Cast Iron Pans

2 cast iron pans from the early 1950s
2 cast iron pans from the early 1950s

I have two black Wagner Ware cast iron pans in my kitchen. One big pan, and one small pan. These cast iron pans were the same ones my great grandfather Blair Smith used when he was in the Korean War. It was all the way back to the early 1950’s when the Korean War hit. It was just before he had his first kid. He was on the USA side of the war and would usually cook food with these pans. I never really knew if he actually fought for the war or just cooked for soldiers that were in the war. My great grandfather has been in the United States for a very long time. There was not really a story about how my ancestors from my mom’s side (my great grandfather who had these pans is on my mom’s side) immigrated to the United States. The only thing that my mom told me was that her ancestors lived in Austria. My great grandfather was the person who brought cooking to the family, with my grandma saying that he could run over a raccoon, cook it, and it would taste like any other type of meat. Then, my grandmother learned to cook, then my mom, and now I’m currently learning how to cook. My mom and I still use these pans to cook to this day, and they are still in perfect shape. Someday, I will pass them on to my kids in the future. It just fascinates me on how just two old pans have a big interesting backstory behind them. I see many people that have old cast iron pans in their house but I’ve never heard any big backstories about these huge weirdly shaped pieces of metal. This goes to show how an object can be an object, but it can also have a huge story behind it.

Place(s): United States

– David Smith

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more