Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pyrex Love

{ photo from }

I *LOVE* Pyrex! I can't remember when I stumbled upon this, or when I first started collecting Pyrex... My collection now includes: 1 complete set of four primary colors mixing bowls, 1 yellow #403 (2.5 quart) mixing bowl, 1 brown #401 (1 pint) mixing bowl, 1 red #402 (1.25 quart) mixing bowl, 1 turquoise #401 (1.5 pint) mixing bowl, 1 blue #422 clear bottom nesting bowl, 1 blue #323 clear bottom nesting bowl, 1 yellow #323 clear bottom bowl, 1 #043 (1.5 quart) blue snowflake cinderella oval covered casserole, 1 Flamingo Pink #024 (2 quart) round covered casserole, 1 yellow #503 oven-refrigerator dish without lid, 1 #403 Autumn Harvest mixing bowl, 1 #402 Autumn Harvest mixing bowl, and 2 white Pyrex Hamilton Beach mixing bowls. And, of course, I'm always on the lookout for more!

{ my own #043 (1.5 quart) blue snowflake cinderella oval covered casserole }

The history on the start of Pyrex is actually quite interesting. From "Back in the early 1900's, Corning Glass Works was working on a request from the railroads to produce lantern glass that would not break when the hot glass was struck by rain or snow. In response to this request, Corning developed globes made from low-expansion glass that could withstand the abuses of weathering and handling which readily broke the flint glass globes. Ironically, the shatterproof lantern globes generated were so good that Corning's managers witnessed a decline in sales of replacement globes. This super-tough "fire glass", as it was called, was resistant to temperature fluctuations, chemical corrosion and even breakage.

{ my own #403 Autumn Harvest mixing bowl }

In July 1913, a series of events involving Bessie Littleton, the wife of the company's newest scientist, forced Corning managers to focus their attention on the consumer venture. Apparently, Mrs. Littleton had used a Guernsey brand casserole only twice when it fractured in the oven. Knowing the strength of the glass her husband worked with on a daily basis, she implored him to bring home a substitute from the Corning Glass Works plant. He returned the next evening with the bottoms of two sawed-off battery jars made from low-expansion glasses. Mrs. Littleton cooked a sponge cake in one of the surrogate baking dishes. She noted several remarkable findings:
• The cooking time was shorter
• The cake did not stick to the glass; it was easy to remove wit
h little adhesion
• The cake was unusually uniform

• The flavor of the cake did not remain in the dish after washing

• She could watch the cake bake and know it was done by looking at the underside.

{ Sirkus' 400 series primary colors mixing bowl set from the Pyrex Love pool on Flickr}

Mr. Littleton brought his wife's creation to work the following day. Laboratory researchers inspected the cake, which was a "remarkable uniform shade of brown all over." The men deemed it delicious and very well baked. Thus began a two-year process to perfect this new invention. The notion of baking in glass was a whole new concept to the public. In 1915, a wondrous new line of "glass dishes for baking"
appeared in the nation's hardware, department and china stores. On May 18, 1915, Boston department store Jordan Marsh placed the first PYREX bakeware order." And the rest is history! According to Barbara E. Mauzy’s Pyrex: The Unauthorized Collectors Guide, there are 3 basic types of collectible Pyrex: Clear Pyrex Ovenware (introduced in 1915), Pyrex Flameware (1936 - 1979) and Pyrex Colors (1947 - ?)."

If you're a fan of Pyrex, you should really take the time to check out this website, or browse through the photos on You can seriously spend hours on the site looking at hundreds of beautiful pieces of Pyrex! (I know I did!) I am truly in awe of some of the collections people have!

And if you're looking to add to your Pyrex collection, or start with your first piece...

Happy Shopping!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool....I never knew that....
    Great blog btw!