Wrought iron skillet ~11-1/2” diameter and the handle ia ~6-3/4” long, overall length is ~18-3/4”. Wrought handle attached by three rivets and sighen “W. Foster”. A fine example of the blacksmithing art.
Blacksmithing is defined by the process of forming hot metal, generally between the hammer and anvil. Materials, mild steel in most cases, are first heated in a coal-fired forge to 1500-2000 degrees. At this heat the iron becomes plastic and can be reworked (forged). These elements are then joined using hand-forged methods such as mortise and tenon joints, rivets and hot collars. Hot forging in the traditional blacksmith's manner gives the iron more life and depth than other methods.
Emigrants following the California and Oregon Trails were advised that every party carry at least “one frying pan of wrought iron.”