TRIVETOLOGY

Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!

Celebrating the past and future of Virginia Metalcrafters

VM1

Mint pair of brass Half Leaf Trivets, each 8 3/8″ x 4 1/2″ 

Virginia Metalcrafters was founded in 1895 as the W.S. Loth Stove Company of Waynesboro, Virginia. (In 1890 it was called the Waynesboro Stove Company – still Mr. Loth.) They initially manufactured cast iron stoves and wood and coal heaters.

In 1938 Loth installed a brass foundry and Virginia Metalcrafters was the brand name of the company’s brass and iron giftware line. When brass was once again available after World War II, production was resumed and their gift line was expanded.

Charles Eckman bought the firm in 1953 and incorporated under the name Virginia Metalcrafters, Inc. In 1956 Virginia Metalcrafters acquired the Harvin Company of Baltimore, makers of fine brassware.

Trivets were offered in cast iron, brass and a finish called Silvertone. VM utilized a stock numbering system of a 9 or 10 followed by another number; for example, 9-18 Doodlers Dream or 10-17 Kings Arms. Virginia Metalcrafters produced the largest number of original trivet designs of any modern manufacturer.

They also produced souvenir trivets for the following American tourist destinations: Historic Charleston, Marineland, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Mystic Seaport, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), Natural Bridge, Historic Newport, Old Salem, Old Sturbridge Village (OSV), Silver Springs, Skyline Drive, the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Winterthur Museum.

VMtable

VM registered hallmarks, from their 1969 catalog

Trivets were produced from 1946 until December 2006, when the Waynesboro, Virginia foundry doors closed for good. But now there’s new life for this historic property! In 2013 the foundry and surrounding property was purchased. Renovations are almost complete for a 5,000 barrel production craft brewery and a 2300 square foot taproom. There may even be room to house artisan crafters and other tourism services.

The next time I’m in Virginia I look forward to visiting the Basic City Beer Company, located at 1010 Main Street, Waynesboro, Virginia. UPDATE 6/26/18: Bill Eckman, VM founder Charles Eckman’s son, recommends the brewery saying “Excellent beer being brewed there now.”

And check out the Virginia Metalcrafters Facebook Group for collectors of VM castings!

UPDATE 6/26/18: This question appeared today at the VM Facebook group: “Is there an easy way to tell which VM pieces were manufactured at the Waynesboro (Virginia) plant?”

Answer by Bill Eckman, whose father owned Virginia Metalcrafters: “Certainly if they have a VM hallmark they were made in Waynesboro, except for the last few years the company was in business when some items were cast overseas and just finished in Waynesboro. The is very little out there that was not made in Waynesboro. Harvin made some items in Baltimore before VM bought them but they wouldn’t have the VM hallmark. But basically it would be difficult otherwise to things apart. Just like a VM leaf tray made in 1950 and still made in 2002 would be indistinguishable as to which was made when (other than maybe the yellowing of the lacquer).”

6 comments on “Celebrating the past and future of Virginia Metalcrafters

  1. Marta
    April 29, 2017

    I have just come into two pair of the trivets pictured at the top. I’m wondering if you know if they are a reproduction of historical pieces. I read elsewhere that VM did reproductions of pieces found in Williamsburg. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon Meeks
    September 27, 2016

    Very interesting reading. I have a piece of VM Presidents Trivet Collection and cant find info on it. Is it possible for you to lead me in the right direction to finding some answers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Rosack
      September 27, 2016

      (Sharon emailed me photos of her trivet.) You have a brass Virginia Metalcrafters (VM) cypher trivet. VM released a “Presidents Series” with initials of some of the early presidents. Yours is the “Adams- Father & Son” design made in 1995 with a double-A cypher: the second president of the United States, John Adams, was the father of the sixth president, John Quincy Adams. These trivets are nice for household use but collectible value is limited at the current time.

      Like

  3. Ej
    June 17, 2016

    Neat story. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Rosack
      June 17, 2016

      Glad you liked it, Ej. It was a shame VM closed because they made such beautifully crafted, high quality trivets and giftware.

      Like

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This entry was posted on June 17, 2016 by in Contemporary Trivets and tagged , , , .

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