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NOS square skillet on eBay

In terms of Revere Ware unicorns, it doesn’t get much better than a new-old-stock square skillet, and there is one on eBay right now  for a reasonably low starting bit of $99.99.

Square skillets are rare (there are only 3 total on eBay right now) and a new unused one even rarer to the point that, I think, this might be the only one I have ever seen.

If you are a Revere Ware aficionado, this might be the next essential piece for your vintage collection.


Wow wow wow! Buy this now!

You just do not see a price like this on a vintage era bale handle pot, rare as they are.  Even rarer, it has the bale handle Bakelite intact and in good shape.

If you ever thought you might want one of these, I urge you to buy it now!


We are the news

The Revere Ware brand remains popular among enthusiasts and long time cookware owners, as evidenced by our strong sales of parts, and the growing amount of vintage Revere Ware cookware for sale on eBay.  But actual news about Revere Ware is thin on the ground.  If you search Google or any other search engine for “Revere Ware” you will mostly find (a) us, and (b) old, recycled content. And of course, people using the term in paid search results to grab web traffic, as we wrote about the other day.

This lack of real Revere Ware news is further evidenced by the above mentioned article becoming the news in our latest Google search alert for Revere Ware.

That gave me a good chuckle.

Update: And on it goes


Amazon listings – another one bites the dust

If you’ve read our blog at all, you know we’ve got a lot to say about the deficiencies of Amazon’s seller marketplace, from the sellers perspective.

Oh Amazon


Selling on Amazon; can this be fixed?

Whoops, Amazon did it again and suspended listings

Amazon feedback – don’t believe what you read

That’s just a select few.

Well they did it again, with our replacement gasket for vintage pressure cookers.  The listing has been suspended and can not be reactivated.

By my calculations, over the last 12 months, 34 of 172 gaskets we’ve sold on have been returned; almost 20%.  The root of the return problem is Amazons excessively generous return policy; this motivates most customers not bother with the minimum amount of due diligence before ordering.  Combine that with the fact that Amazon routinely returns items to inventory that customers claimed were damaged, and you have the perfect storm for high returns, and the delisting of specialized replacement parts like ours.

It does appear that perhaps Amazon is taking some baby steps in the right direction.  Last month, they announced that they will start flagging items with high return rates with a “frequently returned item” tag.  I’m not sure if this is meant to truly help the problem or just mark certain items with a scarlet letter.

In any event, while we’ve tried to keep as many of our parts as possible available on Amazon for the convenience of the buyer, the headache of dealing with high returns for an items with modest sales just isn’t worth it; I am somewhat relieve to let this one go.



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.


Amazon shows they don’t care about the customer with Amazon Day shenanigans

Have you noticed your Amazon orders taking longer than expected lately?  You order a 1-day or 2-day item and it comes several days late?  Amazon’s forced enrollment in Amazon Day might be the reason.

Amazon Day allows you to bunch up your ordered items to be delivered on a single day, in fewer boxes.  It’s a nice option for people that want it, but, beware; if you enroll it it, there appears to be no going back.  In some cases, like with our Amazon account, it can get turned on by itself, and is enabled even when settings say it is not.

If you go to your account settings, you can find your Amazon Day settings.

Now, from looking at our Amazon Day settings, you could be excused for thinking it is turned off.  That doesn’t seem to be the case.  For example, we go to order an item that shows free 2-day delivery.

But on checkout, it defaults to the following Saturday.

I spoke with Amazon customer support and they confirmed there is no way to turn Amazon Day off.  The settings appear to be completely non-functional other than the day selection (although ours shows no day selected and it is using Saturday).

I can only imagine that Amazon is forcing this on customers because most customers will fail to notice the less expedient option is chosen, or get tired of the extra hassle to use them (see below), and Amazon will save money shipping less boxes.  It seems really disingenuous to force this option on customers with no way to cancel it.

Seems strange for the company that “invented” (or at least patented) 1-click ordering to force customers to use more clicks to checkout.  The solution is to be vigilant and chose the speedier delivery option upon checkout.

If you are ordering with 1-click on a mobile app they really try to hide the option.  Click on the date area to bring up the delivery options.

Then click on the FREE Prime Delivery option.

Now here is where it gets a little strange.  You just clicked on the FREE Prime Delivery options, but it takes you to another screen where you again have to make that selection.

Hmm.  Didn’t I just select Tuesday delivery?

The fact that they make you click three more times, combined with the fact that just changing the shipping speed takes an exceptionally long time on both the mobile and desktop versions, I can only think Amazon is trying really hard here to make not using the Amazon Day delivery option really difficult.

As an Amazon marketplace seller, I’ve gotten used to Amazon foisting really unfriendly policies on sellers that help their bottom line, but this move seems just downright sleazy.  Shame on you Amazon.

Update: The deceit is much worse than I thought.  Today I tried to place a 1-click order.  Three times I clicked on the more immediate date, and three times it took me back to the confirmation window with the Amazon Day date shown as the delivery date.  It would appear they have made the area you can click on so specific, clicking anywhere else assumes you are keeping the same options.  On the fourth try, I apparently clicked on just the right spot to select the faster delivery, and it took me to the regular checkout screen with a message that my delivery options had been updated, and yet, the Amazon Day delivery was still selected.

Does the portend some kind of extreme desperation on Amazon’s part to reduce costs?  Is the post-pandemic slowdown causing them to freak-out about costs and take extreme measure to contain them?