Thursday, September 26, 2013

Give Me an N!! Give Me an S!! What Does That Spell? Confusion - 70's Rangetoppers vs 80's Rangetop Saucepans

I found yet another find the other day and decided that I should do an exposé to clear up any possible misconceptions out there in Corningware-Land.  It has to do with the saucepans; more specifically, the round saucepans with handles that are shaped like the Visions saucepans.

There are 2 types of round Corningware saucepans.

Rangetoppers, (all one word) with aluminum clad bottoms, and regular ones that do not (have an aluminum clad bottom that is) called RangeTop (minus the "pers")

You would think that it would be fairly straight forward, but it's not.  The problem is that not all Rangetoppers have a "Clad" bottom.  (sigh)   My assumption is that the exposed aluminum was blackening after being run through the dishwasher as well as rubbing off when abraded by certain cleaning methods.  Thus, Corning's answer was to "embed" the aluminum in the bottom.  These are fairly rare, as I think this was shortly before the line was discontinued, but they ARE out there.  There is no way to differentiate these pieces from regular saucepans by looking at the bottom, cause the white pyroceram conceals the aluminum.

This is my 1 1/2 quart (N-1 1/2-B) with the exposed aluminum bottom. Which is what I made the Tomato & Bechamel sauces in awhile back.

This is my recent find, a 2 1/2 quart Rangetopper (N-2 1/2-B) with the aluminum embedded under the pyroceram glass.

This is where knowing your codes comes in handy.  ALL Rangetoppers are marked under the handle with an "N-standard #-B".  They will also say "Not for Microwave Use", regardless of what the bottom looks like.  True, microwave browners contain "metal" as well, but Tin Oxide (tin rust) reacts a little different in the microwave than raw Aluminum does.

The Rangetop Saucepans, on the other hand, were produced AFTER the Metric switch over.  These are designated with an "S-decimal #-B" because they are in Liters and not in the Standard Quart measurements that had been used previously.

This is my mothers S-1.5-B in Shadow Iris.  Meaning it is a regular non-Aluminum containing saucepan that is 1.5 liters as opposed to 1 1/2 quarts.

The model numbers for these pans are found in the same location as those of the Visions line.  Being, embossed on the top of the handle.

Now I would say that the "S" stands for "saucepan", and that may be true, since V was used for Visions, F was used for French White and W was used for the Wheat pattern.  That would not explain why an "N" was chosen for the Rangetoppers though.  I assume that "R" was out of the question because it looks too similar to a "P" and "A" for aluminum was already taken by the post-1972 main product line.  Why not "T"?  or RT, since Corning chose K & KA for their Flat Ground bottom Cookmate line.  Then again, K & KA are not derived from "Cookmate" either...  So who knows how they came up with this stuff.
Oh, incidentally, though I do not have one, I have seen them in the thrift stores on occasion, though they are usually in a pattern that I do not collect like Country Cornflower or Spice of Life.  The S-2.5-B or 2.5 liter saucepan has a lug handle opposite the long handle so you can move the saucepan with both hands.

(Photo Courtesy of eBay)

I should clarify that this information regarding S & N model numbers has nothing to do with the Menu-ettes; being the 1 pint (P-81-B), 2 1/2 cup with pour spout (P-89-B), & 1 1/2 pint (P-82-B) saucepans as well as the 6 1/2 inch skillet (P-83-B).  The Menu-ettes never switched from their original "P" designation just like the Petite Dishes (P-41 & P-43), even after 1972 when the larger pieces had their model numbers converted to "A".

Gratuitous picture of Rangetopper Saucepans (This is how the instruction materials suggest storing them, instead of placing one pot down inside the other.)

Now, if I could just find the 1 quart (N-1-B) and a 5 quart (N-5-B) and maybe the 10 inch skillet (N-10-B)  The search continues.......

Where is your Corningware??

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