I have an old skillet (about 10 inches) with a solid ring on the bottom and a straight raised mark about 4 inches in the middle of the bottom. There is also a capital B R on the bottom. No other identifying marks. My mother gave it to me and said it was her great grandmother's. I have had it for 49 years.

I have not been able to identify maker. Any help from anyone?

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1 Answer 1


I am by no means a cast iron expert, but I like mysteries. So, I have been doing a little research about your question. As @Max points out, a picture would be very helpful, but a raised straight mark on the bottom of your pan is known as a "gate mark". Gate mark casting was used in the 1800s, and could very well signify that you have quite an old piece. The line comes from the piece actually "breaking the mold". The ring, if it is also raised, is known as a heat ring. Since these pans were made to work with wood fired stoves, the ring was meant to raise the piece slightly above the surface.

I have been unable to locate a reference to "BR". Is it possible that the B is actually an 8? Numbers were often cast into vintage pieces to indicate size. Some companies added letters, known as "pattern letters", to indicate the mold pattern. Could it be 8 R?

There is lots of good information here.

From your brief description, it appears possible you might have a piece that is quite old, perhaps from the early 1800's.

Given your photos in the update, it's tough for me to tell if it is an 8 or a B. I've been unable to locate any images that match your pan. However, using the link above you can work your way through a list of foundrys. Many do not have pictures, unfortunately. I've scanned the most obvious ones, thinking that if it is a "B" it might be related to the name of the producer. No luck.

However, that site has a link to a discussion forum. Perhaps you could post your pics there. That way, a real expert could point you in the right direction.

By the way, if you do identify it, please return to add your answer here.

  • Photos added, looks to me like it could be 8R instead of BR, maybe
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 6:05
  • I'm willing to conjecture that the base of the skillet is 8 inches in diameter. I also conjecture that the "R" refers to "round" as opposed to "square".
    – user90326
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 14:11
  • More interesting information on this link regarding marks on the bottoms of pans - CastIronCollector.com - Numbers
    – user90326
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 14:17
  • @Snow yes, that page comes from the site I linked to in my answer, an is where I got the information about the letters and numbers. It's probably the place for the OP to go.
    – moscafj
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 15:47
  • @moscafj Yeah, asking there and reporting back here would be good. I had a fear that it would be one of those forums where the last post was made 15 years ago, but it seems pretty active to me.
    – user90326
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 15:58

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