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by Milli Simerl
(Used with Permission)

Aluminum cutters have been popular for seventy plus years because they are inexpensive and do not rust. Many companies have made cookie cutters, but they may never be remembered because the cutters were sold with no identification. Identified cutters have been found with the following company names: Aluminum Specialties Company, Color Kraft, Currie-Van Ness, Enterprise Aluminum Company, Foley, G & S Metal Company, Inc., Mirro, Standard Aluminum Company, and Wear-Ever. Many of the shapes of aluminum cutters are repeated year after year. Some are still made today that were made 65 years ago.

A few premium cutters have been aluminum. Calumet offered a three piece circle set. The Ballard premium cutter was a doughnut cutter with a wood handle. The Globe A1 Biscuit Mix cutter was an all aluminum, tall cutter with a hole in the top of the cutter, in lieu of a handle. The American Beauty Flour was an aluminum cutter with arched aluminum handle.

Aluminum cutters have no handles, self handles, wood knobs, metal knobs, or fold down handles. Only a few cutters have no handles. The most notable is Betsy McCall but most of the common shaped cutters have also been found with no handles. To date, only a gingerbread cutter has been found with a fold down handle.

Aluminum Cutters with Self Handles

  • Aluminum cutters with self handles have been made since 1929, perhaps earlier. Many companies have sold cutters with self handles. Unless the cutters are found on a card, it is difficult to determine the company. One exception is the Enterprise Aluminum Company cutters. Their cutters have a flat top with a raised edge around the top of the cutter. The Macon, Georgia Company went out of business in 1988. In 1988, cutters on cards sold included:
  • Item 4BA Form 258 - four card shapes
  • Item 40C Form 167 - gingerbread with cocked hat
  • Item 4CA Form 159 - gingerbread 40C Form 167 plus crinkle edged five point star, santa and tree
  • Item 4FA Form 160 - 2” smooth edged circle, 8 scallop, 2 3/8” crinkle edged circle, and crinkle edged star.

Other cutters that have a self handle and a raised edge around top of cutter include a horse, a 3x3” crinkle edged heart and a 3 1/8” crinkle edged circle. Still other cutters have wood handles and a raised edge around the top of the cutters. None of these cutters have been identified. All of these may or may not be Enterprise Aluminum Company cutters.

Some of the most interesting aluminum cutters with self handles are:

  • A set of eight Mirro cutters - angel, Maltese cross, fleur de leis, crown, lion, reindeer, tree and windmill
  • Six Comicooky cutters - cutters that look like gingerbreads but were cutters to illustrate comic strips
  • Mirro troll cutter offered in 1965 and 1966 in a Wrigley Gum ad
  • Set of three small animal cutters by Welker-Ware - cat, bear, rabbit
  • Set of four Blue Bonnet cutters - bell, drum, hatchet, star
  • Set of five copper colored Jack Frost cutters - bell, star, hatchet, drum, and flag
  • Set of “fat” child’s cutters - lion, cat, dog, chicken, rabbit
  • Set of child’s cutters - goat, donkey, dog, chicken, cat, horse
  • Set of child’s cutters offered by Brer Rabbit Molasses in 1929 - cat, chicken, dog, lion, horse, and rabbit
  • Three Walter Lantz characters - Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, and Oswald the rabbit.

Aluminum Cutters with Wood Knobs

The oldest known cutters with wood handles are pictured in a 1933 book, Kitchen Guide, The Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company, Manitowoc, WI (now Mirro). The cutters are aluminum card shapes with rivets all the way through the handles. The box is labeled “Trump Cooky Cutter Set.” The set with pointed handles are shown in a 1941 Mirro catalog.
The most common series of cutters with wood knobs have the following shapes:

The colors of knobs are known to be black, red, and green. All catalog pages reported to date list only red and green. Aqua and orange knobs have been found but there is speculation that these colors may be paint variance and/or effects of sun, detergent, etc.

The most complete, most easily found series is the cutters with pointed handles

Two piece + handle

  • Elephant
  • Santa (holes above/below handle)
  • Santa (holes right/left of handle)

One piece, flat top

  • Bell
  • Camel
  • 2” Circle, smooth edge
  • 2 1/2” Circle, smooth
  • 2 3/8” Circle, crinkle edge
  • Club, crinkled edge
  • Crescent, holes near handle
  • Crescent, holes at tips
  • Diamond, crinkle edge
  • Dog
  • Flag
  • Hatchet
  • Heart, crinkled edge
  • Santa
  • Spade, crinkle edge
  • Square, 2”
  • Star, crinkled edge

One piece + handle, top of cutter recessed near edge

  • Circle, crinkle edge
  • Scalloped (8)

These were made by the Mirro Company.

