Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
From Tuesday’s Children: [a] in cast iron; [b] in aluminum.
If you collect little trivets, you may recognize this one. It features a cast iron cookstove on the front with WEDGEWOOD in the center. What’s important to know is that this trivet was produced at two different times: first for the Wedgewood Stove Company in the 1920s, and then again by Wilton for Rheem Wedgewood in 1994.
The following excerpt appears in the 1977 reference book Tuesday’s Children. Note that Politzer mentions there was both a cast iron and an aluminum version [b]. She also states “They were made for Wedgewood rather than by them” with the foundry that produced them remaining unknown.
The Wedgewood Stove Company, originally known for its cast iron wood and coal ranges, entered the gas field in the late Twenties, when natural gas was piped into the area of their Newark, California plant. These four-footed trivets were among the favors given to purchasers of gas stoves during the company’s “Gas Week” promotions. As such they were both a symbol of the future and a reminder of the past. They were made for Wedgewood rather than by them, and the small numbers on the back are batch numbers. Not too many of these nostalgic tokens circulate nowadays; and the aluminum one [b] is even rarer than the cast iron ones. (Politzer, p.243)
These two trivets, as described by Judy Politzer, would be the original Wedgewood Stove Company giveaways, since her book was published seventeen years before the 75th Anniversary of Rheem Wedgewood.
Tuesday’s Children, Figure 459, p. 243.
One of the most unique and appreciated features of the Politzer books is that each iron sole or trivet perimeter was traced over the text describing the item, making possible a direct size comparison. For example, here is page 243 from Tuesday’s Children. When I take my Rheem Wedgewood reproduction trivet and place it over the outline of the original in my copy of Tuesday’s Children, it’s a perfect fit. The dimensions are the same. So I’m not sure how one could definitively tell an original cast iron trivet from the reproduction.
The original Wedgewood Stove trivet also appears in Hankenson’s 1972 Trivets Book 2, pp. 55-56 and in Kelly & Ellwood’s 1990 book Trivets & Stands, p. 251.
Wedgewood reproduction by Wilton, mint in box.
The first Wedgewood Stoves factory in Newark, California was opened for production in 1919; Rheem acquired Wedgewood in 1951. Fast forward seventy years to the 75th Anniversary of Rheem-Wedgewood, celebrated in 1994.
This trivet was reproduced with the same design and measurements: 5 1/2″ x 3” w/four feet. WEDGEWOOD is again on the front; my trivet has a number 1 on the reverse. Better yet, it’s in the original box with WILTON printed along one edge! The box cover reads:
● CELEBRATING 75th ANNIVERSARY YEAR
● RHEEM-WEDGEWOOD DIAMOND JUBILEE in a circle
● Rheem-WEDGEWOOD select-o-matic gas ranges
● The Finest Name in Cooking
FYI: Wilton produced a number of contracted castings which were not signed WILTON on the reverse but can be identified as Wilton by the original box. Another example is the 50th Anniversary Girl Scout Trivet.
PS: In 1999, after the death of both parents, the children of Frank and Judy Politzer donated all the remaining original editions of Tuesdays Children and Early Tuesday Morning (Politzer’s second book) to the Midwest Sad Iron Collectors Club, later reorganized as Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America. With this donation the family commented that “Iron collecting was more than a hobby for our parents. It was a passion and a joy! We know they would be pleased that, with your help, people will continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor of love.”
New/old stock of both titles are still available for order directly from PITCA.
The copyrights to Tuesdays Children and Early Tuesday Morning were assigned to PITCA in 1999 by the Frank Politzer Trust.
Politzer, Judy. Tuesday’s Children, Collecting Little Irons & Trivets. Self published, 1977, Walnut Creek, California. Reprinted by permission of PITCA.