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When things were build to last

I came across this post on Reddit today:

I’ve got a set of both. Saladmaster is what my grandmother used and what I wanted more than anything. It’s what I grew up hearing (they have a steam release tapper) as a child when she prepared her wonderful food. When my grandma passed my grandfather gave me her set.

My mom always swore by Revere Ware 1801 and that’s what I got back in the 90s when I set up house. I’ve acquired a couple more pans since then.

I can sell either but just wanted others opinions on what they think is the better of the two, to keep, with out the emotional value attached.

I realize that neither of these would be used in a professional kitchen.

My husband and I move as DOD contractors every 1-2 years and am looking to size down the household.

I’ve never seen Saladmaster cookware in person, but based on the era it was purchased, I would have to say it has to be better than 90’s era Revere Ware.  As a refresher, Revere Ware made good, quality copper bottom cookware from 1939 to 1968, the stuff with the process patent stamp on the bottom.  Starting in 1968, they went to reduce the cost of the manufacturing and cut in half the thickness of the stainless steel and copper in the cookware.  That made it much less effective at spreading the heat, one of the things Revere Ware was known for.  Fast forwarding to the 80’s, 90’s and up until 2018, when Revere Ware products were discontinued, the quality got worse and worse.

I would happily choose any 50’s / 60’s brand over newer Revere Ware.

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The demise of the Revere Ware brand – the insult continues

In the ongoing saga of the thoughtless silent termination of the official Revere Ware brand, I have come across yet another prescient indicator of how little thought actually went into the decision and its aftermath.

If you search for Revere Ware on Google, here is the first result:

This takes you to this page on the Corelle website:

How fitting … it simply no longer exists.  But you can still sign up for Revere news and promotions.  And, rather than revising this page further than the no longer exists message, they left the prior categories of products (Stainless Steel, Hard Anodized, Open Stock, and Sets) and simply replaced the images with stock photos of other Corelle products that don’t at all related to the titles.

And to top it all off, they proudly announce at the top, Revere, since 1801.

Despite the fact that the most iconic Revere Ware products, the copper bottom cookware, was a complete dud as a quality product for the last decade few decades, it is sad that Revere Ware met such a demise, rather than passing the brand on to someone else that might make a better go of it.

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Corelle buys Instant Pot

In what is being called a merger, Corelle Brands, which owns the Revere Ware brand, but quietly buried it last year, is acquiring Instant Pot maker Instant Brands.

There are a couple of reasons this is considered news with respect to Revere Ware.  The first is that, in the news releases and other coverage about the merger, there is no mention of the Revere Ware brand.  To date, we haven’t seen any coverage of the quiet demise of Revere Ware, and this is no different.

The second, is that, as we pointed out, the Revere Ware Meal-n-Minutes is somewhat the spiritual precursor of the Instant Pot.  The Meal-n-Minutes, which came out in the 80’s, is almost exactly an Instant Pot.  This is sort of a full circle for the owners of the Revere Ware brand.

Similar?  You be the judge.  Instant Pot on top, Meal-n-Minutes on the bottom.

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Strange speckled handles from the early Revere Ware days

Karen sent us these picture of some very strange Revere Ware handles, that appear to be black paint over a speckled (Bakelite, we think) handle.

From our photo guide, we know that the logo and handle style put the piece somewhere between 1939 and 1946.  My guess is that this was some kind of early production model or prototype.

If anyone has more information on this type of handle, please contact us.

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Revere Ware may be gone, but it isn’t forgotten

While the official Revere Ware brand may be gone, it certainly hasn’t been forgotten, as we are reminded this week seeing Google search results for Revere Ware.  It seems that major retailer still see good reasons to try and draw people in using the Revere Ware brand, even though they don’t offer any actual Revere Ware products.

Neither the Bed Bath & Beyond link nor the Wayfair link lead to any actual Revere Ware products.

Interestingly enough, as Google Trends shows, Revere Ware as a search term is actually getting slightly more popular.

Who knows, this may be a second renaissance for the brand now that it is officially dead, which nostalgic interest building, plenty of inventory in the used marketplaces, and prices relatively reasonable still.

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It’s our birthday – 10 years of replacement parts

Image result for vintage 10th birthday

10 years ago today, we listed our first set of Revere Ware replacement parts for sale. Prior to the availability of our parts, there was a 20 year period where new parts were not available at all, as Revere Ware stopped selling any replacement parts in 1989, after being bought by Corning in 1988 (more company history here).

