Timeline Think about enamel kitchen utensils today, and you probably imagine something coated all over in enamel. To begin with, cooking pots were lined inside with enamel, but they looked like any other cast iron on the outside.
People wanted a way of coating iron to stop metallic tastes or rust getting into food: something acid-resistant and easy to clean without laborious scouring, something more durable than the tin linings used inside copper.
And yet enamelware was still a long way from the attractive and useful mass-produced utensils of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The enamel is, in fact, a regular coating of porcelain upon the metal, and with ordinary care is imperishable.
On the contrary, the enamelled iron ware made in England (which has been nearly driven out of American consumption by Stuart & Peterson's manufacture) finally runs into an infinitesimal number of minute cracks, which chip off and render the vessel quite useless.
They are quite as liable to crack and fly in pieces the first time of using as the fiftieth; and, of course, are of no further service.
The Art of Confectionery, Tilton and Co., Boston, 1865 It was in the 1870s that a surge of competitive creativity began to change American kitchenware.