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Replacing a Revere Ware kettle

Revere Ware tea kettles have been off the market since 2018, when Corelle Inc. (now Corelle Instant Pot) discontinued the Revere Ware brand.

But, the market for used tea kettles is quite robust as the listings on eBay demonstrate.

(That’s our eBay Revere Ware listing helper site that categorizes all the Revere Ware listings on eBay for your convenience.)

There are over 1,200 listings for kettles on eBay, or about 8% of all Revere Ware listings there.

So if you need to replace your cherished Revere Ware kettle, pick up a used one; with such an abundance of listings, you can surely fine them for a reasonable price.


Is stainless steel safe after overheating

This question on Quora makes me think people don’t really understand the nature of stainless steel.

We get this exact question quite frequently.

The chromium in stainless steel is not the same as the kind features in the movie Erin Brokovitch.  It is a safe form that is actually an essential mineral that the body needs in trace amounts.

When you overheat stainless steel, it doesn’t release chromium, it actually promotes the formation of more chromium oxide, which is the whole purpose of the chromium in stainless steel.  Chromium oxide is a clear layer that coats the top of the stainless steel surface and prevents the iron from rusting.  When you overheat, you form more of it which can cause the rainbow shimmer (often referred to as heat tint) you sometimes see on the surface of stainless steel; this is uneven thicknesses of the clear chromium oxide refracting the light differently where the layers differ in thickness, thus altering the angle of refraction of the colors of white light.  Here is what heat tint looks like:

You can fix heat tint by using a fine polish like Bar Keepers Friend.

You may not realize this but the daily use of stainless steel constantly damages the chromium oxide finish. But chromium is highly attracted to the oxygen in the air and will bond with it, which means your stainless steel cookware will always self-repair after damage.  It wouldn’t if you were in an oxygen free environment, like the moon, but then rust needs oxygen to form a well so it wouldn’t matter.  I don’t know why I thought of that. 🙂

Overheating can cause other problems.  The inside of stainless steel cookware often gets lots of pits from the use of metal kitchen tools and acidic foods, like tomato sauce.  Hard water deposits can collect in these pits and will get charred and turn black when you severely overheat a dry pan.  You can read more about that here.



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.



More about small business regulations

I’ve reported a number of times on the issues in recent years with the aggressive moves by states to grab income tax from out-of-state sellers (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine).  I’m surely not the only small business to get the jitters from all this; I recently came across a blog post on this topic from a small seller of retro electronic that I follow that highlights an additional issues along these lines; not only our states, but countries are creating more aggressive regulations, making it harder for small businesses to compete on an international scale.

In summary / TL;DR:

GDPR is responsible for all the “cookie warnings” that almost every website has now.  Like shady attorneys pursuing website accessibility lawsuits in the US, there are a litany of such attorneys pursuing GDPR lawsuits against companies in the EU.  This has created extra hassles (and costs) for small businesses and extra hassles for end users.

LUCID requires companies to declare their annual weight of shipped packages and then purchase a packaging license from a third party; it appears to be mostly enforced by Germany, but applies to the entire EU.

VAT tax collection by EU and Canada (we haven’t seen that yet) is causing shipment delays and extra hassle for customers.

The bottom line is that the regulatory burden that negatively affects small businesses is getting worse, not better.  I’ve always thought that people in the public sector making these laws are lacking in practical business experience, which leads to laws that hurt rather than help our nations small businesses.

I think our leaders need to remember that small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) employ over 60 million people in the US.  They would be wise to consider how new laws and regulations affect small businesses before implementing them.





Revere Patio Ware

I’m not familiar with the Patio Ware line, but this great mailer from 1955 I recently found with a trove of other historical Revere items on eBay sheds some light on it.

The 14 cup percolator is the only piece from this collection I am familiar with (and I have one). Apparently they were also advertised as being made for “a man’s larger hands.” 🙂

A search on eBay  shows that this must not have been a long-lived line, as there aren’t many of them for sale – only 7 listings out of around 14,000 Revere Ware items on eBay at the moment. But whoo-boy, they sure do seem to sell at a premium.


RevereWareParts customer service highlights for the week

We get a lot of requests for help from people that buy from us and people that don’t; we are happy to do what we can for everyone.  Here are some highlights from the week or answering people’s questions.

Mildred was curious on how to restore the shine on the outside of her tea kettle.

Thank you. Very helpful. Bar Keeper’s Friend brought
the sheen back!

—–Original Message—–
From: RevereWareParts Customer Service

Hi Mildred,

See our care guide; there is information there specifically about cleaning the outside of the kettle.


Jeff had a lid with a broken off screw.

You folks are awesome, thanks so much.

From: RevereWareParts Customer Service

Hi Jeff,

See our page on this repair:

On that page you’ll find the specifications for the screw you need. We don’t sell them; you’ll have to
procure one from your local hardware store.


Andrea was inquiring about the Revere Tapster.

Thank you for the information!

From: RevereWareParts Customer Service

Hi Andrea,

This is the only information I currently have on our website about the Tapster:


Eileen needed a new lid.

Thank you so much. I will look into that.


RevereWareParts Customer Service wrote:

Hi Eileen,

Since Revere Ware stopped being produced in 2018 by the latest owners Corelle Inc,
new lids are no longer available. But there is a very robust market for used lids on eBay.
You can find a nice frequently updated and sorted list of Revere Ware lids available there
by size here:


We’ll try to answer any question you have.


Regarding order changes


We can’t add things to an order as we don’t store payment information and order cancellation isn’t always possible.

The Whole Story

A few times a month people request changes to orders placed through our website, such as adding an additional item, canceling and order, or changing the quantity of an item.  For a couple of reasons, order changes are not simple, and are not always possible.

For starters, we use a fulfillment contractor to ship our orders.  The orders placed on our website are then transmitted to our fulfillment contractors system and an order is created in their system.  Sometimes, an order is fulfilled quickly after it is placed and is added to a bin of outgoing orders.  When this happens, it is nearly impossible for them to dig through a large collection of packages and pull out a single one.

And sometimes it is just bad timing.  You place an order and 10 minutes later request cancellation.  We check our customer service email two hours later but the order has already shipped. 🙁

So when someone requests a cancellation, we do contact our fulfillment contractor and request cancellation, but about 20% of the time, the order is already in the outgoing shipping bin, or has shipped, and cancellation isn’t possible.

This also applies to requests to reduce the quantity of something in an order, for instance when you accidentally order two of something not realizing it was already in the cart; we’ll happily do that if we can, but it isn’t always possible.

Second, we chose long ago not to store payment information to reduce the exposure of that information being stolen should our website be hacked.  When you order from us, we simply pass your credit card information on to our merchant processor and never store it.  But that means if you ask us to add an item to your order (to combine shipping), we can’t, because we have no way of charging you for it.

When someone wants to add items to an order, we typically just cancel the original order (see above for limits on this) and ask the customer to place a new order for everything they wanted.