A Twist on Tradition: From Pyrex Patterns to a Glass Feast

The vast majority of us will be cooking up a storm tomorrow, making our favorite holiday food in some of our favorite dishware reserved for special occasions. Pyrex is a much-loved staple in the American kitchen, and a lot of us have pieces that have been passed down from generation to generation. These are the kinds of things we use on this special day, remembering the stories behind each individual piece.

We took a look through our Pyrex collection and found a unique pattern called “Early American,” made between 1962 and 1971. It would certainly be a fun one to see at any Thanksgiving table!

1-1/2 Quart Pyrex Casserole with Lid in “Early American” pattern, Corning Glass Works, Charleroi Pennsylvania, 1962-1971. 2010.4.287 B

1-1/2 Quart Pyrex Casserole with Lid in “Early American” pattern, Corning Glass Works, Charleroi Pennsylvania, 1962-1971. 2010.4.287 B

We also discovered a great holiday ad from Pyrex, extolling the fact that you no longer had to bake your recipe in one dish and transfer it to another. You could now transfer the same dish from the oven to the table.

Pyrex holiday advertisement. Rakow Research Library. Bib 140430 barcode 1000142830

Pyrex holiday advertisement. Rakow Research Library. Bib 140430 barcode 1000142830

This is just a taste of what will be included in next year’s Pyrex exhibition, America’s Favorite Dish: Celebrating a Century of Pyrex. It will be on display in the Rakow Research Library from June 6, 2015 – March 17, 2016, featuring more than 140 opalware patterns, advertisements and ephemera, and glassware, like the famed stackable measuring cup, redesigned with a detached handle in 1983. The exhibition will show the evolution of Pyrex, how it reflected the current times, and the role it played in shaping the modern American kitchen.

What Pyrex pattern will be on your table this year? Do you have any stories behind some of the favorite pieces you’ll be using? Please share in the comments section below.

Here at the Museum, we’ve been preparing a Thanksgiving meal all our own. Gaffers Eric Meek and Chris Rochelle have been creating what is quite possibly the most time-consuming Thanksgiving meal ever made, but one you can’t gobble down in an hour around a filled dinner table. It features everything from a turkey and mashed potatoes to green beans and cranberry sauce that looks like it came right out of a can. At first glance, it appears good enough to eat—but this holiday table is simply a feast for the eyes. The Glass Feast has been on display before, but not for a handful of years. It is currently on view in the GlassMarket through January 4.

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2 comments » Write a comment

  1. I have an oval baking dish with this pattern in gold on brown.  My mom made casseroles in it.  Its mine now and I bake in it as well.  I’m not a collector, just a cook.

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