Syrup kettles are cast iron relics of old farms and plantations in the south. They were used to boil down sugar cane juice, to render syrup, so originally they had fire under them. They were multi faceted: Many farmers scalded hogs in them at butchering time. The make great planters, fountain bases and firepits. You should spend a lot of time on the syrup kettle portfolio: we've shipped these to a ton of talented designers across the country, and they've sent us a ton of pictures with great ideas. Many are unmarked, but some carry markings where they were cast including Chattanooga, Savannah, Macon, or Columbus. But again, many are plain.