Did you know that Pyrex Glassware is 100 years old this year? I don’t know about you, but I love my vintage Pyrex. I’ve been enjoying doing a little reading about the history of Pyrex and this comes directly from their website:
“The idea for Pyrex Glassware came from the industrious wife of a Corning Glass Works scientist who was frustrated with her unreliable casserole dish. Knowing the strength of the railroad signal lantern glass her husband worked with, she begged him to bring home something she could use in the kitchen. Voilà, the Pyrex baking dish was born. Two years later, Boston department store Jordan Marsh placed the first order for Pyrex Glassware. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Isn’t that a neat little piece of history attached to the amazingly beautiful vintage Pyrex that crosses our path? I think it is interesting that it was really the Farmgirl spirit 100 years ago that said, “I need something that will work better than what I have” and she got it! (I think there might be a little lesson there!)
I have numerous pieces of vintage pyrex that I love hugely and use every single day.
Probably my favorite are the nesting bowls. I found out that Pyrex made these bowls in 1945, they were the first nesting bowls that Pyrex made and the first time they dabbled in color.
I use the yellow one when I make my bread dough. It is large enough to give it room to rise perfectly.
I love using the smaller red size when I make my daily salad for lunch! It is my favorite bowl to eat out of.
In all my reading this week about Pyrex I came across this ad for these nesting bowls. I think it is darling.
I keep my nesting bowls handy to my baking area because I use them that much.
And then there are the refrigerator dishes. Oh how I love these. I’m one of these Farmgirls that hate plastic. I really don’t have any plastic storage containers in my kitchen. I use the vintage Pyrex refrigerator dishes almost exclusively for storing food in the refrigerator. And even though I have a few new pieces, they are way back in my cabinet and I always use my vintage ones first!
This picture shows you how awesome they fit in the refrigerator.
I also never use a microwave (can you believe I don’t even own one?) and I love that the Pyrex goes straight from the refrigerator to the oven. Or the oven to the refrigerator! My husband loves meat loaf and the little yellow Pyrex refrigerator dish is the perfect size.
There are so many patterns, colors, and designs. You can look up Vintage Pyrex on Pinterest and just about scroll into infinity! But probably one of my favorite designs is the one above, the Friendship pattern. This one was made in 1971 when the country was all about peace and love. That makes me happy! I wish I had more of this pattern, and honestly I did. But we made a huge move 2000 miles across the United States and somehow my other pieces did not make the move with us. Someday, I’ll replace them.
This is a screen shot of part of my Pyrex Pinterest board!
I recognize that deep in my heart I would love to own all sorts of sets and styles. I also realize that I have to be really careful in collecting or I will never stop! I think it could turn into an addiction very quickly!
But I have these perfect open shelves above my baking counter in my kitchen that I keep my Pyrex on… and I’m really thinking a few more styles, patterns, and colors would look so awesome. What do you think? (Smile!) Can’t you just see those shelves above overflowing with vintage Pyrex?
I have purchased full mixing bowl sets for my daughter and my daughter in law and they love them as much as I do, which makes my heart very happy. The above picture is in my daughter’s kitchen and is the set that I gave her a number of years ago. She also keeps hers handy to her baking area.
One of the most important things I can say about owning vintage Pyrex is to never put it in the dishwasher. They were made before dishwasher days so the color will very quickly fade if not washed by hand. Some people would find that an inconvenience, but I never mind washing mine in the sink.
To celebrate their 100th Anniversary, Pyrex has made some fun new pieces you can collect. I like the measuring cups, so I’m thinking I may get a few of those. I love that Pyrex still makes their glassware in the United States, they are 100% BPA free and they are still made to go from refrigerator to oven. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe now.
What pieces of vintage Pyrex do you own and what are your favorites? Let me know what piece you’d like to buy to celebrate 100 years of Pyrex – new or vintage?
Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.
I don’t have any vintage pyrex but I have been slowly replacing all plastic containers after I realize plastic containers hold not only smells but mold. Pyrex is all I use on a regular basis.
