Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Colors of Fire-King and Pyrex

1955 Pyrex Advertisement
What would the mid century be without a little colored tempered soda-lime glass? Can you imagine thrift stores with NO pyrex or fireking glassware? I avoided this stuff for years but over the weekend I had to do the unthinkable and at an auction bought a lot of the ubiquitous colored kitchen 'must haves'.

It was the end of a long day and maybe 5 people were left on the floor, all the big draw items had sold and as the auctioneer got into the mode of asking "$60, 50, 40, 20 first 10 takes it all" for each of the remaining shelves of grungy stuff, I raised my hand printed card with the number 84 scrawled in blue sharpie and broke my standing commitment, taking home an old Uhaul box of the colored glass.

After washing and picking all the baked on grease, grease, and more grease from the ageless collection I think I may have found some cool cookware for potato salad and cole slaw... I'll use it and see what all the fuss is about :)

Fire-King mugs and Pyrex Dishware
There is soooo much information on the web about these dishwares, I will not be able to say anything new - except that I have finally joined the crowd and have some Pyrex and Fire-King in the cupboard.

Pyrex Love 
The set I procured is a rather eclectic mix 40's, 50's and 60's wares including the '400 Multicolored Mixing Bowls' set in primary colors. All were in pretty good shape with colors still bright and only a few scratches.

The squat round bowl is labeled 024 and is a wonderful shade of Turquoise. Though it was in the worst shape when I brought them home, it actually cleaned up very nicely. First introduced in 1956 this is my favorite color so far.

The 2 square red pieces are Refrigerator sets, billed as “oven-refrigerator sets”. In 1949, a refrigerator set was issued in three of the colors of the first 400 bowls. The yellow was the 1.5-quart size, blue was 1.5 pints, and red was 1.5 cups. I had 2 of the red (without lids) in the lot I purchased.

The small pink mixer introduced in 1956 came from another set in the 300/400 series. It is one of the more popular solid color sets and both 400 (4-bowls) and 300 (3-bowls, no large) sets were sold.

The Blue Dots bowl comes from the "New Dots' set that was introduced in 1967. I had never seen these until it was included in this auction lot but they are quite familiar to those in the know.

The Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation was formed in 1937 as result of a merger and is best known for its Fire-King glass which was manufactured from about 1940 until 1976. Fire-King was a brand rather than a pattern, and although it is usually associated with ovenware and refrigerator containers, it was also used on a wide variety of patterns and colors of dinnerware, mixing bowls, and coffee mugs.
1940's Advertisement for Jadeite Dishware
For many collectors of this dishware older seems to be better and since Anchor-Hocking has been producing glassware for so long dating can be a challenge. Many resources exist on the web and of course just take a browse at E-Bay and you will find samples from the oldest to the newest.

I actually ended up with 4 different types of mugs in the little sample I bought.

  • The White mug is a 60's square-handled “Standard” coffee mug
  • The Blue mugs are 1950's version of the “Standard” coffee mug and are most confusingly referred as 'Azurite', 'Delphite' or Turquoise. The collectors seem to use Azurite more often than not. 
  • The Green 'Jade-ite' mugs were made in the mid to late 1940's (one is standard the other is a flat bottom 'shaving mug' style). 


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