Why Vintage Farberware Is Collectible Cookware

vintage Farberware cookware logo

Vintage Farberware – the old stuff – is a solid vintage cookware bargain. While not as well known as vintage Revere Ware, it has definite collecting and cooking merit.

Vintage Farberware History

The Farberware brand has been around since the turn of last century. The company was first known for giftware and then moved into small appliances.

In the 1950s Farberware became one of the great American cookware brands riding the post-WWII prosperity wave. The result was the high quality, made in USA, vintage kitchen cookware of the type now prized by collectors.

Farberware’s Β Bronx manufacturing plant was closed in 1996 and the Farberware name licensed to a company that manufactures a wide variety of products overseas.

vintage Farberware skillet

Five reasons to snap up that old vintage Farberware

1. Even heating

Vintage cookware made by Farberware has an aluminum base that distributes heat evenly across the bottom of the pan. This minimizes hot spots whether you are searing steaks or simmering sauces.

2. Heavy duty build

Solid construction was a given on vintage Farberware cookware. In almost all of the vintage pieces I have seen, the handles are still tight and the bottoms of those Farberware pans are still flat.

3. Bargain price for the quality

As of this writing vintage Farberware pans present a relative bargain compared to modern and vintage kitchen cookware of similar quality. If vintage Farberware was a stock, it would would have a “buy” rating.

vintage farberware pot lid

4. Practical handles and knobs

While I am a fan of many types of vintage cookware, I personally find the high knobs on vintage Farberware knobs easy to grip, even with a thick potholder. I am also fond of the practical double handle design on the extra large skillet and the metal hooks at the end of long handles that enable wall storage ala Julia Child.

5. Stainless steel construction

With the exception of the aluminum base, vintage Farberware pans are made of easy clean stainless steel. Always a plus.

So enjoy cooking up a storm in some “new” vintage Farberware pans. Just like vintage Revere Ware, Descoware and others, this vintage cookware can be a solid addition to your vintage kitchen collection. And right now it’s a relative bargain.

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    95 Responses

  1. Jim Van says:

    Christie, check eBay… I’ve seen these items for sale there on occasion. Sometimes the item descriptions leave a lot to be desired, so you may have to do several different keyword searches. Good luck.

  2. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Christie and welcome! Those Farberware rotisseries are really great! They make very crispy chicken skin. The best thing to do is email me the model number on your grill via the contact me page on this blog. I do have inventory in stock.

  3. Janice Malloy says:

    I was given a set of these pots and pans in 1980. The year my husband and I married. I still have them. They where a wedding present from my grandparents.

  4. larry says:

    What does the letters stamped on the bottom of the pots and pans? Date code.

  5. Xeta says:

    Love reading all your comments here now in 2015 and thank you for a great blog post! I’m a late-comer to classic Farberware and am not sure I can justify my new obsession. I had a set of cookware that was 30+ years old and doing just fine. But I found myself in Goodwill and saw a 7″ and 10″ pair of skillets. Patent # 3,173,202. I’ve since learned of course the larger numbers are more recent. And have seen some without #s all together- but I digress. They sucked me in and I’ve been on an ebay hunt for a few months now. Man the 70s 8″ and 10″ new old stock skillets are heavy! I’m torn because I know some new 18/10 cookware sets are awesome. And I have another set but am fixated on Farberware! It’s easy to go overboard because they do have so may pots in between. 1, 1-1/2, 2, 2-12 on and on. I’m still missing a nos 2-1/2 saucepan and tonight snapped a 12″ fry pan new in box I’m guessing from the mid-to late 80s buy the fact it still said KIDDE but then Hanson on the box. The 10″ is quite a large pan, larger surface area than maybe a 12″ All Clad? What did I need the 12″ for? Why now, in my late 50s am I collecting Farberware. Mind you, collecting to use. Why do I love looking at then while they sit on my stove top? While my other guaranteed 18/10 sit on the shelf. D’Ohhh! Two days ago I found a double boiler fitting a 3qt saucepan at Goodwill. Boy it cleaned up nice. Sorry for chatting so much. Been here quite a few times before posting- thank you Beer πŸ˜‰

  6. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Xeta and welcome! It is wonderful that you have found new old stock Farberware! I have not been so lucky so far, but continue to hope. πŸ™‚

  7. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Larry! The letters are date code but they were assigned randomly and the Farberware plant just kept a list that lined up dates with the codes. That list is long gone apparently. This came from a former Farberware plant employee.

