Many people across the world collect vintage Pyrex, the attractive shapes and varied patterns, along with it's usefulness in the kitchen keeps people coming back for more. Pyrex was invented by US company Corning Incorporated in 1915, it began life as glassware for laboratory equipment. 



above...early pastel green sundae dish set, also available in blue, yellow and red...

J.A. Joblings started making Pyrex in Sunderland, England in 1922, after hearing about the technique for making glassware that wouldn't shatter at high temperatures - This is why the mark on Pyrex includes the abbreviation JAJ (I've always wondered!)
 



Joblings quickly realised that Pyrex could be created for the home, and secured the licence to manufacture it in the UK, it went on to be sold right around the world.

below...a stunning large red Pyrex serving platter...



The highly successful Pyrex range became a household name, and includes casseroles, bowls, dinner services, serving dishes,  plates, jugs, sundae dishes, mixing bowls and more.



above...snowflake in black

It is said that Pyrex was part of a social revolution, after the First World War people generally no longer had domestic help and servants; middle class women suddenly had to learn to cook! By making Pyrex attractive to women, it became a must-have item for the home.



above...snowflake in turquoise

Pyrex was a wonder because for the first time you could safely take a meal straight from the oven to the table to be served! Being attractive and stylish with up to the minute patterns and designs, it was also 'posh' enough to serve when you had guests round and was really easy to wash up and keep in good order (as against other kitchenware at the time which needed a lot of scrubbing).



above... a 50s stars coffee pot...Below a more modern 60/70s orange version...



In the 2nd World War, Pyrex advocated it's wares to housewives on rations - their casserole dishes could be used for more economical recipes such as stews. Popping everything into one lidded dish meant that food could be prepared quickly and easily, and it saved on fuel as Pyrex retained heat so well. 



above...pastel custard cups or ramekin dishes

It was when Pyrex introduced white opalware glass in 1954, that many design and patterns could be added. Pyrex did this with gusto, and Pyrex's success was astronomical! In the late 50s the first coloured patterns were launched. These designs included Snowflake, Gooseberry, Daisy and Gaiety.



above...Daisy in pink



The peak production of Pyrex took place in the 1960s, with 25 new patterns such as Fiesta, Harvest, Matchmaker, Chelsea and Autumn Glory.



By the 70s Pyrex were adding lidded fridge savers, storage pots, butter dishes, mixing and measuring bowls as well as rolling pins and storage jars to their range. 



At one time over 3,000 people worked at the Sunderland factory, however since 2007 Pyrex has been manufactured in France. 



There are many makers who have emulated Pyrex, companies such as Anchor Hocking who made the Fireking range, Pyrosil and also Federal in the USA for instance.



below... some of the many shapes Pyrex oven and storageware comes in...



We adore the cute sundae dishes in red, yellow and blue below...



Pyrex made graduated sizes of mixing bowls which were sold in sets of 3, it's great if you can find a complete set like the 1970s (?) brightly coloured ones shown below...



Earlier bowls were pastel, the one below has handle on one side and pourer on the other...



Below...a Pyrex gravy jug and pourer in pastel green...



Information on this page will be updated as and when we learn more, and is based upon our current knowledge.



Pyrex in the yay retro! shop

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