The bottom surface is reasonably smooth, but could be smoother if gently wet sanded with water and 300 grit sandpaper. The carbon build up is tough, but not as tough as cast iron.
Lodge and Birmingham Stove and Range did not mark their wares with "MADE IN USA" until circa 1968. This skillet, unlike a Lodge skillet, has the "MADE IN USA" near the top with the size designations near the bottom.
The incised markings on the surface are filling in with seasoning making it a little hard to read. This is not the type of thing a collector wants to see. On the other hand, this is a "user" skillet and not a collector show piece. The red spot you see is where the seasoning chipped off and corrosion is starting to set in. It has been re-seasoned 8 times since the year 2000.
The font style and lettering is indicative of BS&R. It reads "NO. 8" and "10 ½ IN" for size 8 which turns out to be a 10 ½ inch skillet. This size was specifically made for their own line of stoves and ranges which the skillet would fit perfectly in at least one stove top hole. Heat from a wood or coal burning stove would heat the skillet from underneath and when not in use a cast iron flat lid would cover the hole. By the time the 1950's rolled around wood and coal burning stoves were long gone, but the designations were kept as a tradition.
The interior is very smooth and has no interior polishing marks from the factory. The Lodge ones from this time period typically do. There are no markings on the top of the handle.
Notice the dimple in the interior center. Must be part of the mold pattern. The handle seasoning needs to be smoothed out a little. Easy to accomplish wet sanding with 300 grit sandpaper.
Although discolored, the interior is very smooth. Chefs tend to love this skillet because the interior walls have a smooth slope to it and because it is of a heavier cast it can take more abuse in a production environment. Heavier casting is indicative of automation casting since thicker casting is needed to ensure the final product can withstand abuses from the automation process.
Another shot of the interior. Once or twice more in the oven for seasoning will yield a much nicer looking piece. It will also perform a little better.
No polishing marks on the side that one would expect from the factory automation process. Notice how small the pour spouts are. This is also indicative of a more modern piece.
BS&R have scalloped tear drop shaped loops with ridges that don't flatten out when it reaches the side of the skillet. Lodge skillets have a tear drop shape, but are not scalloped. Wagner skillets are scalloped, but not are tear drop shaped.
1972 Birmingham Stove and Range Size 8 Skillet
Weight : 5 lbs. 4.2 oz.
A collection of images from a fine post 1960's size 8 skillet made by BS&R in Birmingham Alabama sometime in the early 1970's. Found in a dark basement in 1984, it has been in UserX's possession for more than 30 years. Similar in construction to Lodge skillets of the same time period, it is thick and heavy. A favorite hidden gem among professional cast iron cookers. It is unmarked and unknown among most people who casually examine cast iron pieces. It has been beat on and abused and is a fine skillet. Too bad it has a little wobble to it as the bottom is a little warped. People call this type of wobble a "spinner" since it will spin freely on a flat surface. This could be a problem on a flat top stove, but no problem at all on a gas one.
This particular skillet is from the "Century" series of cast iron produced after the automation perdiod of the 1950's, but before the "Pioneer" series of the early 1970's.
The magnification from the high resolution photography makes the skillet look rougher than it really is. You can zoom in on the images if you mouse over them. During autoplay zoom is disabled. Shrinking the browser window will shrink its contents possibly making it easier to view the gallery.
Valued in the range of $15-$20.