Wagner Ware Magnalite History – Detailed Guide

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Over the years, there have been different types of cookware in the market, each different from the others in certain ways. One of the most popular and most appreciated types of cookware is Wagner Ware Magnalite cookware. When you check out Wagner Ware Magnalite’s history, you will discover that it is among the best that has ever been made.

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It is reasonable to want to find out everything there is to know about Magnalite’s history. That is the main reason why we did some research and compiled this information. After reading this post, you should know everything there is to know about Magnalite cookware history and much more. Read on for detailed information.

Wagner Ware Magnalite History

Wagner Ware Magnalite cookware set
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The first thing you should know about Wagner Ware Magnalite’s history is that this company was started in Sidney, Ohio, in The States. It was a business run by a family and it survived and thrived for around 60 years. The company started operating in 1891 but its operations ended in 1952.

During this time, the company produced some high-quality products using cast iron and aluminum. As per Magnalite’s history, this company produced kitchenware that was very popular in Europe and the U.S. Its products were not only high quality, but also simple, properly designed, and exceptionally elegant, one of the main reasons why people loved them so much.

The Magnalite cookware history all starts with Joseph Altenbach in 1890. He was an architect who was also a very close friend of the Wagner family. In that year, the architect started the construction and planning of the main complex of the company. This is a man who was very popular for building most of Sidney and most of the buildings there.

The company started operations by creating cast-iron, as well as nickel-plated cookware in 1894. After success with that, the company moved on to creating and selling aluminum cookware.

You will find out from Wagner Ware Magnalite’s history that by 1913, the company owned around 60% of the market in the cookware industry. Its products were produced and sold in most of the nations on the planet.

Cookware from Wagner Ware was made using an alloy of magnesium and aluminum. They are very good because they have some thin sides and a dense base, which is more than the other cookware that is in the market till now. This construction allows the products to gain heat fast and then distribute it evenly and fast when cooking.

The cookware also features lids that will seal vapor in the pot tightly, allowing food to cook faster and retain most of the moisture. You can use the cookware in whichever conditions and even move it from a stovetop to an oven or from a refrigerator to a stovetop without messing it up.

The most popular cookware is the roaster with an oval shape. It might as well be the best of the Magnalite collection. It is preferred mainly for making gumbo.

Magnalite cookware
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Reasons for Wagner Ware’s Popularity

This company was very popular. However, the popularity of its products, from Wagner Ware Magnalite history, was brought about by several factors.


Quality over Quantity

The workers who worked on Magnalite cookware would not work to produce as many products as they would. Instead, they would work to produce the most perfect of all products. They would work on each piece individually, then smooth the exterior and interior with a machine.

For that level of production to be achieved with such sophistication, the workers required adequate detail attention, and unmatched skills.

Producing Different Products

The company was also very popular for producing different ranges of products. Any type of product from the company would indeed work just fine for almost anything, but there were products fr different purposes. The market had skillets, gem pans, griddles, Dutch ovens, as well as waffle irons, all with superb quality.

<<< Check Out The Best Preowned Magnalite Cookware on eBay >>>

Imusa vs. Magnalite

IMUSA is a company that was started in 1934 to produce cast aluminum products. It is a Colombian company that has grown quite popular for producing cookware, as well as other smaller appliances. The brand uses casting products that help produce a different level of thickness in the pans or pots. The bases are thicker, just like with Magnalite, allowing for faster and more even heat distribution.

The pots and pans from IMUSA, just like with Magnalite, will cook anything including browning meats, cooking rice, and more.

IMUSA, however, is known to produce products with different materials including plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Here is an article we wrote on how Magnalite cookware is compared to other cookware brands, make sure to check it out.

Is Wagner Ware collectible?

Yes, Wagner Ware is collectible. Wagner Ware is highly sought after by collectors due to its quality craftsmanship and historical significance. The most desirable pieces are those made in the early 20th century before the company was bought out by the General Housewares Corporation in 1952. The value of Wagner Ware pieces can vary widely depending on factors such as age, rarity, and condition. Some pieces may be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars to collectors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is Magnalite cookware still made?

There is no more production of Magnalite cookware by Wagner manufacturing company in The States. But you can find preowned/used products online on platforms such as Etsy, and eBay.

  1. When did they stop making Magnalite pots?

The production of Magnalite pots and pans ended in 1996. In that year, the company that produced them was also closed down. Ever since then there have been no more cooking vessels that have been produced by the company.

