Calling all cooking aficionados and those with a love of that antique mystique, do you know about America’s first copper bottom cookware? If not, you should, because Vintage Revere Ware pots and pans are historically significant and just plain cool to own.
Revere Ware: A Brief History
Revere Ware was a line of kitchenware introduced in 1939 by the company Revere Brass & Copper Corp. Before these pans were introduced in the late 30s, the company experimented by substituting chrome plating for the tin that lined copper cookware at that time.
They believed this would improve the durability of the pots and pans, however, there was a major flaw in the design, the chrome plating would flake off during the cooking process. Not cool. But it wasn’t over for the company yet, after careful evaluation of alternatives to chrome plating and creating more advanced production techniques, enter the “cooper clad stainless steel” cookware that Revere Brass & Copper Corp would eventually get their notary for.
In 1938, Revere applied for Patent protection for its copper clad design and process, which would be formally instituted in 1946. More on the significance of this later. But first, an interesting fact: Revere Ware got its namesake from Paul Revere and the “1801” notation on the circular logo is in reference to the year he produced his first copper products which was cladding used on warships.
How Can You Identify Vintage Revere Ware?
Let’s jump back into the patent and logo discussion because this is how you’re going to be able to distinguish whether your Revere Ware set is a part of a vintage line or just old. Some of this legendary cookware is erroneously labeled as vintage because it’s been used and looks old. To help you know that you’re buying authentically vintage Revere Ware, your first lesson is that the vintage era for this cookware spans 1939-1968. Your second lesson has been pulled start from the Revere Ware Parts website and is a description of the stamp on the pan. In a snapshot, you need to look for:
• The stamp on the bottom of the pan, it should not be anywhere else
• A circular logo
• The phrases: “Process Patent” or “Pat. Pend”
It’s time for another interesting fact: Pans that say “Pat. Pend” were made before 1946, and the pans with the phrase “Process Patent” are of the 1946-1968 variety. It should be noted that newer Revere Ware has neither the circular logo or reference to a patent.
Vintage Revere Ware Lines and Information
• 1400 Line – Copper Clad introduced in 1939
This is and will always be their main series, it ultimately included 15 distinct pieces of cookware with stainless steel walls and copper bottoms.
• 5000 Line – Institutional introduced in 1954
This line was originally designed in 1939. These pans were more heavy duty and intended to be used in hospitals, schools, and restaurants, and the design of each piece was augmented slightly to make them easier to clean.
• 0500 Line – Miniature introduced in 1955
This line is particularly interesting and a huge collector’s item, though not all of them are vintage because production continued until 1983. These are scaled down replicas of the 1400 line for children, aka the “little homemaker” so she (or he!) could have cookware just like mom!
• 1800 Line – Patio Ware introduced in 1956
It’s the 50s, enter the barbecue craze. Revere Ware capitalized on this with the Patio Ware series. This line is quite like the Institutional series, but they modified the handles and advertised that these pans were made for a man’s “larger hands.”
• 4000 Line – Patriot Ware introduced in 1957
This line is notable because it was the first series that did not have the copper clad design. What this set did feature is “vapor-seal” steam retaining rims which were a huge selling point did to the “water free” cooking fad that was popular at the time.
• 0100 Line – Copper Maid introduced in 1957
This line was an inexpensive amalgamation of some of the existing products. It had the “vapor-seal” rims like the Patriot Ware but was a lightweight copper clad stainless steel.
• 6000 Line – Designers’ Group introduced in 1959
This series offers a revamped line of cookware which featured a three-layer cooking surface of stainless steel with sandwiched its copper core. Additionally, the bodies were fully re-styled to be more modern in appearance. The line was meant to give Revere Ware back its edge on the cookware market. Note: this line should not be confused with the 6500 Line – Designer’s Group which was produced after the vintage era.
• 9000 Line – Deluxe Revere Ware introduced in 1962
During the Teflon craze, Revere Ware introduced an alternative with this Deluxe line that offered the “Perma-Sheen” surface. This finish was advertised as permanently non-stick (which was inaccurate) and you could not use metal utensils when cooking. Interesting fact: this line would eventually be bought out and the “Perma-Sheen” surface would be discontinued, boosting “Perma-Loc” Teflon instead.
• 8300 Line – Revere Teflon introduced in 1963
Notable as the first line of aluminum cookware produced by Revere Ware, it features simple aluminum bodies, polished lids, and a light Teflon coating that called for the use of only wood or plastic cooking utensils.
• 8500 Line – Galaxy introduced in 1964
This line featured aluminum lined stainless steel cookware. Most significant due to its patented construction.
• 8700 Line – Galaxy Perma-Loc introduced in 1965
In 1965, the original Galaxy line was augmented to offer the “Perma-Loc” nonstick surface.
• 7800 Line – Galaxy Autumn Leaves introduced in 1967
In 1967, the Galaxy line saw another adjustment with the introduction of multicolored lids.
• Paul Revere Ware Line – Paul Revere Signature Collection introduced in 1967
The initial Paul Revere Ware line was created to be for the high-end consumer, it was very visually appealing featuring solid brass handles, and including specialty pieces such as a flambe set, and crepe and omelet pans. With its initial inception, these pieces carried a “limited edition collection” stamp on the underside of the brass handles, later in the production of the line a Paul Revere “signature” was added as well. This combination of special stylized markings designates a piece to be a part of the “Paul Revere Signature Collection.” Interesting fact: this would become the largest line produced by Revere Ware.
It should be noted that I’ve included these lines due to their introduction dates, not every piece in every line is going to be considered vintage Revere Ware, as some lines had pieces added in later on or are still continuing to be produced.
Where can you buy your vintage Revere Ware?
Great question! I know we’re all dying to get our hands on this highly collectible brand of cookware after learning about all the unique lines that feature vintage pieces. However, if you’re not sold yet, let’s just take a second to check out some reviews of vintage Revere Ware. (These reviews come from a forum on the Wine Berserker website)
• “I was marveling last night while heating milk in a small Revere Ware skillet that my mother probably acquired in the 1950s. What wonderful cookware!” – John Morris
• “The Revere ware with the copper bottoms? Amazingly good and I so wish I had a set from the 50s. My mom still has hers and I threaten to steal them – particularly the large skillet. The more recent versions just don’t cut it for me.” – Siun O’Connell
• “Love my old Revere Ware. I have 3 skillets from the 50’s that I got from my mother that I use all the time. Hard to believe how well they perform. And yeah I guess the new stuff is junk.” – b. [email protected]
The positive reviews about vintage Revere Ware just go on and on. This cookware is historically significant as being the first to introduce the copper bottom pan that is nearly unrivaled in its durability a half a century later. These pots and pans are true workhorses, yet equally stylish as well.
Now to answer the most important question of all: Where can you get them? Here’s a list of 5 places you can purchase your very own vintage Revere Ware:
1. Good ole Amazon.com (if you can’t buy it on Amazon, is it really worth having?)
2. eBay (Mr. Reliable for unique finds)
3. Craigslist (Make sure you don’t go alone to pick up your cookware)
4. Etsy (A good place to purchase other vintage goods as well)
5. Last but not least, you can always check your local classifieds!
These are all viable avenues of purchase when acquiring vintage Revere Ware, and you may be surprised to find out it’s shockingly affordable. In my research, I came across individual pans anywhere from $10 to around $40, and full sets around $250-$300. Just remember to verify that each piece is truly vintage before purchasing.