I wonder how many of you grew up with some thing like this in your kitchen cupboards? Could you name the brand? Of course you could – it’s Pyrex!
My Mum had a few glass dishes used for serving but my Grandparents were obviously even bigger fans of Pyrex, having a whole dinner service form the popular Opalware range.
This set had enormous oval plates with this very kitsch design around the outside. Thick, strong and durable – pretty trendy at the time I imagine.
This year marks 100 years since Pyrex began selling their wares and their origins are actually quite fascinating. The glass was originally developed as tough glass used for lanterns on the new American railroad. One of the scientists developing it bought the bottom of some jars home and his wife used them for baking. She marvelled at the evenness of the bake and how she could see what was happening in the dish because of the transparent nature of the glass. Pyrex was born!
It’s pretty iconic and the range of Pyrex sold over the years is vast. How many casseroles, stews and fish pies have been served up over the years in these dishes? I have a few pieces myself although I must admit I prefer the plain glass to the opalware – I find some of that a bit kitsch, although if you search on instagram some people’s collections of American Pyrex do make me stop and get a bit jealous.
The pieces I own are the more functional ones – such as the measuring jugs. I love these, they don’t stain or get pitted like the cheap plastic ones, they are strong and durable and last years.
I also love the basins and these are in and out of my cupboard a million times a week because they’re just so useful. I pop them in the microwave to heat things up, whisk eggs in them and use them for weighing ingredients out.
So from humble beginnings and the experimentation of a keen baker came a range of cookware that’s become a staple in homes all over the world. I’m becoming more and more fond of the milky glassware and I do keep an eye out for some of the folksy patterns I see online. Maybe one day I’ll take the plunge! Until then I can guarantee there will always be some well used Pyrex in my kitchen cupboards – Happy Birthday Pyrex!
It is with a party hat and dish of nibbles I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!