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For a long period of time, as far back as the 1930s through the 1970s, Birmingham Stove & Range produced a series of cast iron handled saucepans for stovetop cooking. These pans were unmarked, in that they did not have a manufacturer logo. Their design was also quite different from that of the more famous BS&R cast iron skillets. Because of this, saucepans from Birmingham Stove & Range are largely unknown to collectors. Even so, there are identifying traits common to these pans that can make them easy to spot.
Unlike the handles of their skillets, BS&R saucepans had long handles with extended holes for hanging. They also did not have the angled ridge seen on the bottom of the handle of every skillet.
All of these saucepans had a heat ring on the bottom of the pan. For most of their history, BS&R saucepans had their size capacity printed on the bottom using the abbreviated spelling of 1 QT. (quart), 2 QT. or 3 QT. The actual design of the bottom varied in minor ways, as seen in the photos below. Some Red Mountain saucepans have been found with the size mark on top of the handle, while others have no markings on the handle. Likewise, some of the Century series lids had a large, prominent size number on the underside of the lid, while others had the size number printed in a smaller font style.
The lids for the saucepans had two separate designs. One had a vertical tab with a hole (similar to BS&R camp oven lids), while the other had a handle. As with other BS&R lids, the handle had one wide end and one narrow end.
As with their larger lids, the Red Mountain series lids had dimples imprinted on the underside in a random pattern. However, when the redesigned Century series was produced from the 1960s through the 1980s, the underside of the lid was completely flat. There were no dimples or indentations as seen with the larger lids. Many, though not all, of these lids had the size number in quarts printed on the lid, so the number 2 in this photo indicates a 2-quart saucepan.
The 1 QT. (1 quart) and 2 QT. (2 quart) sized saucepans were round and did not have a lifting tab or pour spout. However, the 3 QT. (3 quart) size had a pour spot on one side, at a right angle from the handle, and a lifting tab at a left angle from the handle.
While the 1 QT. and 2 QT. saucepans did have their own unique lids, the Red Mountain series 3 QT. saucepan only used the BS&R number 6 sized skillet lid. This lid had extended lips on the side, so it could fit over the pour spout and lifting tab, in the same manner that it fit over the pour spouts on the sides of a standard BS&R skillet. When Birmingham Stove & Range began producing their Century Cookware series of pans in the 1950s, the size of the #6 sized pan was changed slightly. This meant the NO. 6 lid would no longer fit the 3 QT. saucepan, and it was necessary for BS&R to make a lid for the 3 QT. pan.
The most reliable indicator to estimate the age of a BS&R saucepan is to examine the font style of the number and lettering of the pan:
Photographs by Ricky Gilley. Posted to BSR Users Group: Birmingham Stove and Range on Facebook on March 10, 2015.
|Century series 2 qt. with heat ring, with a tab handle|
|Century series 2 quart sauce pot, Heat ring, with loop handle and screw pattern in bottom|
|Century series 2 QT. sauce pot with tab handle (with cut away notch) heat ring|
|Century 2 QT. sauce pot, tab handle with heat ring|
|Century 3 Qt. sauce pot, with 3-quart lid manufactured for the Century series. |
Photos by Brandon Lineberry.
|Red Mountain 2 QT. sauce pan, loop handle, heat ring X on bottom |
This 2-quart saucepan has a lid manufactured especially for it. The lid does not have lips for skillet pour spouts, and it has a 3/4 mark on the top rather than a skillet size number.
|Red Mountain series 3 qt sauce pot, looped handle, heat ring with 3Q on bottom |
Note that this pot uses a Red Mountain number 6 sized skillet lid. This lid is marked with a 6 (underlined) on the top of the lid, and it has lips for pour spouts, such as the ones on the Red Mountain skillet.
|Red Mountain 3 QT. loop handle with reinforced tab on handle|
|Century 1 QT. Potpourri Pot with perforated lid|
Photos by Ben Lazar. This 1-quart pot was described by Hugh Rushing: "It was the potpourri pot, also used as a steamer in cold dry weather. Pretty rare. Only made for a few years in the late 1980s." – posted to BSR Users Group: Birmingham Stove and Range Facebook group on March 27, 2015