Another series of cutters have a knob with a flat top. A series of common shapes have red and green knobs. Four cutters with similar shaped knobs are anodized aluminum with black knobs. The shapes are gingerbread, elephant, witch, and angel. The gingerbread was found on an individual card in 1965. The gingerbread is copper colored, the elephant is pink, the angel is gold colored and the witch is purple.

Some wood knobs were made with limited shapes. The Washburn Company cutters have tall, thin wood knobs with rivet extended through the top of the knob. Small red knobs with exposed rivet are on a child’s set of rabbit, crinkle edged circle, smooth edged circle, and chicken. A Japanese set of twelve hors’ doeuvre cutters have been found with three different small red wood handles.
Doughnut cutters with wood knobs have not been studied. The knobs are usually large and do not repeat shapes of the series of aluminum cutters.

Six Bend Handles

Aluminum cutters with six bend handles are the oldest aluminum cutters known to date. Swans Down Cake Flour offered four card shapes as a premium in 1921. Each are stamped “Swan’s Down.”

The Aluminum Specialties Company advertized the three piece Disney cutters, Mickey, Minnie, and Donald Duck, in 1935. These had a groove in the top of the handle. A lion and a santa have been found with a groove in the top of the handle. There are probably more of these to be found.

In a 1942 catalog, the Wear-Ever Company pictured nine different designs with flat topped handles and the santa with a groove in the top of the handle. The Wear-Ever Company did not manufacture these cutters but the manufacturer is unknown at this time.

Rivets fasten the handles to all cutters with six bend handles. There are no holes where the handles are attached. Handles are flat or have a groove in the top.

There are five variations in cutters. The flat topped aluminum handles are unpainted (with or without “U.S.A.” signature), painted red, and painted green. The handles with grooves are unpainted.

All cutters with six bend handles have holes in the top of the cutters.
The heart cutters are interesting. The smaller ones, measuring 2 1/2” x 2 1/2”, have been found with varying size holes, 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” holes. The larger ones, measuring 3” x 3”, have been found with 1/4” holes, either unsigned or signed “U.S.A.”

Four Bend Handles

Aluminum cutters with four bend handles were made in 1924, perhaps earlier.
At least three companies sold aluminum cutters with four bends, Currie-Van Ness, Mirro, and Standard Aluminum Company. Each company had one or more signed cutters. A rectangle has been found signed “Currie-Van Ness.” A fish with signature “2424M” on the handle is a catalog number for the cutter and a smooth edged square cutter is marked “Mirro The Finest Aluminum Made in U.S.A. Trade Mark Registered” on the top of the cutter. A doughnut cutter is signed “Standard Aluminum Co. Two Rivers Wis.”

Other distinctive cutters with four bends are a cat, bear, and pig plus a smooth edged square signed “Apex Stores, Inc.” and a trefoil signed “Drip-o-lator The Better Drip Coffeemaker.” The cat cutter is pictured in a 1931 Jelke Good Luck Margarine booklet, “Good Luck Color Scheme Parties.”

The Standard Aluminum doughnut cutter is a three piece cutter plus the doughnut hole. Other three piece cutters that have been found are smooth edged diamond, smooth edged square and 3” crinkle edged circle. They appear to be made like the doughnut cutter.

Mirro pictured a variety of handles on their cutters. One of the most interesting series do not have holes where the handles are attached to the cutters. Fourteen of them are illustrated in a 1925 Mirro catalog

Aluminum Cutters with Four Bend Handles
No Holes Where Handles are Attached

Four bend handles have been found that are unpainted and painted red, green, blue, and yellow. Most are unpainted, red, or green.

Arched Aluminum Handles

Biscuit cutters with arched aluminum handles were offered for many years. Following are the descriptions from a 1924 Mirro catalog and a 1937 Wear-Ever catalog.

Mirro (1924)

2467-M 1 7/8” 2 1/4”
2468-M 2 3/4 2 5/8
2469-M 3 2 7/8


Wear-Ever (1937)

W-1437 1 3/4” 2 3/8”
W-1428 2 1/2 2 3/4

NOTE: This can only be used as a report in progress. More knowledge of aluminum cutters is being added every day as collectors share information.