Why is it called the "Iron Anniversary"?
The practice of giving distinct gifts for anniversaries dates back to ancient Rome, when husbands celebrating 25 years of marriage would adorn their wives with silver wreaths, and a gold wreath upon their 50th anniversary. (Note: the average life expectancy in ancient Rome was around 25 years old, so it's safe to assume that not many silver—and even fewer gold—wreaths were forged.)
Although the (mostly nominal) pairing of silver and gold with 25- and 50-year anniversaries continued in European cultures throughout history, the custom didn't intersect with commerce until the Victorian Era in the late 19th century, when romantic love became more commonplace among the upper classes. As marriage became less transactional (that is, less influenced by power, wealth, religion, or politics), gift-giving between wedded couples became more mainstream.
In 1922, Emily Post codified the tradition, as we now know it, in her Blue Book of Social Usage with a list of eight wedding anniversaries (1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th) and their corresponding presents. The emerging markets of England and America took note, with enthusiastic backing from retailers like Hallmark (est. 1910) and the jewelry industry, who revised and fleshed out Post's anniversary calendar with more consumer-friendly (and increasingly expensive) recommendations. Today you can find multiple gift suggestions for any anniversary year, depending on if you're a traditionalist or modernist, and if you live in America or the U.K. Our friends across the pond tend to be more practical: for example, you might give (or receive) a bronze bracelet or sculpture if you're celebrating 8 years of marital bliss in the U.S., while in England you should expect nothing more than a box of salt.
Why cast iron makes a great anniversary gift
We don't know who first paired the six-year anniversary with iron, but we're grateful they did because we think iron—specifically cast iron, or course—makes an excellent gift. Not only does iron symbolize strength, it is forged under extreme conditions, just as relationships can be strengthened (we hope) under high-pressure circumstances. And like a sound marriage, cast iron cookware will last a lifetime and serve generations to come, which makes it not only the perfect sixth-anniversary gift, but a symbolic—and especially practical—gift for weddings and other important occasions.
As we celebrate the Field Company's iron anniversary, let's look at some of our major milestones over the past six-plus years:
Field Company History
2014: Founders Chris and Stephen Muscarella dream up the idea to make lighter, smoother cast iron like the vintage pans they love, and dive down the research rabbit hole that would lead to the Field Company.
March 2016: Chris and Stephen launch a successful Kickstarter Campaign that introduces Field Company—and the No.8 Field Skillet—to the world.