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Collecting Vintage Kitchen Glassware

March 25th, 2014 4:38 pm by Melissa Baskette

Collecting Vintage Kitchen Glassware

The photo featured shows a set of Fire-King Jade-ite stacking bowls in the Swirl pattern, manufactured from 1949 into the 1950s.

*Thank you to all who entered the spring giveaway. Congratulations to the winner, Linda Hughes of Mt. Carmel

Think back to your mother's kitchen. Or your grandmother's. What do you remember? More than likely, you will recall some type of glassware. Perhaps a colorful Pyrex mixing bowl your mother always used to mix cake batter, or maybe Grandma's glass refrigerator dishes.

A fond memory of mine is my mother's sandwich glass pieces. They were promotional items that came—a piece at a time—inside boxes of oatmeal for a time. I specifically remember teacups, saucers and tumblers. It was so special for me to open the box and discover the mystery dish that came inside.

A piece of vintage kitchen glassware spied in an antique store or thrift shop can immediately take us back in time to a kitchen of our childhood. Found in all colors, the major manufacturers of kitchen glassware were Anchor-Hocking, Fry, Hazel-Atlas, Jeannette, McKee, and Pyrex.

Anchor-Hocking is responsible for the sapphire blue casseroles, bowls, pie plates, and refrigerator containers as well as many decorated bowl sets including tulips, and Gay-Fad. Fry glass manufactured the easily recognizable opalescent covered casseroles, bowls, custards, and other kitchen utility ware.

Hazel-Atlas is best known for blue, crystal, green, and pink criss-cross butter dishes, reamers, bowls, and refrigerator dishes. Jeannette introduced measuring cup sets, butter dishes, bowls, and refrigerator sets in ultramarine, pink, and crystal.

McKee was primarily responsible for individual casseroles with covers, measuring cups, coffee pots, and a distinctive heart-shaped pie plates and casseroles. Pyrex is most recognized for mixing bowl sets. They also produced covered casseroles, measuring cups, and refrigerator sets.

Fire-King, a brand of Anchor-Hocking and similar to Pyrex, was originally produced in the 1940s for everyday use, rather than display. It was started in 1941 and lasted to 2000.

Several varieties of Fire-King dishes were made; nesting bowls, dessert bowls, glass beverage containers, casserole dishes, mugs and more. The vintage nesting bowls, produced by the Anchor Hocking Company, are one of the most sought after collectible dishes of this type.

Fire-King Jade-ite Restaurant Ware is most popular among some collectors. It is a creamy jade. Martha Stewart popularized this pattern by using it on her TV show. In 2000, Fire-King was re-released by Anchor Hocking in Jade-ite. The pieces have been made from new molds and are not the same as the older Fire-King items. They are also stamped "Fire-King 2000."

The photo featured for this blog post shows a set of Fire-King Jade-ite stacking bowls in the Swirl pattern, manufactured from 1949 into the 1950s. I found these at a yard sale about 15 years ago.

Please feel free to contact me at mbaskette@timesnews.net if you have questions or comments.  

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