Griswold “Symbol” cookware — designed by famed industrial designer Peter Muller Munk circa 1964: I believe this might well be the most beautiful mid-century modern cookware ever made. Up until two weeks ago, I didn’t even know it existed. And now, I didn’t score just vintage — I scored New Old Stock Mint in Box eye-popping orange dutch oven and two-quart saucepan perfection. Love fest ‘o artsy fartsy photos — and then, the scanned brochure — follow.
Peter Muller-Munk, industrial designer
The Griswold Symbol cookware line was designed by Peter Muller-Munk. I had never heard of him before reading this. Indeed, he led one of the top-10 industrial design firms in the country in the postwar years. Muller-Munk was trained as a silversmith — so these pots and pans must have been a particular labor of love. Since the postage indicia on my box is dated Dec. 19, 1964, I will surmise that the Griswold Symbol line was released in 1964. That’s just three years before Muller-Munk’s death. That means he would have been designing them when he was at the peak of his abilities. (I do believe we get better with age!) Of course, he also had a large firm by then — around 40 people, helping. Note: The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where Muller-Munk’s firm was based, will feature an exhibition on his work in 2015. I already contacted them to see if they have intrest in featuring my NOS lovelies — wouldn’t that be fabulous!
I wonder why there do not seem to be more of these around. Golly, they are smashing.
“Cook’s Tour of America’s most modern cookware”
Seriously, prepare your eyeballs. I got the good camera out, sought the light, then adjusted the digis in Lightroom, even, to try and ensure that the photos captured the beauty of the rich orange enameled lids. The pans are cast aluminum.
To see the photos enlarged on your screen, just click on them, they should double in size so you can feast your eyes:
There are a few of these Griswold Symbol pots on ebay right now — one with a turquoise lid, too.
By the time this cookware was introduced, the famed Griswold manufacturing entity and brand was owned by Textron, a conglomerate that still exists today. The Textron logo is shown on the penultimate page of the brochure, in fact. I would do more research … but I’m clearing the decks so’s I can make The Last Roadtrip to World of Tile. I would love to find out more about this cookware line!
All materials in this story copyright RetroRenovation.com. No reproduction without prior permission.