  8. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Janice and welcome! Yes the vintage Farberware really does last! Sorry I did not see your comment earlier. I get emails to notify me to approve comments and a bunch just slipped through the cracks.

  9. Sharon Spence says:

    I have a coffee pot with creamer and sugar bowl on a flat tray with one handle missing on the coffee pot. Believed to be from 40s -60s. Can you tell me its worth? It has farberware of ny on the bottom.

  10. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Sharon! Farberware made a LOT of different items. The best way to determine the value of your particular set is to look at the completed listings on Ebay and some other sites such as Bonanza or Etsy to see if you can find it. These sites will give values that fall somewhere between wholesale and low retail. The value of any vintage item will vary based on its current popularity, rarity, and condition.

  11. Mary says:

    My mother-in law has a set of “vintage” (same numbers as above), Farberwarw sauce pans and frying pans she is no longer using. I love cooking on them and I am wondering if they are oven safe?

  12. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Mary that is an excellent question! I have seen a few say they have put newer Farberware in the oven at lower temps but as far as vintage Farberware, arghh, I wouldn’t. That is because I haven’t tested mine and don’t have any original package inserts that would have provided guidance. Plus, if the formulation of handles changed over time, different handles could look the same but perform differently in an oven. So I personally am keeping my Farberware on the stovetop but am open to other input.

  13. Mary says:

    also, can the above mentioned vintage pans be used as well on a new glass top, electric stove or are they better with gas?

  14. Claudia says:

    We have a 19 piece set of the Faberware Stainless Steel Aluminum Clad cookware. It belonged to my mother-in-law and we would like to sell it. It is in like new condition with no scratches or rust areas. All lids are included in the count. Could you give me a ballpark estimate as to it’s worth. I do not want to overprice and at the same time do not want to underprice them. Thanks.

  15. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Claudia! This is definitely a “how long is a piece of string” question. It all depends on what pieces you have, whether they are the quality vintage American-made pieces, where you are selling them (online, Craigslist, yard sale, flea market), when you are selling them, etc. Your best bet is digging in and looking at completed listings on Ebay for the pieces that you have. Etsy is another resource.

  16. Karen J says:

    I received my Farberware pot set in 1973 from my mother as a wedding shower gift. I am an every day user of them still after 43 years. Mine were made in the Bronx and look exactly like the ones above. I have looked at other pots through the years and have picked up a.n extra sauce pan or non-stick frying pan, but not the Farberware name. The new sets are cheap and flimsy. They held up so well and I’m so used to the certain sizes in the set, I will only use them. Since I’m a senior now, I find no reason to replace my “vintage” cookware.

  17. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Welcome Karen! The vintage Farberware really is good stuff! No surprise that it’s still going strong after 43 years of daily use.

  18. DebWilliams says:

    I’ve had my Farberware since 1971 ( wedding present) and it’s still going strong. It’s certainly vintage, but so am I.

  19. lila fink says:

    I have had my Faberware set for well over forty years and still use them daily. However, after so much use, they aluminum bottoms look tacky and stained, what can I use to clean them up?

  20. Ernie says:

    I am a 79 year old Florida bachelor who is the proud owner of six pieces of Farberware that was given as a gift certificate wedding gift in 1960 and picked up at a Farberware store in New York City (forgot if it was in Bronx, Manhattan or Brooklyn) and these pots/pan look absolutely “mahvolous” (accreditation to Billy Crystal).
    They all still shine like new and do have some minimal pit marks on the outside base of some pots (after 56 years of continual use who wouldn’t have pit marks on their bottom) and all of the handles and cover knobs are still the originals. I wouldn’t trade them in for anything. They will be a legacy gift when I kick the bucket.
    I recently purchased a three pack non-stick fry pan set to add to my 56 years old pots. Guess who makes them and if they last 25% as long as my pots, I’ll be …………. long gone πŸ˜‰
    Thank you S.W. Farber and those other manufacturers (I have a collectible King tricycle built in the 1930’s) for the way things were built for quality and longevity back in the good ole day, not the crap consumers have to contend with today

  21. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Ernie! The old Farberware is very good. Your use is definitely a testament to its durability.

    I personally don’t go near the new overseas-made stuff, but I wish you the best of luck with it. Although, I bet you outlast it by a long time. πŸ™‚

  22. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Lila! I found one once where the grease was really gunked so I soaked the bottom in a warm vinegar bath just like my Lisks to soften stuff up. Then I scrubbed gently.

