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For 15 years, Riverside manufactured popular Revere Ware pots – Press |

For 15 years, Riverside manufactured popular Revere Ware pots – Press

Once again, a question posited to the “We Grew Up in Riverside in the 1950s and 60s” brought an article idea.

This time, it is about the popular Revere Ware cooking pans that were ubiquitous in homes in the 1950s to 1980s.

According to the Revere Ware history website, the name Revere Ware goes all the way back to Paul Revere in the late 1700s. In the 1920s, the successor to Paul Revere’s company, Paul Revere and Sons, merged with four other copper implement-producing companies in the northeast and emerged as the Revere Copper and Brass Corp.

In the 1930s, this new corporation developed a new copper clad stainless steel cooking pan that proved to be quite popular for its ease of use and light-weight properties. By 1939, when it was introduced to the public in a series of pots and pans, it was a hit.

After World War II, the Revere Copper and Brass Corp. trademarked the term Revere Ware and began mass–producing the cookware. Most of the manufacturing occurred at the factory in Rome, New York, but with demand booming, along with the population of the United States moving into new suburban homes, another manufacturing location, preferably in the western United States, was needed.

On Feb. 24, 1948, an announcement was made that Revere Ware would start manufacturing in Riverside.

The former Revere Ware plant as it appears today on Kansas Avenue in Riverside. (Photo by Steve Lech, contributing photographer)

The company purchased a large existing manufacturing building at 2626 Kansas Ave. (the present-day southeast corner of Kansas Avenue and Roberta Street) that had been built just a few years earlier for the now-defunct Colonial Radio Co., which made radios for Sears and other nationwide stores.

Actual production of Revere Ware in Riverside began Dec. 2, 1948, with the first shipments being made on Dec. 13. The building, though, was not large enough to handle the manufactured stock, so in March 1949, work began on a 42,000-square feet warehouse building directly east of the main building for storage and shipping.

In November 1951, at a celebration honoring the 150th anniversary of the American copper industry, officials commended the Riverside manufacturing plant and the decision to establish a manufacturing operation there. Indicating that the Riverside plant employed 160 people with a monthly payroll of $50,000, company President James M. Kennedy said that, “Riverside has more than justified the expectations we had when we came. Employees obtained from Riverside’s citizens have proven to be able and conscientious workers … Revere looks forward to continued good employee relationships in Riverside.”

As many people who grew up with Revere Ware know, it was very sturdy.

In fact, apparently too sturdy because in 1962, as a result of sagging sales, the company opted to close the Riverside manufacturing plant permanently and move all operations east.

The building in which Revere Ware was manufactured is still in Riverside and is presently used by a concrete-fixture manufacturer.

However, many people still remember when the famous pots and pans were made in Riverside, and of course, many people still use theirs.

If you have an idea for a future Back in the Day column about a local historic person, place or event, contact Steve Lech and Kim Jarrell Johnson at

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off
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