Finally getting those old pots and pans out of storage and restoring them for sale proved to be a more emotional experience than I had counted on (1). But they’re ready to roll, as good-looking as they’re gonna get, and about to get packed into a box to await being claimed by someone who sees them on eBay and makes the right offer. I think true lovers of Revere Ware may comprise a cult, their hearts going pitter patter at the site of those copper clan bottoms. True, it’s incredibly cool they were made by a company started by a major Revolutionary War hero, but that company lost its way in the sixties when they started to make the stuff cheap, the design later falling through a series of companies of which one finally threw in the towel and stopped making it in 2018. But there’s still enough out there it’s not hard to find on eBay and an on-line company makes a go of it selling replacement parts solely for Revere Ware (2).
So the new owners of this set may know everything they need to know about Vintage Revere Ware. I still felt moved to include a little letter of introduction to their new purchase. It went as follows:
May 10, 2023
To the new owners of this beautiful vintage Revere copper-clad cookwear:
Congratulations on your purchase. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. This is the real deal, a blast from the 50s, made just as the first pots the Revere company – two generations removed from being run by Paul Revere’s grandson, a company his grandfather started at the end of the Revolutionary War – made and showed at the 1939 Chicago Housewares Show and not changed until the mid-60s when Revere Ware reduced thickness of the copper cladding by 50% as a cost saving measure. The stuff still looked nice but didn’t conduct heat near as well. Rights to the design and sale of Revere Ware passed through several hands with World Kitchen, Inc. (makers of OXO – “Good Grips” – utensils) filing for bankruptcy in 2002 and the last holder of the rights, Corelle Brands, discontinuing production completely in 2018.
Both my mother and grandmother owned a set, so these are the pots and pans that cooked the food I was raised on. As I grew to 6’8” and ended up a professor of medicine, it must have been some good stuff. I’m not sure which set this was. Grandma took better care of hers, keeping that copper gleaming like new by dusting each pot’s bottom with a little Copper-Glo after each use, spreading it around with the moistened palm of her arthritic hand to get full effect.
I apologize this set does not have a Dutch oven or lid to it. They might have fallen victim to some kitchen experimentation as I struggled in my youth to become the cook my mom and grandma had been. I found several on eBay just now, so it shouldn’t be too hard to complete your set, if you want to have such a pot. There is a stainless steel insert here that makes a double boiler when nestled into the 3 quart pot, somewhat unusual for sets like this.
In my opinion, it’s the copper that makes this stuff special. Keeping it gorgeous requires the same regular attention my grandma gave it. They stopped making Copper-Glo some time ago. An on-line commentator mentioned Kleen King, which I bought on Amazon and used to good effect. I’m enclosing my unused portion, as I’ll no longer have any copper cookware when this goes out the door. Bar Keeper’s Friend also does a good job on copper, but none of the conventional abrasive cleansers, like Comet, will do it.
A Revere Ware aficionado named Peter some years ago set up an on-line business – Revere Ware Parts (2) – to supply replacement parts to other fans out there. The site is also a wonderful repository of Revere Ware history. There’s an item there “Identifying Vintage Revere Ware”. You can check out your new pots and pans against Peter’s guide and see that they’re the genuine article. One aspect is the name of the plant that made the 8” (medium) skillet. Mine was made in Clinton, Illinois, the last plant they brought on line, in 1950, to cope with demand for the product.
I’m sad to part with this piece of my past, but heartened they will be going to a home where they will be used and cherished. Bringing them out of storage and preparing them for sale has been an emotional but very satisfying exercise, even inspiring me to write something for my blog, which you’re welcome to check out (1).
The listing is up on eBay and looks like this:
Should you wish to check out the listing for yourself, go to (3).
1. B. Ike. The tarnish R coming! WordPress 5/10/23. https://theviewfromharbal.com/2023/05/10/the-tarnish-r-coming/
2. Revere Ware parts. https://www.reverewareparts.com/
3. vintage pre-1968 revere ware copper clad cookware. https://www.ebay.com/itm/155550717756