making stock photos for the new replacement parts.

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A unique skillet, possibly from between handle periods

In the earliest days of Revere Ware, the Bakelite handles sandwiched around a metal spline, which showed through all around.  The handles had a hollow screw / nut where the handle hook goes, and two screws near the front of the pot, like this:

Around 1947, they changed to the newer variety of handle, the type we sell replacement for.

On the newer style vintage handle, the spline on the largest version of the sauce pans and skillets is 3/4″ wide from top to bottom.

Customer Laurence seems to have come across a skillet that has a different handle.

Note the sharp outer edge and the pour spout.  I’ve seen these before but this skillet seems to have a much sharper bottom curve as well.

His handle is a cross between the newer vintage style (where the spline fits in a channel) and the older style, with the hollow screw and nut where the handing hook attaches.

The spline height on this one is 1 inch in width, which I’ve never seen before.  You can see from comparing the skillet spline with the example shown above, that it is taller.

It is definitely a unique pan.  My working theory is that it is something that they were perhaps experimenting with as they were developing the new handle styles.

 

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I love a good mystery

I came across an auction on eBay that had a Revere Ware vintage pressure cooker with a manual I had never seen before.  Then for some reason, the seller listed the manual separately, so of course, I had to buy it.  Here it is:

It seems to be missing the outer cover. This manual is very simple as it appears to be mostly typewriter produced and contains few pictures.  Upon first seeing it, I assumed that perhaps it was the very first version of the pressure cooker manual from when they were first produced.  Here is what we know about the pressure cookers from the photo guide.

Reading through this new manual, I came across this, from page 3.

Hmm.  So this isn’t the first version of the manual, but something that spans both models.  There is unfortunately no date on the manual (it is usually on the back cover, which is missing) so that isn’t any help.

My best guess here is that, when they first came out with the redesigned dial gauge model, and they had some of the old model and some of the new model, they quickly needed a manual that could be shipped with both types, until the older inventory was gone.  It’s my working theory right now anyways.

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Then and now

Revere Ware is iconic, no question about that.  It was a mainstay for a good part of a generation or two and there continues to be a strong following today, even though it is no longer in production.  But all things related to Revere Ware over the years do show some relationship to the era in which they came from.

And over time, standards change.  We know there has been a lot of vocality on social issues in the last few years, especially with the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements.

Sometimes, when we look back at a snapshot in time, to see how things were, it helps us understand just how much things have changed.

Take for example a part of an ad from 1948.

Clearly, it was assumed then that the women’s place was in the kitchen.  We have none of that at my house in this day and age. 🙂

And consider this ad, from 1970.

I get the play on words; it’s even a bit funny, in a way.  But I don’t think women of today would appreciate being referred to as a “dish”.  I have to wonder if they did in 1970.  Perhaps they didn’t, but didn’t feel empowered enough to speak up about it.  I think in both cases Revere Ware was likely just going with the prevailing attitudes of the day.  With three daughters, I appreciate that attitudes towards women have improved significantly since then.

And sometimes things get worse.  Sitting around with some friends yesterday (thank goodness we can start doing that again), we were lamenting the throw away nature of much of what is produced these days.  Not so back in the golden olden days of Revere Ware, as evidenced by the fact that so many people are still using their 50,60, 70, 80 year old Revere Ware.

A very wise person once said “Take what you like an leave the rest.”  I’ll appreciate the good things about Revere Ware and know that some of their advertising is a bit dated by today’s standards.

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Revere Ware waterless cooking

Revere Ware did some big advertising on their “waterless” cooking method in the 40’s

That’s a nice plug, but it doesn’t really tell us how it works.

Waterless cooking relies on the (higher) water content of certain foods, a low heat setting, and a tight fitting lid to keep the steam generated from escaping, creating a slight pressure inside the pot.  The hot steam helps cook the food faster, but with a low bottom temperature which keeps the food from burning.

So why is waterless cooking better?  For a number of reasons.

  • No boiling means no nutrients lost to the boil water.
  • Low heat means you are using less energy / natural gas to cook
  • You don’t have to add fat for cooking (although recent attitudes on fat have relaxed a little)
  • It supposedly reduces cooking time

I haven’t heard much about waterless cooking in recent times, and not in respect to Revere Ware, which seems to have been one brand that made the practice popular. I’ve never tried it myself.

Before waterless cooking, pressure cooking was a popular way to accomplish much the same thing.  I can’t help but think that today’s Instant Pot is a great way of achieving the same benefits as waterless cooking.  My wife sure loves our instant pot, and uses it almost every day.

But I’ll have to try the waterless way one of these days.

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The Revere Ware vintage pressure cooker dual pouring lip

We recently came across this Revere Ware brochure from sometime in the early to mid 40’s.

It includes this page on the pressure cooker:

I had no idea that the lip under which the top fits, also acts to direct the contents to either side for pouring, a neat feature.  I’ve since found this information in the Know Your Pressure Cooker brochure, but, interestingly, it isn’t in the pressure cooker manual.

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Ask RevereWareParts – copper bottom piece with rounded metal handles

We often get asked for help identifying cookware.  Today’s question comes from Joe, who writes:

Good Evening. I’ve searched and could not get an identification on this piece of cookware. I’ve looked at your website and the internet and have not been able to find this line of Revere Ware. The majority of pieces I’ve seen have plastic handles. Any insight to this line with rounded metal handles? Thank you so much for your time.

The best resource for identifying cookware is the photo guide.   Joe has what appears to be the Restaurant Ware style from the 1980’s.  There is a blurb in our Photo Guide on this:

 

 

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