Chown and Cunningham

Find us on Facebook: Cast Iron Canada

If you wish to discuss any information on this page or post any information or pictures you have regarding this maker, please visit the forum @

First of all, why this write up? Well, it seems there are certain groups of collectors that consider nearly every Canadian piece a copy of an American piece. While evidence exists that Canadian manufacturers did indeed purchase and use patterns of American companies – they didn’t try to hide the fact. Ghost marks and/or artefacts exist on certain “Good Cheer” products from James Stewart and “Enterprise Foundry” in New Brunswick for example.  Griswold’s breakfast skillets are a prime example here, always thought to have come first – and anything from Smart, McClary or Findlay etc, has to be a copy. Yet, nobody to date can provide any proof or evidence of anything so at this point, it’s all propaganda. Does it really matter in the end? Probably not, copying happened from foundry to foundry.

The issue here is chicken and egg theory, which came first – and this page surrounds the use of a “diamond” on cast iron pieces in the USA considered to be made by “Favorite Stove and Range”. I don’t know who made these pieces, but the thought that all of these diamond skillets – with varying diamond shapes, fonts, number and letters – are believed to be Favorite or Chicago Foundry is getting to be a bit ludicrous. The only diamond that Favorite ever seemed to have produced was the “MIAMI” in a sideways diamond – if any others exist, please let us know.

Been spending more time on Chown and Cunningham lately, both men date back to foundries in the 1840’s or earlier so they can’t be classified as strangers in foundry manufacturing. Just haven’t found much information as yet that can be verified. However, some interesting information for you.

In 1891, the tin side of Chown and Cunningham was sold to Thomas Davidson (Thos Davidson), but James Smart Manufacturing Co Ltd bought the cast iron side of the company in 1893. Smart assumed all trademarks and patterns for the “FAVORITE” line and continued to sell the “FAVORITE” line until Findlay bought it around 1897/1898 as evidenced further below.

Taken from “Hardware – January 3, 1890”:

Amongst the many such trade marks that we have in mind, and they are legion, there is perhaps no one more familiar and appropriate than that of “The Favorite” as applied to the stoves and ranges manufactured by The Chown & Cunningham Co., of Kingston and Toronto.

This term was adopted about five years ago (1885), and stands emblazoned on a disc with the rays of the rising sun for a back ground The name of the firm encircles the disc, and the whole forms a most striking trade mark which cannot fail to attract attention. The character of their productions is we understand fully in keeping with their name being indeed “favorites” with those who have them in operation.

Chown and Cunningham trademark logo

Ok, so Chown and Cunningham had the “Favorite Stove’s and Ranges” trademark with the sunrise logo in Canada but where is this going? Bear with me.

The next James Smart catalog shows the following, pretty self explanatory – and the “FAVORITE” line of stoves clearly shows the sunrise logo from Chown and Cunningham.

James Smart Favorite logoJames Smart Stove with Favorite logo

Not finished yet. In Findlay’s 1898 catalog, the “FAVORITE” sunrise logo appears again – and Findlay carried on the Favorite line of stoves and ranges – for how long, I am not sure. More catalogs need to be found, however it seems for a couple of decades from pictures of stoves popping up through google images. There is no evidence past 1897 showing Smart selling the FAVORITE line, so it is safe to assume that all trademarks and patterns were bought by Findlay Brothers out of Carleton Place, Ontario.

Findlay Favorite Stove and Range logo

Now where is this information going? There is a link or correlation somewhere between Chown and Cunningham – and “Favorite Stove and Range” in Piqua, Ohia. I am not suggesting anything, stating anything or other – this is just evidence put forward and I’m asking questions.

Certain collectors have stated that there was indeed a trademark lawsuit between “Chown and Cunningham” (C&C) and “Favorite Stove and Range” that C&C lost – perhaps putting the company under. I’m still waiting for anyone to provide proof of that lawsuit, and I haven’t found anything online. But how would James Smart or Findlay be able to carry on using the “Favorite Stove’s and Range’s” logo if such a lawsuit existed? Remember, “Favorite Stove and Range” was formerly known as “Favorite Stove Works” between 1881 and 1888 – and changed the name once located in Piqua. The company “Favorite Stove and Range” didn’t exist when Chown trademarked the logo.

One more interesting note – and again, I suggest nothing, this is just evidence that needs to be researched… It’s proven fact that Smart took over Chown and Cunningham in 1893, assumed the trademarks, patterns and everything “FAVORITE”.

“Favorite Stove and Range” in Piqua, Ohio wasn’t evidenced to make hollow prior to 1916 – although it’s suggested that hollow ware was possibly made before 1916. Canada Foundries and Forgings bought James Smart Manufacturing in 1912 and there is no evidence to show they carried on using the original “Diamond G” indicated on the skillet handle below. So, in 1916, the original James Smart “Diamond G” wasn’t used anymore. So how was it possible that “Chown and Cunningham” had a “Favorite Piqua Ware” skillet pattern prior to the Smart takeover in 1893?

The pictures below show a skillet, top and bottom of a Chown and Cunningham made piece – on the handle is the original “Diamond G” pattern from James Smart. Note the “Favorite Piqua Ware” on the bottom of the skillet. If someone can shed some light on this piece, or have other cast iron pieces that are similar – I would love to hear from you. Drop an email with any pictures to

Chown and Cunningham Favorite PiquaChown and Cunningham Favorite Piqua Diamond G

Finding “Chown and Cunningham” pieces isn’t easy but there is one clean – albeit small – picture of an original “C&C” skillet. The diamond is zoomed in. Some people see a G but it doesn’t conform to any known G from James Smart Manufacturing. Some see a number 3, some see an “other”.

Chown and Cunningham skillet

How important is the object inside the Diamond? Apparently, it’s not.

Chown and Cunningham Blank Diamond

And I’m just going to leave these pictures here. Have a look. The two hatch marks under the handle are evident in the C&C skillets and later Favorite ware skillets produced by Smart with the G on the handle. Compare the Favorite Piqua Ware number 9, that’s a pretty distinct font for a 9, you have to admit.

Favorite Piqua 9

And this is a close up of that Favorite Piqua Ware skillet. Compare the 9’s, compare the hatch marks under the handle.

favorite piqua number 9 closeup

Chown and Cunningham hatch marks