Sunday, October 2, 2011

2 October 1957 “Blue Heaven: Collecting Anchor Hocking & Vintage China Mix n Match”

We had a power outage yesterday, the 1st, so both 1 & 2 October are posted today, thank you.

As many of you know, my everyday dishes are the lovely Temporama set I received as a gift on the Christmas the week before I began my 1955 project. Not only do I love their pattern, strength (easy in the dishwasher), and style, but they will always have a special place in my heart. In those timid beginnings in my project way back then, when I would find myself frazzled, apron-stained with various burnt offerings for Hubby’s initial 1950’s breakfasts, the joy of coming into the dinning room of a morning and seeing my lovely blue and white china on a pressed linen table cloth really helped me to move forward. I still contend that a clean pressed table cloth set with lovely dishes or an open cabinet of clean dishes in the kitchen far outweigh the strength of Prozac. At least for me, they did and still do.

There is something about rows of coordinated china that has always got me. It doesn't have to be all the same pattern but I keep my small growing collection with a base color of whites and creams and mostly blue detail.

dishes Here is one of the cabinets in my kitchen displaying my Temporama and some of my Pyrex in the Amish Rooster pattern.

For coffee cups, when we are not using the cup and saucers of my Temporama, I use the standard white anchor hocking fire king coffee mug.anchorhokingwhitemug These mugs come in a vast variety of shapes and patterns and were once even used at Mcdonald’s, possibly as a promotion. firekingmcdonalds

Concerning the size of these, our basic morning coffee mugs, they are definitely a 1950’s measurement. These coffee cups hold exactly one cup or 8 oz. straight up to the brim. While, if you compare it to a modern coffee mug, as I have done here with an old IKEA mug I have, you can see the vast difference in size.mugcomparrison The modern mug is exactly twice the size holding 16 oz. We do drink and eat more today merely by the larger size of our plates, bowls and cups, considering one hot chocolate, say, in a modern mug would be two cups of hot chocolate from the ‘old days’.

Now, another collection of which I have a few pieces, is Royal China, “Blue Heaven” pattern. Here you can see a collection in this Flickr group.blueheaven I have a bowl, some serving plates, the salt, pepper, and creamer pitcher. It blends very nicely with the Temporama design. Here is the stamp from the bottom of one of my bowls.blueheavenstamp You can see it was then made in the USA in Sebring Ohio. The company was bought a few times, finally by Coca-Cola and then disappeared.

Now, Anchor hocking and fireking, which is the company who produced my small white mugs, also did a run of products with the Blue Heaven design. The other day, at our local antique shop, I found a set of six soup bowls in the white fireking with the Blue Heaven pattern stamped in the bottom. whitedishes Here is one of the new bowls on the left with one of my plain berry bowls and mug.

firekingblueheaven Here you can see in this individuals Flickr set, that my plain white mugs can be found with the Blue Heaven stamp, the center is the soup bowl (as I found) and you can see berry bowls with a darling scalloped edge. There are also varying sizes of casserole dishes in this pattern, such as this blueheavencasserole And even darling little individual casseroles that I would love to won one day, like this:blueheavenindividualcasserole These would be great to serve French Onion soup or little individual servings of baked scallops at a summer dinner party alfresco.

  blueheavenglasses They even have drinking, low ball and other size glassware printed with the Blue Heaven pattern. I would love to get a set of these for our bar.

 swisschaletpatternswissalpinedishes Another pattern of which I have no pieces but would like to add to my dishes collection, is the Swiss Chalet (also called Apline)  pattern. This was  manufactured by the Stetson Pottery Company in Lincoln, Illinois and by Marcrest china (Where it was called Swiss Alpine) This is circa 1960.

swisschaletcup Here we see the actual china cup and saucer. And here a Fireking mug stamped with their interpretation of the pattern. swisschaletfireking It seems Fireking/ Anchor Hocking often did such deals with various china patterns. This allowed one to get the get baking quality casseroles, sturdy mugs, and wonderful mixing bows of the Anchor Hocking company and still coordinate with their dish pattern.

A little about the Anchor Hocking (which produces Fireking as one of their product line). Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation  was founded in 1905 by Isaac Jacob Collins.  That company merged with the AnchorCap and Closure Corporations in 1937. Anchor Hocking is primarily located in Lancaster, Ohio. (Plant #44 is located in Monaca, Pennsylvania.) The first glassware they produced as the Anchor Hocking Glass Company was Royal Ruby in 1939.

They were sponsored by the well known radio program, “Casey, Crime Photographer”. I have a few of these episodes on Apron Tv  and here, in part 1, you can hear the radio announcer at the beginning mention the Anchor Hocking company. (Go to the Apron TV link to hear part 2 and more episodes).

So, one can have, without spending much money, a lovely set of dishes. And rather than amass an endless collection of random dishes from here and there or continue to buy ill made modern pieces, you can really have a nice set of dishes. Such patterns as can be found in these old style dishes can really make a difference to a kitchen redo. Some paint (coordinated to your choice of china pattern) and some contrasting or complimentary color as an accent and you can make your kitchen feel brand new without having to spend money on new cabinets or appliances. And in these tight money times, we still want to feel our homes are special but not spend an arm and a leg to do so.

What are your favorite patterns of vintage dishes/china?

Happy Homemaking.

There will be no Vintage News this week, as I have another project I hope to get out to you this week instead, so stay tuned.


  1. Re: cup size. My husband's grandmother, definitely a 50's housewife, always preferred the smaller coffee cups because that way, "the coffee won't get cold" as she's drinking it. (I like the larger cups and not have as many trips to the coffee pot for a refill.)

  2. Aww, this post makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I have a serious soft spot for vintage dishes. Currently I primarily collect Vernonware Raffia, though I have a piece of Blue Heaven, and a piece of Franciscan Oasis. I adore both. I am thinking about starting up a second collection, in blues and whites, but I have no idea what set to go for....there really are so many I like! Here is a post I did ages ago on some vintage sets I love...though I really need to do another!

  3. Lovely! I have just recently begun my ventures into vintage dishware. I love seeing yours!

    I had won an early 60s, I believe, set of milk glass dishes with a gold design. I love them.
    Just a month or so ago, I found some individual fireking little casseroles that are this wonderful iridescent peach/orange.

  4. You make we want to start a new collection of vintage china, but we don’t have such nice things here in Denmark. I often look at the flea markets, but no luck.

    I’m very curious now! :)

  5. I'm a sucker for vintage china patterns

  6. My mom has a few pieces of the Blue heaven set. Vintage dishes are lovely. I have a set I got from my mom that are cream colored with a gold band around the outside. I forget at the moment what they collection is called but they are from the 50's.

  7. I have a couple of the blue heaven little casseroles with the handles, and many other pieces. We still use many of the pieces that are left. Quite a few were sold at garage sales thru the years.

  8. I bought my very first Blue Heaven plate today at Goodwill! I love the pattern and would love to get more pieces. Would you ever dare put them in the dishwasher or microwave?


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