Collecting Vintage Pyrex
inSeptember 12, 2013 - 3:46pm
As I was wandering around the consignment shop I usually visit every few weeks, I saw quite a few pieces of Pyrex baking dishes and wondered if people were still collecting them. So, I thought I would take a look into the history of Pyrex.
The Corning Glass works introduced Pyrex to the public for the first time around 1915, making glass beakers, etc. for the scientific field. Corning then sold the rights to make Pyrex to British glassmakers in Sunderland, England, headed by James Jobling. At first they mainly produced clear glass baking ware. The first piece to be produced was a clear glass pie plate. Then around 1936 they produced what was called Flame-ware, a clear glass with a hint of blue.
By the late 1920s there were millions of pieces in people's homes. By the 1930s, Pyrex had become a household name and women just loved this bake-ware because it would bake everything evenly and was so easy to clean. Yeah! No scrubbing.
The colored pieces and patterns were introduced around the latter part of the 1940s. There are way too many different patterns to print, but, here are a few. "Americana", "Autumn Harvest" and "Balloons", (which was a one time promotional item).
I remember receiving my first set of mixing bowls in 1974 as a wedding present. They were in the blue "Amish" pattern and I just loved them. Another pattern I love is "Dots" which comes with a white background and these bright colored red, green, blue and yellow dots. So bright and cheerful. I have only seen this pattern a couple of times, as it is one of the more sought after patterns.
You can find Pyrex in thrift and consignment stores, yard sales, flea markets and of course on the internet. The colors I usually see are the gold and green pieces. A lot of the colored pieces I see have faded and I really would not purchase these. So many love the brightly colored dishes because they can be displayed, making our kitchens so cheery and bright. Also, lets not forget that Pyrex also produced carafes for serving coffee, tea, and other beverages. There is the very sought after clear glass coffee pot. If you see one, you might just want to grab it, as they go pretty fast.
By 2005, the factory in Sunderland had closed its doors, perhaps making Pyrex Corning ware even more sought after and collectible. Pyrex is still being made today in the U.S., but mainly in clear glass and yes, I think we still love it for the ease of use and cleaning. So with all that said, who would have thought that everyday baking dishes would have been so collectible in the past and still today. I guess it is true what they say, "What goes around, comes back around once again!"
Margaret Rabesa of Saltymaggie's Treasures on Ruby Lane