Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Graniteware / Enamelware.

Graniteware, more commonly known as enamelware is a process that fuses a layer of powdered glass on to a base, usually metal, the result is tough, easy to clean and fairly light.  The earliest pieces were of solid color and since enamel colour cannot be mixed we also have the swirls and speckled pieces that we know.  Graniteware owes its roots to St. Louis Stamping Works owners William and Frederick Niedringhaus.   During a trip to Germany in 1865 the tin kitchen utensil manufacturing owners noticed enameled utensils in a store display and ultimately ended up purchasing the process.  Upon his return to St. Louis the brothers began working on manufacturing enamel coated utensils.  The Niedringhaus version of enamelware was coated with ground granite.  Graniteware was featured at the 1876 Philly Expo.  Like so many things, graniteware has become the "generic" term for most enamelware.  True graniteware would have it's origin in Granite City, Illinois.   How many people still use some pieces of graniteware?  Which pieces?  I still use a couple mugs for water, The colours that they come in are incredible, and stay so bright after so many years!  Great pieces of old style camping equipment that unfortunately has moved to the way side, but still makes it into the homes of people looking for that nostalgic look.

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