Field Company was founded in March 2016, which makes this month our organization's sixth anniversary. While we're always excited to celebrate another birthday (sometimes with giant cookies!), this year's red-letter day is especially significant because of its designation in matrimonial-gifting culture as the "iron anniversary."

Even though we specialize in making (by our measure) the world's best cast iron cookware, we weren't sure exactly why the six-year mark is associated with iron—or why any anniversary is paired with a specific gift, for that matter. So we did some research, which we share with you below, along with some important highlights over Field Company's first six years of existence.

Field Company founders, Chris and Stephen Muscarella

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.

Photo: Christopher Simpson

September 2016: After months of testing runs, we began the production run of First Casting No.8 Skillets on September 19 — or "263," if you're going by the old-school date code stamped on the underside of the pan's helper handles.

Field Skillet casting

April 2017: We started pouring castings of the No.10 Field Skillet, our second pan and the next size up for family-style cooking.

November 2018: We think big by releasing our third pan (and largest to date), the No.12 Field Skillet.

Photo: Christopher Simpson

April 2019: We go small with our all-American breakfast pan, the single-serving No.4 Field Skillet.

Photo: Penny De Los Santos

July 2019: We complete the Field Skillet lineup, adding the super-versatile No.6 Field Skillet.

July 2020: After years of R&D (and answering thousands of seasoning-related questions from customers and cast iron collectors), we launch our own Cast Iron Seasoning Oil, a custom blend of organic oils that help build resilient non-stick seasoning.

Photo: Benjamin Muller

October 2020: We launch our first cast iron lid, sized to match the No.8 Skillet.

December 2020: Our first non-skillet cookware arrives in the form of the No.8 Dutch Oven, to the delight of at-home bread bakers everywhere.

Photo: Lauren V. Allen

May 2021: The No.8 lids gets a big brother: the No.10s.

August 2021: Our No.12 and No.6 skillets get matching cast iron lids as well.

November 2021: We launch our third cookware category with the No.9 Round Griddle, as well as our first set of oven mitts.

Photo: Lauren V. Allen

Which brings us to today: as we celebrate our Iron Anniversary year, there's quite a bit in store. For now, we're cooking our way through late winter and looking forward to sharing the latest Field projects with you. Til then, happy cooking!

Photo: Bill Wright