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

The Zion Efrata trivet

This is an interesting late 1950s to 1960s era cast iron trivet that you might occasionally see while collecting.

Details: Cast iron; painted flat black. Measures 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ with three short feet; unsigned on the reverse. Backcoping (routing out of the reverse of the pattern) is noted.

As I was completing the research for my first trivet book (The A-Z Guide To Collecting Trivets, 2004) I suspected this trivet might have some relationship to the Ephrata Cloister in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. I emailed Kerry Mohn, who was at that time their Curator of Genealogy, Research, and Collections. He shared the following information in September 2002.

● The trivet was sold for many years in the Museum Store operated by the Ephrata Cloister Associates in two formats: finished (painted black) and unfinished.

● A description of the image, printed on a card, came with the trivet. The design was based on a water mark used in paper making at the Ephrata Community paper mill up to 1745.

● The trivet was made at the Unicast Foundry in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. In 1959 the trivets sold for $0.79 each or $1.50 a pair. In the 1965-66 the finished trivets sold for $1.50 each.

I recently contacted Mr. Mohn again. He continues to serve as the Ephrata Cloister Curator and answered these final two questions.

Question #1: When you mentioned this trivet appearing in catalogs, were they Unicast catalogs or Ephrata Museum Store catalogs?

Answer: The catalogs I mentioned were Ephrata Cloister Museum Store catalogs.

Question #2: Do you know why the wording on the trivet is EFRATA while the Cloister is EPHRATA?

Answer: The spelling EFRATA on the trivet is a Biblical spelling. You also see the spelling “Ephratah” in the Bible.

PS: The Unicast Company in Boyertown is still in business today, producing commercial gray iron castings ranging from ounces to 500 pounds.


This entry was posted on December 1, 2018 by in Contemporary Trivets, Souvenir or Commemorative and tagged , , , .

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