I wish I kept my mothers as she had quite a few pyrex. I loved the contemporary variety and sizes. I just love the custard dishes for puddings. I wish we had a pyrex outlet store near me. The only place I can find pyrex is at Walmart. They had a black friday sale at Christmas time and I bought quite a few
sets. Gave them as gifts too, as I want my kids to be healthier and not use plastic. I love pyrex! I been sold on it fir sometime. If only people would realize the danger f using plastic, they’d stop using it.
I learned that mold and mildew grow in plastic and it also gets ingrained into the plastic so its never really clean. The fungus and mold survives in minuscule amounts. I first notice it in a water container. It appeared as a crack at first’ then it grew. You could literarily see the verbs of the fungus on the container. It was then I vowed I would get rid of all plastic cobtainers as they are unhealthy vessels for microbes to grow as it eats into the plastic. No more plastic for me! Only pyrex!
I just loving using my Pyrex for food storage – more for the reason that I love being able to just stick it straight in the oven!
Thanks for writing.
– Dori –
I enjoy your blog so much. Just had to let you know the Pyrex is awesome, my mom and grand mom have shared all the pieces you pictured and I use them everyday!!! Thanks for all the things you share with us.
Thank you for reading! I’m happy that you love your Pyrex too. Don’t you think they are the most functional glassware ever?
– Dori –
i had the colored nesting bowls-unfortunately my red one broke….do you know of a good source for replacements?!
Ebay is a great source for replacing your red bowl. Unfortunately, they are not cheap. You can bid on one but they do tend to go high. I did a quick search and found one on a “buy it now” deal with a price of $29.99, which is probably a pretty good price. But then you have shipping on top of that. If you live near any antique stores that is a pretty good bet also. I’m lucky that I live near numerous antique stores. I’ll keep an eye out for you and let you know if I ever see one for cheap!
– Dori –
Since I am vintage, I have lots of vintage Pyrex too. But when we were married 53 years ago I had a Pyrex cook pan. I was boiling water in the pan and it broke in two. Luckily I wasn’t standing next to it. That is the only time I have heard of pyrex breaking. I have some of my mothers pyrex too and that is used.
Thanks for that information.
When I read your comment I remembered my daughter breaking a Pyrex casserole dish that she accidentally set on a hot burner on her stove and it literally shattered. Which is funny since it is oven safe. But maybe not burner safe. Or maybe it was defective. I don’t know. But it was pretty dangerous the way that it shattered.
Thanks for writing!
– Dori –
Bonnie, I was wrong on the Pyrex that my daughter broke. It was in the oven and she was baking a loaf of bread in it and it shattered everywhere. So, evidently there are times when Pyrex does break. And maybe it was defective in some way. – Dori –
Does old Corningware count? my favorite piece is the old (60s? 70? I don’t know) coffee cups. I love my current dishes, but I still wish that shaped cup was available in open stock.
Old Corningware definitely counts!!!! I love some of the old Corningware.
– Dori –
I have that same set of nesting Pyrex bowls. The color has been ruined by washing in the dishwasher. They will be used for a long, long time. However, I didn’t get them for the $2.46 mentioned in the year 1946. Thanks for sharing the information about Pyrex. I had no idea they were connected with the Corning Glass Works.
Yeah mine weren’t $2.46 either!!! It is nice that even though the color is faded from the dishwasher, your Pyrex are as functional as ever! Pyrex has a very interesting history, doesn’t it?
Thanks for writing!
– Dori –
Love your vintage pyrex! I recently purchased a small round container with a lid. It definitely reminded me of the 70s, and now I know it is the Friendship pattern. How fun! Your kitchen looks so cute with your pyrex.
Don’t you love that Friendship pattern??? And the ones that have the lids are awesome. That is what I had that got lost in the move somehow. (Isn’t that weird how that happens?!)
Thanks for writing!
– Dori –
What a fun read! I love the nesting bowl ad. That set is my favorite also! I use it everyday. I would like a few more refrigerator dishes and I saw a picture of some ruffle edged cereal bowls that I would love to have. Vintage all the way for me!
I would love to have that Pyrex Ad! I’d hang it right in my kitchen! I saw those ruffled edged cereal bowls too. I also saw them in pie plates and they were so beautiful I almost started hyperventilating! But I haven’t been able to find them for sale on ebay, etsy, or anywhere.
Love you terribly dear friend and miss you really terribly!!!
