From a GCICA Facebook Post
Steve Stephens I have not seen a chrome plated Wagner, all their plated pieces are nickel and most were not polished before plating other than their earlier pieces. The 1915 catalog shows that their nickel plated pieces are “polished inside and out”. 9/11/13.
Chromium–-There were three chromium finishes introduced around 1932;
- Chrome: a highly polished finish
- Silverlike: made by a special process which gave them a bright, silvery finish.
- Du Chro: flat finish with polished highlights such as cover edges and handles.
Extracts from Plated Finish Ware by The Cast Iron Collector
- Be sure to look at the photo gallery linked at the end of the article.
- Nickel-plated pieces are known from as early as the 1890s, with manufacturers seen moving to chromium in the 1930s.
- Plated pieces varied in finish from a low luster to a bright mirror polish.
- Griswold’s “Silverlike” was a matte, unpolished chrome finish. Wagner’s “Silverlite” appears to have been the same.
- Griswold’s “Du Chro” was a combination, the bottoms and insides being satin, the sides, tops of handles, and other highlights being highly polished. This finish may have been a bit of marketing spin on leaving unpolished those parts that would otherwise soon become marred by usage anyway.
- Far fewer plated pieces are seen after the early 1940s, the decline perhaps WWII-related.
- Is it nickel or is it chrome? Older pieces are more likely to be nickel than chrome. Nickel-plated pieces usually exhibit a warmer, yellowish tone whereas chrome (chromium) gives a colder, bluish impression. Nickel is often finished only to a soft luster; chrome typically to a high, mirror-like polish, if not left satin/matte.