I own 6 different cast iron pieces from Griswold and Wagner. Love them. However, I believe it is a myth that the smoothness makes them more nonstick. Yes, they are much smoother than the Lodges (I also own two modern Lodges), but the Lodges actually season better and take less time to become nonstick. Even the fanatics at the Griswold and Wagner Society Forum agree that the older smoother pans have a much higher learning curve in regards to getting used to the right amount of heat and oil to be nonstick.musbane wrote: People pay large premiums to buy antique pans made by now defunct companies like Griswold and Wagner. The reason is that in olden times makers would perfectly smooth the bottom (cooking surface) of the pan which together with the curing of the pan makes it virtually non stick.
I have two Wagners that were made in the early 1910's and they are my favorites. Goes to show how well they last!
If interested in getting old pans, the very old Wagners (Sidney O on bottom) with the heat ring are probably the best value. Less collectable than the same era Griswolds but just as nice. The 1950/60's small logo Griswolds are nice too and quite affordable. I own two from that era. Roughly speaking, the older, the lighter. A 1910-1920 era Griswold or Wagner feel much lighter than a 1950 Griswold which is much lighter than a modern Lodge.