  23. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Sorry for the late reply Deb! I had been getting ready for a big market and opening a new antique booth. Your comment made me smile!

  24. sandy says:

    I had a set of Farberware that I got as a wedding gift in 1959. In 2005 got a glass top stove and thought I couldn’t use it so gave it to Habitat for Humanity store. In 2010 I moved and had a gas stove. I then priced a new set and almost cried. All I could think was DARN.

    Driving down the street one day, I saw an interesting garage sale so I stopped, I purchased 15 pieces of Farberware for $60.00. Food was still burned and caked inside the pans and grease ever where. With a little work I now have an amazing set. I am hooked on a good product.

  25. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Sandy! Congratulations on finding a real vintage Farberware bargain. It’s getting continuously harder to do so.

  26. Briar says:

    I bought my starter set of Farberware circa 1976 to take with me from Michigan to New Hampshire, where I set up my first apartment. It has stood me in good stead through six moves ever since, and I just love its smooth, sturdy mid-century lines! I wouldn’t part with it. Maybe once in awhile a handle gets loose and needs tightening, but, boy, what a durable product! The new stuff doesn’t tempt me at all. I have added vintage pieces here and there that I see online or at Goodwill. I would say I have a serious stainless steel jones–I see it in a second hand store and long to give it a new home! A close friend (ex-Significant Other from way back) has been starting over in life with almost no kitchenware to speak of and I’ve been chomping at the bit to hear that he and his new little family will be setting up their own apartment. Finally this is happening, so guess what they’re getting: vintage Farberware! The ex remembers my Farberware well and was pleased with the news. I’m scouring all the Goodwills and yard sales, vicariously enjoying that First Nest Feathering feeling all over again. I’m having so much fun!

  27. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Briar! Yup, the vintage Farberware really is good stuff. Glad you’re having fun on your hunt!

  28. Gregg says:

    Howdy! I ran across (and purchased) an 8-quart Farberware pot at Goodwill today. Very lovely and very heavy, it’s the style that has rosewood handles, and is triple ply (stainless-aluminum-stainless). I cleaned it up using my “secret” technique for stainless (spray oven cleaner), and it looks great! So, now I need to find a lid for this beauty!

    Can you give me any history on this line? From the research I’ve done, it seems to be from 1984, made in NYC, USA.


  29. Sheila says:

    Found your site looking for information on Farberware. I love mine. I received my original set in 1971 as a wedding gift from my in laws .. Over the years and 2 divorces and a crazy amount of moves pieces got lost . I have 1 piece from that original set. It says Yonkers NY on the bottom .. I have collected other pieces in thrift stores and off ebay .. I have found 2 marked Bronx and the rest just are marked NYC.. I wish there were a site that would tell me the years it was made. I wouldn’t trade my vintage Farberware for anything. My daughter just received a box of fancy cookware for her wedding and returned it and used the money for other things. She is also collecting vintage Farberware. ..
    The last 2 pieces I picked up were another large frying pan and a 2.5 qt pot. Both had things burned in them so everyone else was passing them over. hehe.. Yep I grabbed and with a little Bar Keepers Friend it came right out.

  30. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Gregg! Congratulations on your find. Sorry I can’t help you with more info on that line. Please be careful with the spray oven cleaner. It’s REALLY BAD stuff. I never, ever use it. Vinegar and elbow grease works well and isn’t toxic like oven cleaner.

  31. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Sheila! Unfortunately the coding assigned to the pots was random.

  32. Ann says:

    Hi, I loved reading this blog. I’ve been collecting vintage Farberware for a number of years here and there at garage sales and recently on Ebay. I give them as gifts. I’ve definitely seen a difference in weight and quality as the codes vary. Some do get heat stains. But the really old stuff is very heavy and incredibly cleanable. Would love to have the decoder ring. It seems that the old Farberware is superior to any of the high end stainless cookware available today (Calphalon, All-Clad, whatever) and heavier an better than any Revereware I’ve cooked with. Bought a set of Millenium 2000 for a rental house and it was heavy but stains with high heat. It just seems that no one makes stainless steel like they used to. It cooks beautifully, and the surfaces are easily cleanable after decades of regular use, even after severe burning incidents.The only cookware Ive seen that is superior is the old Amway Queen. As for cleaning, though convenient, yes the spray oven cleaners are very damaging to lungs. I tried vinegar with baking soda and didn’t have good results. Maybe I didn’t do it right. I’ve had remarkable results with Bar Keepers Friend powder, concentrated Citrasolve and a 3M brand green scrubbie. Put the a small amount of concentrated Citrasolve and sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend in the pot with a little water. Scrub a bit to dissolve the powder into the liquid, and let sit for awhile. Then scrub some more. You will be amazed. With some elbow grease it can even clean the heat discoloration stains off cheaper newer stainless pots. Just today I got a heat stained Calphalon stainless pot looking brand spanking new.