– Dori –
Am I the only one who teared up at the picture of the big yellow bowl with rising dough? That photo yanked me back in time to a weekly scene in our house. My mom baked 6 loaves twice a week. She did all the work – we had the tough job of “testing” the bread, warm from the oven, when we came home from school. Thanks for the stroll down Memory Lane. Oh yeah, I still have the bowls! And, like you, use them every day.
I think possibly that is why I love my bread dough rising in the yellow bowl because it brings back the best memories ever. Isn’t warm bread out of the oven the best memory? And my Mom always made a few doughnuts from her dough each week. It was our sweet treat once a week!
Thanks for writing!
– Dori –
I enjoy seeing the older Pyrex also.. I look at it longingly at the thrift or antique stores, alas only so much room in my kitchen.. The small blue bowl of the nesting set was the tune fish bowl at our house when I was growing up! I look at it and remember tuna fish sandwiches with potato chips and chocolate milk!!!
Yes… at some point we must say no to adding more things to our kitchen! That is sort of my dilemma too. When we built our house I really downsized in my kitchen junk and clutter and so I’m hesitant to buy more Pyrex, even though I want it!!!
Oh that is so funny about the blue bowl being the tuna fish bowl in your house when you were growing up because that is exactly what I use it for!!! It is just the perfect size for that!
– Dori –
The nesting bowls are totally my favorite, & on my wish list. My grandmother had a set that now my mom uses. So many memories of grandma’s kitchen! I love glass too rather than plastic.
You need to put Rod and Lu on the look out for you at the auctions they go to!!! They can find you a set I bet! Of course they are really expensive right now; I think they gained in popularity and the price is really up.
And yes, I love the memories attached to them too.
– Dori –
I wasn’t going to admit I have 2 sets of nesting bowls.. I plan on selling one . Guess I should give my sis first bids. It is shocking how high these can go at auction. We watched a set sell for 95.00 recently. Ouch!
Oh that is absolutely hilarious!!!! I was going to call and alert you of her comment and say, “When does Max have a birthday”?!! I saw a set at an antique store recently for over $100, of course it WAS Franklin, TN so you can’t totally count that. Ha Ha!
Did I say how much I miss you???
I have the nesting bowl in the earth colors, brown and beige. I use mine for making Irish Soda Bread every St Patricks Day. In the summer I use them for salads at picnics. Thanks for the article. I will be on the lookout for the anniversary specials.
They are great for picnics and potlucks. People act surprised when I use mine outside on the picnic table – but I don’t worry about them breaking. I just want to use them and enjoy them! I’ve seen the ones in the earth tones and they are beautiful too.
– Dori –
I love this post and all this vintage Pyrex! I super love the white and blue that your daughter has! And the fridge pieces!!! If you saw my fridge, you would not want to be friends anymore.
If I used vintage things, I would break them in no time. Probably even Pyrex.
Love the history!!
Love the post!
Love vintage Pyrex!
Love your kitchen!
I don’t think you would break your Pyrex. It’s got to be a pretty good fall on tile or something. Believe you me, if it was easy to break they would be broken in my house because I’m the biggest klutz of all time!
Love you back!
– Dori –
My grandparents gave me the pink and white set of bowls for a high school graduation gift and I used them for many years! The large one was perfect for whipping up an angel food cake, that was the first dessert I made for my hubby when we were married 55 years ago. Thankfully I still have my husband and wish I had the bowls too!
You always have the most inspiring posts!!
What a neat graduation present… I bet you really do wish you still had those dishes! I’m glad you have your husband though!
Thanks for writing!!!
– Dori –
Hi Dori, I have a cute story to tell you about our experience with the nesting bowls in our family. My mother-in-law had the bowls and used them for years. when she passed away, my daughter wanted tthem in the worst way, so she has them. Unfortunately her cat jumped up and knocked the green one off the counter on day and it broke. I searched antiques stores in our area, ebay, etsy to find a replacement. Like you said some online places were pricy and none were found locally. By Christmas 2013 I finally found a set at an antiques store here. I had to buy the whole set. But the price was great – $38.00! So daughter got the green bowl for Christmas, and I kept the rest and began using them. About 2 weeks ago we were at an estate sale and they had TWO green bowls for sale – $12.00 per bowl. Not a bad price. So now I have a complete set too! (smile)
Love also some refrigerator pieces that i inherited from an aunt.
