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Interesting percolator with some differences, possibly sales sample

Reader Adam sent us some pictures of an interesting percolator that has some differences from all of ours.  At first glance, it looks normal.

However, the handles were held on by brass rivets instead of a screw / nut.

On the inside, there is a grid of holes at the spout:

All of ours just have a larger hole at the bottom and a smaller hole at the top in that area.

Someone suggested it was a sales sample.




Thermic-Ray aka Norrisware

The popularity of Revere Ware in the 1940’s undoubtedly motivated some copycats.  One of these which was recently brought to our attention by reader Jim is Thermic-Ray cookware.  Jim writes:

I found a few pans in a local thrift store made by Norris Stamping and Manufacturing Co., of Los Angeles CA under the trade name of “Thermic-Ray”. Same basic design as Revere Ware, but the handles don’t seem as well made.  They were produced for a few years after the War.
Norris Stamping and Manufacturing Co., maker of Thermic-Ray, had come through WW2 as the largest manufacturer of all-steel bomb and artillery shell casings. I’m sure they were searching for peacetime business, hence this cookware. But by 1951, Norris dropped Thermic-Ray, renaming it Norrisware.
I believe at some point they gave up on copper bottoms, and went with all stainless steel designs. In 1967, Norris eventually sold the line to Regal Ware.
Here is an ad I found from 1947.
The “It’s Here!” at the top makes me think this is somewhere near the introduction of the line.   Searching the California newspaper archives shows ads only through 1951.
You can clearly see the decline in ads from 1949 on.  The brand doesn’t seem to have taken hold very well.  Interestingly though, the term also pops up in 1973.  Here is an add from that year.
Perhaps Regal Ware went back to their roots and dug up the Thermic-Ray brand name to see if it would catch on.  You can see that the cookware looks like Regal Ware cookware and not Thermic-Ray cookware.
The Norrisware brand shows up in Calfornia newspapers from 1949 through 1963.
This seems to be when they first started transitioning the name.
And sure enough, by 1963, they had transitioned to stainless steel cookware.
So, how good exactly was Thermic-Ray / Norrisware?  To evaluate them, I bought a 4 quart Dutch oven and a 7 inch sauce pan from eBay; they both have the Thermic-Ray stamp.  In terms of quality, to me, they seem relatively solid and comparable to similar Revere Ware items.  The cookware isn’t unattractive.  Here they are side-by-side with their Revere Ware equivalents.
Revere ware Thermic-Ray
4 quart Dutch oven 54.1 oz 46.2 oz -15%
7 inch sauce pan 26.2 oz 29.5 oz 13%

As you can see, from a weight perspective, the Revere Ware Dutch oven is 15% heavier than the Thermic-Ray, but the Thermic-Ray sauce pan is 13% heavier than the Revere Ware one.  I’d call them pretty comparable overall.  The Thermic-Ray copper bottom does feel solid and substantial, unlike Revere Ware copper bottoms after 1968.

Price-wise, a 6 quart Dutch Revere Ware Dutch oven was selling for $11.25 in 1949 while a similar Thermic-Ray one was selling for $9.50.  I think in the anals of history, it seems likely that Revere Ware was too much of a household name at that time for a brand like Thermic-Ray to beat, if they didn’t get significant traction even selling at a 15% discount.



Revere percolator / coffee maker handle design change in 1961

Reader Jerry contact me recently regarding the percolator styles.  I hadn’t actually notice that there are two distinct style of handles.

He was concerned about compatibility of the glass percolator tops with the different versions.

Looking through all of our old catalogs, I was able to narrow down the design change to 1961.  Catalogs prior to 1961 show the old style handle.  A catalog from February of 1961 shows some with the old style and some with the new.

Another catalog from September of 1961 shows all the coffee items with the new style.

As it turns out, both styles always used the same glass percolator top.   We’ve outlined this with more detailed information in our page for the Percolator.


More mystery handle-less pans

We first reported on these back in 2020.

Reader Jim also came across a very nice set of these with the same distinct features – no handle, and no bottom stamp.

At the time we got an anecdotal report that these were on-off defects that were likely brought home by someone that worked at the Revere Ware factory and that is still our best theory today.

I would think they would make perfect baking pans.


58 years and counting

What a great story we received from a reader.

I graduated West Point in 1964.  We were engaged that spring, and my future wife (who is from the Hudson Valley) drove to the factory outlet in Rome along with my Mother (who resided in Newburgh, NY) and her Mother to buy this set.  We married in the fall and for the next 29 years traveled the world with the set.  Our pots have been to Germany, New York, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Kansas, Belgium, Louisiana and Georgia.  We kept the copper clean the whole time (polish after every use), and our two sons also polish their copper pieces.  We used Twinkle until it was no longer available and Wrights since then.

We damaged our smallest pot — we left it on a hot stove until the handle melted off — and finally tossed it.  We gave our square frying pan to someone in need just a few years ago.  The tea pot handle broke and we did not know about your business so we tossed it.
The rest we are proud to have and use.

PS – we also have another set of items from New York.  My wife’s twin brother gave us a set of Cutco knives and kitchen utensils (manufactured in Olean, NY) as a wedding gift.  We still have all but one of the originals and have added several knives to the collection.  Upstate New York rocks!


Pristine early logo

Reader Dave sends us this very deep and clear logo from one of the earliest Revere Ware pieces, likely sometime prior to 1945.

Pieces that old usually have the copper worn down so much the logo isn’t visible anymore.


Interesting Revere cauldron

Reader Kevin approached us for information about this interesting cauldron.

Hi I recently purchased this Revere copper pot/caldron and it has the makers mark “MADE OF REVERE SOLID COPPER “. Would you know the date this pot was made? I can’t find any mark like this on line with a date.

From the stamp on the bottom I believe that is before the Revere Ware cookware era. My best guess would be in the early 1900’s, sometime
before 1928.  As far as I know post 1928 stamps included the word Rome as 1928 there was a merger with Rome Brass & Copper.
Does anyone else know anything more (or have better information) on these?

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.

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.

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.