    The old Farberware just makes me happy that humans could make a product so wonderful.


  33. Barbara Bell says:

    Great site! I love my vintage farberware that I’ve had since 1980. I have trouble with the long handled sauce pans as the handles keep loosening. I keep a Phillips screwdriver in a drawer by the stove. Is there a special glue or something I can use to keep them permanently tight? Thanks! Barb

  34. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Ann. Yay! Glad you found a solution that works for you!

    The vinegar solution is inexpensive, gentle to the pot and hands, but slow. You might have to rinse and repeat several times. So that was likely the difference.

    Looks like Citrasolv is one of the many orange-based cleaners on the market. I bought a bottle of another brand once that had warnings about not using it on plastics so I would be initially cautious about whether it could harm different eras of Farberware handles.

    You didn’t mention that the mixture of the Bar Keeper’s Friend and an orange-based cleaner like Citrasolv gave off any bad fumes. So many people have wide-ranging chemical sensitivities now that I thought it was worth mentioning. Safety testing doesn’t cover combinations of products. Also to those reading, if you have sensitive skin wear gloves if you are using Bar Keeper’s Friend. Don’t know about Citrasolv.

  35. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Barbara! I’d keep the screwdriver handy. Glues can give off bad fumes if they are heated. No way to really know which ones are bad. A turn every once in a while is still better – to me- than most of today’s overseas-made, low quality cookware brand alternatives.

  36. Enid Villafane says:

    Did Farberware make a steamer insert for the 1-quart pot? I’ve checked ebay a few times but haven’t seen any there. since I’m cooking for one, it would really come in handy.

  37. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Enid! I personally haven’t seen a smaller steamer. Know it’s not what you want, but my workaround would be to put less veggies in the bigger steamer.

  38. bernadine f martin says:

    have a problem with handles working loose. is there a remedy? please advise

  39. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Bernadine! Nope, no special remedy other than a few quick turns with a screwdriver to tighten the screws.

  40. Set of Farberware pots picked up with a wedding gift certificate from the original plant in NYC back in 1959. Both fry pans still flat. 4 saucepans, two larger pots, all six sized tops still fit perfect. Handles all still firm and full shaped except for large fry pan cover handle which broke off. Trying to find a metal shop to braise it back on.
    All still shiny bright inside and out except for 1 qt. saucepan, the most used over these 58 years, which is starting to show slight pit marks on base due to use on electric burners for 56 years. Now have a ceramic cook top and expect all my Farberware pots to outlive me, including the little guy.
    The good old days when quality really meant quality.

  41. Arlene Rosenberg says:

    I received my cookware set at my wedding shower in 1965. I still use them everyday. I have had many others through the years, teflon coated,etc. These are still my favorites because you can’t kill them they clean up without a problem and everything cooks better. Love them!!

  42. Rachel says:

    Yay Farberware! Two years ago, I moved to a new state and city, and somewhat of a new life. In my old life I had scavenged up a pretty good set of vintage Revere from thrift stores, but since I left that set behind (sigh), I thought I would go with something “new” and was attracted to the curled handles and top knobs of the vintage Farberware, so I started picking up pieces here and there and they have proved to be very good! I did find one sauce pan that looked like the originals at first glance but was actually the newer “Classic” design from Farberware. I got it anyway because it was a nice size and it is ok but I was annoyed that the lid for the newer design was not interchangeable with the lid of the same size pot from the original design that I already had!

  43. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Ernie! Yup, it is really tough stuff

  44. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Arlene! I love my Farberware too!

  45. Penn Polly Vintage says:

    Hi Rachel! Glad you have found vintage Farberware! Here’s sending you good wishes to find a quality, vintage replacement for that one piece of overseas made stuff. πŸ™‚

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