Though Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., the nonprofit trade association for the region’s chicken industry, has ended its sponsorship of the Delmarva Chicken Festival, the giant fry pans that cooked chicken from 1950 to 2014 soon will have new roles in promoting the chicken industry.
The original one-piece fry pan, first used at the 1950 Delmarva Chicken Festival in Dover and last used in 1987, has been donated to the Georgetown Historical Society for display at the Nutter D. Marvel Carriage Museum. The museum is home to a collection of historic objects and memorabilia related to Sussex County and Delaware’s history. Sussex County is the largest producer of meat chickens in America, and Georgetown was the site of the first Delmarva Chicken Festival.
“It was appropriate that the original fry pan be put on display at Georgetown because of the area’s significance to our industry,” said DPI Executive Director Bill Satterfield. “We look forward to working with the Georgetown Historical Society to help it promote our industry.”
The 1988 replacement fry pan has been acquired by The English Company, known to generations for its delicious fried chicken. The English Company will use the pan to prepare chicken across Delmarva at festivals, community events and other venues. The English Company looks forward to taking possession of this Delmarva icon and using it to promote chicken and the well-known English brand. Satterfield said the DPI decision to transfer ownership of the pan to The English Company would allow greater use of the pan than if it was transferred to just one community.
Several Delmarva communities expressed interest in owning the pan for their local events, but DPI thought the proposal offered by The English Company would better serve the interests of the chicken industry. Anyone interested in working with The English Company can contact Phil Hall at 443-254-4793 and email@example.com.
Both pans were constructed by Mumford Sheet Metal Works of Selbyville. When built in 1950, it was the world’s largest known fry pan. The 1988 replacement version of the same size, however, was surpassed in size by several other pans in America and around the world. Nevertheless, Delmarva’s giant fry pans easily were recognized in the Mid Atlantic region as a symbol of Delmarva’s chicken industry.