  1. How old is my Magnalite cookware?

The production of cast aluminum cooking vessels, known as Magnalite, started around 1934.

  1. Why are Magnalite pots so popular?

Even though people love this type of cookware for different reasons, the main reason for its popularity is the durability produced by the cast aluminum material.

  1. Is McWare the same as Magnalite?

McWare is produced by a company that is based in Louisiana. Even though it has some similarities with Magnalite cookware, it is not necessarily the same. It has almost the same oval shape as the aluminum construction. The price is almost the same too. However, its similarity with Magnalite can only be decided by you.

Final Words

Magnalite cookware history proves that this cookware is popular now and the popularity was still there in the past. Even though it is sad to know that the amazing products are not produced anymore, we can only hope that the production will come back, or another company will step up to produce the level of quality and designs that the Wagner company did.

If you want to find some Magnalite cookware, easily find some people sending their second-hand products online. Here are some of the best-preowned models on eBay.

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8 thoughts on “Wagner Ware Magnalite History – Detailed Guide”

    • The Magnalite cookware line was produced by the Wagner Manufacturing Company, which later became Wagner Ware Corporation. The transition from the stylized Wagner Ware logo to the “GHC” marking occurred around 1957 when Randall Corporation acquired Wagner. The “GHC” stands for General Housewares Corporation, the parent company of Wagner Ware at that time. This change in marking is often associated with the introduction of the GHC logo on Magnalite cookware. Keep in mind that specific details about markings and changes can vary, so it’s always a good idea to consult collector’s resources or experts for precise information on specific pieces.

  1. I have a Magnalite pot and lid model is 4738 or 39 -P. the bottom part of the numbers are worn off. Would you have any resources for value? I am not finding anything. Is it because I cant read the numbers correctly?
    it is about 7″ deep on the outside of the pot and 9 3/4″ wide at the top.
    Any guidance is welcome. Thank you.

    • Determining the value of vintage cookware like your Magnalite pot can be challenging, especially if the model number is partially worn off.

      Here are some steps you can take to help determine the value of your Magnalite pot:

      Check for Other Markings: Aside from the model number, look for any other markings, logos, or engravings on the pot that might provide more information. These could include the manufacturer’s name (Wagner Ware, Wagner Magnalite, or Wagner Sidney, for example) and other identifying features.

      Measurements: You’ve already provided the dimensions of the pot, which can be helpful for identification.

      Condition: Assess the condition of your pot. Is it in good shape with minimal signs of wear and tear? Are the handles and knobs intact? The better the condition, the higher the potential value.

      Research Online: Search online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and collector forums for similar Magnalite pots to see if you can find any listings that match your pot’s description or appearance.

      Collector’s Resources: Look for collector’s guides and resources related to vintage cookware, such as books, websites, or forums. These resources may provide more information on specific models and their values.

      Antique Appraisal Services: If you are unable to find information on your Magnalite pot, consider reaching out to antique appraisal services or experts who specialize in vintage cookware. They may be able to help you identify the model and provide an estimate of its value.

      Local Antique Shops: Visit local antique shops or collectibles stores, as they may have expertise in vintage kitchenware and can provide insights into the value of your Magnalite pot.

      Keep in mind that the value of vintage cookware can vary widely depending on the demand among collectors and the rarity of the specific model. Additionally, the condition of the pot and any accompanying lids can significantly impact its value.

  2. I have a very good to excellent condition 17 Qt oval roaster.
    Wagner Ware

    Wire trivet
    Not interested in selling. Would like to know production time.
    I bought it from an elderly gentleman at a flea mkt. about 2007. He claimed it belonged to his Mother.

  3. We received our Wagner Ware Sidney –0– in 1972. We have used the pot hundreds of times. There is now a black discolouration running on the inner walls of pot. We have attempted removing dark band; however, to no avail! Is this oxidation and if so, is it now forever blended into the metal?

    S. & T.

    • Hi, Sandra
      Try this fix for the discoloration. Add some white vinegar in it and add warm water, filling it. Bring it to a boil then remove it from the stovetop and let it sit and cool. The vinegar will have a temperature change and will be able to help eradicate the discoloration.
      It is important to know that leaving the pot in water will result to more of this form of discoloration. So, when it is cool, remove the water and dry it with a towel.
      There are also polishers and cleansers that do this work for you with great results.


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