Prior to our parts, the only option for someone looking for the like new look, or to fix a piece that was no longer functional, was a complicated Bakelite refurbishment process that involved repeated sanding with progressively finer sandpaper; very labor intensive, and expensive.

So wish us a happy 10th birthday, and enjoy your Revere Ware for another few decades.

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Instant Pot? Yea, Revere Ware had that in the 80’s

In the last few years, the Instant Pot has become all the rage.  My wife loves hers.  Here is how one review describes them:

Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that does the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot. It’s a single appliance that does the job of seven different kitchen appliances or tools. Sounds kind of impressive, right? And I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t have the space to store all seven of those appliances.

Revere Ware actually had an appliance in the 80’s, the Meal-n-Minutes, that could do all that.

Electric pressure cooker with delayed start – check
Cook rice- check.
Steamer – check
Browning – check
Warming – check
Slow cook – yup, on low pressure mode

I’m not sure about yogurt, but it could probably be used to make yogurt on the warming setting.

My take?  I suspect that in the 80’s, a phenom like the Instant Pot wasn’t as likely, given that a big part of why it seem successful is the availability of lots of recipes, and the type of social media marketing buzz that is only possible now.  In the 80’s, recipes would had to come from best seller cookbooks, and there just wasn’t buzz like there is today.

So cheers to you, Meal-n-Minutes, you were the instant pot before the Instant Pot.

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The cycle of Revere Ware

My mother-in-law passed away a couple of weeks ago; she was a wonderful lady and will be sorely missed.

As we were going through her things with the family, there were some interesting insights into Revere Ware cookware.

My wife’s parents were married in 1953, about in the middle of the period (1939-1968) where Revere Ware cookware was the preeminent cookware of the day.

Here she is opening a wedding present – a Revere Ware skillet.

I believe that Revere Ware was quite a popular wedding gift back then, as we have heard lots of stories from our customers about still using the same Revere Ware they got as a wedding gift.

Here is her cookware now with all new Bakelite parts from us of course.

As it is, I believe these are the same pieces they had all through all these 65 or so years.  However, what is conspicuously missing are any skillets.

As it turns out, we found a stack of non-stick skillets under the stove.  Teflon was approved for use in cooking in 1960 and I believe became quite popular starting in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.   I suspect some time during this period my mother-in-law (who did all the cooking as was typical for that generation) got rid of the Revere Ware skillets and replaced them with Teflon ones.

I think this is the point at which a lot of The Revere Ware we see for sale on eBay and in thrift stores comes on the market, at the death of the original generation that bought it.

Let’s consider the demographics of the generations that might have purchased Revere Ware in its heyday.

The best quality Revere Ware was made between 1939 and 1968.  Starting in 1968, Revere Ware cookware started being produced in Korea (and then China) and was made much more cheaply, with about half the metal as the prior version.  That is the period when other types of cookware started eating into the market share of Revere Ware.

The average age of (first) marriage for women was 21.5 in 1940, and about 20.8 in 1968.

The average lifespan of a woman born in 1930 (which would make them or marriageable age in the early 1940’s) was 61.6.  For someone born in 1950 (marriageable in the late 1960’s) it was 71.1.

That means that people would would have gotten their first Revere Ware cookware at the start of Revere Ware popularity would have started passing away in the mid-1990’s.  Someone who got their first Revere Ware towards the end of the popular period would on average pass away around 2010.  This can very nicely explain why we have seen in terms of the total number of Revere Ware listings on eBay over the last 9 years.  Here is a graph from 2009 to today.

While we do see “seasonal” dips over the last few years” it appears that up until a few years ago, the amount of pieces listed at any given time (which peaks around the holidays, just as our sales do) kept going up.  It would seem that now, we are past the peak of the passing of the Revere Ware generations.

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Tweener

Here is an interesting piece currently for sale on eBay, a 10 quart stock pot.

First of all, what a great starting price for a new in box (NIB) item, only $35.  If you are looking for a nice Revere Ware stock pot, I’d jump on this.

What makes this interesting is the confluence of styles.  On the one hand, it has the vintage handles.

On the other hand, it does not have the process patent stamp, which I’ve always seen on this style stock pot (with those handles).

I also don’t believe I’ve ever seen a 10 quart stock pot with those style handles.

My guess is that this is something that was produced around 1968, just when Revere Ware was transitioning from the vintage era to the newer (cheaper) era of cookware.

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