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Object ID
Object Name
Scoop, Ice-cream
Object Collection
Alex's Candy Shop (is part of)
Date Created
1920 – 1940
Metal; Wood
Object Entities
Object Description
This ice cream scoop is made of metal and wood. The handle is the wooden part and is made of a smooth black wood with a ridge near the top of the wooden piece for an easier grip. There is a gold attachment that connects the wood to the rest of the scoop and it is perfectly round. The metal of the actual scoop part is silver and very smooth. There is some tarnish from being used, but it could still be used easily in the state it is in. The scoop's shape is somewhat rectangular and one of the sides is bent in a little. This is because of an indentation into the metal to label the makers of the scoop. This mark has words inside a small circle which say "Wagner MFG. Co. Sidney.O," with the "MFG Co" in a smaller font than the rest. This indentation is the only marking of decoration on the piece.
Paulina Franks' grandfather, John Rassogianis, came to Chicago in the 1890s. He began his life in the new city by peddling fruits and later, with the help of his sons Alex and George, would open a candy store. In the 1920s Paulina Franks' father Constantine became a part of the family business and the store was able to prosper. When the second business closed Paulina Rassogianis chose to hold as many of the candy store's items as possible and, later, donate them to the National Hellenic Museum. The Rassogianis family began their candy business in Chicago proper, working out of their own shop named "St. Louis Ice Cream Parlor." Eventually, the shop was closed and the Rassogianis' chose to continue their candy store venture in Berwyn, Illinois. The new shop they chose to open was named Alex's Sweet Shop. Paulina Franks' father was a key contributor to the success of the Rassogianis candy stores. While Constantine Rassogianis was a noteworthy entrepeneur, he also had many other accomplishments. Among these was his four years of involvment in the Greek national military during World War I wherein he obtained the rank of sergeant. Also, he was a published author and poet, an experienced mandolin player, a church officer and had extensive knowledge of psalti. The use of cast iron for cookware is centuries old and many of the vintage pieces can still be used today. For example, cast iron Dutch ovens were used by the settlers of the United States as they traveled westward. The Wagner brothers, Bernard and Milton, started making metal castings of light hardware for general stores back in 1881. The official start of the Wagner Manufacturing Company was in 1891 when two other brothers, William and Louis, were added which triggered the beginning of WagnerWare cast iron cookware. Bernard and Milton Wagner are credited as the first to cast iron for cookware in Sidney, Ohio. With the momentum of population growth and expansion, the Wagner brothers had a market ripe for growth and built the most modern and technologically advanced manufacturing facility for casting iron at the time. Wagner Manufacturing was able to produce world class cookware, rivaling and later surpassing the other powerhouse in the cast iron cookware arena, Griswold. WagnerWare Cookware was awarded in several nationwide, as well as some international expositions, including but not limited to expositions in Chicago, Nashville, Paris, Buffalo, and St. Louis. The Randall Corporation purchased Wagner Manufacturing in 1952. McGraw Edison Inc. bought Griswold on March 29, 1957 and then sold it in December 1957 to Randall who already owned Wagner. The Griswold manufacturing plant in Erie, Pennsylvania was shut down in 1957 and any Griswold cookware made after this period was out of the Wagner Manufacturing Sidney, Ohio plant. This was the beginning of the end of the high quality cookware that both, Griswold and Wagner, were known for. In 1959, the final nail in the coffin came when Randall sold off Griswold and Wagner to Textron. It is widely accepted that post 1960 Griswold and Wagner cookware is not in the same collectable class as the pre 1960 cookware. In 1996, a group of investors, which included a former employee of Wagner, purchased the Wagner and Griswold cookware lines. This was known as the WagnerWare Corporation. They continued manufacturing for another 3 years before closing their doors in Sidney in 1999. In 2000, the American Culinary Corporation purchased the rights, legacy, and remaining facilities of the Wagner and Griswold lines. This scoop is not the cast iron skillets that the company was known for, but was manufactured by the company when they were well known and made quality items. The logo on the side denotes that this scoop was made before the company was bought by the Randall Corporation because it lists Sydney, Ohio as the place it was made.
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Scoop, Ice-cream, 1920 – 1940, Alex's Candy Shop, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/8696. Accessed 04/18/21.