So enjoy your posts – like a good friend stopping by with some interesting news.
I love that story!!! So glad you found replacement bowls! And now you have a set too! And $38 for a full set? WOW!!! I’ve been seeing them at antique stores for well over $100. It’s crazy. I think maybe it has gained in popularity so the price really went up.
And I think it is so awesome how badly your daughter wanted those bowls. I think now that I’m older I have a greater love and appreciation for older things like vintage Pyrex, but honestly I didn’t feel that way when I was young. I’m thankful that my daughter and my daughter in law do. It is special when our daughters recognize the value of things from the past, isn’t it?
Thank you so much for writing… I always feel like the readers that comment are like good friends stopping by to visit too! You said it very well.
– Dori –
Beautiful collection, thank you for sharing. I have a pyrex collection displayed on shelves in my kitchen. May I send you a photo? The large yellow nesting bowl, in my family is called the potato salad bowl. Want to know how much potato salad to make? Fill the bowl, always served in that special bowl. I found a second yellow bowl a few years back at a flea market $10.00 I was thrilled to have a spare.
Please do send me a picture! I would love that. You can email me here: email@example.com. I’ll watch for it!
That yellow bowl is absolutely perfect for potato salad – I make mine in it too!!! The best size for so many things.
I keep my eye out for replacement bowls just in case and I haven’t been lucky enough to find any at a good price. They sure can get pricey can’t they? And garage sales and thrift stores are awesome, but I don’t frequent them enough to find the pyrex I guess!
Thanks for writing and I’ll be excited to see your picture!
– Dori –
I can’t believe I found someone that loves Pyrex as much as I do!! Wonderful to find a fellow Pyrex friend! I also hunt garage sales for them and do find pieces that way! I also HATE plastic and like you, have a few pieces stuck way in the back of my pantry! Can’t stand them! Gives me the “ughs”!! Ha! My husband was an auctioneer and had a few “estate” boxes left over that he had taken home. Many years later when we married, he came across one of the boxes. Inside were the nesting, colored bowls!! I nearly fainted and screamed with delight!! I had been wanting these for years and never found them! Now I have my own set!!
I want to say how much I enjoy your website and ideas. We think so much alike. Keep the writings going, we all enjoy them so much.
What a find – I would’ve screamed and nearly fainted too!!! Don’t you wonder sometimes if plastic will go out of style and everyone will go back to glassware again?
Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. And for writing me!
– Dori –
I live in Corning,NY where Pyrex was developed. My husband was born and raised here and worked in “pressware” many years ago. We have the beautiful world famous Corning Museum of Glass right here in our own backyard. Thanks for your walk down memory lane. So glad you are still using your pieces as we are although your collection is more extensive and in much better shape!! Judy
I looked at the Corning Museum of Glass online and oh my goodness. I want to visit! I see they have a Pyrex exhibit right now and that would be so much fun to see. It looks like a fantastic museum. It is as awesome in person? What a neat piece of history to live close to!
I’m going to put this on my list of things I want to see!
– Dori –
Hi Dori– Love your news and that you don’t own a microwave EITHER !! Kindred spirits indeed. I’m still using my Pyrex baking dish with the vegies from 1972. A wedding present. I have several pieces, green refridgerator dish, yellow bowls and somewhere is a white bowl with the yellow dots. Must find. Too fun ! I also have a “Fire King” large bowl with the too cute Tulips. A favorite. Does Fire King count? I wish I had not sold my sunflower oval baking dish at a yard sale…………what was I thinking? I love to open your emails, thanks for being our ranch sister.
Yes Fire King counts! And that Fire King bowl with the tulips I think is pretty valuable right? I’ve seen the sets and they are expensive – like really expensive. I like the bowls, what a neat shape they are!
I know it; I kick myself for things I gave away!
Thanks so much for writing to me!
– Dori –
Oh, Pyrex… It is nothing but a love affair!
I have the pink and white nested bowls from the late 50’s/early 60’s. My mother received a set as a wedding gift (1959) and about 15 years ago I found the exact same set at a thrift store in the country for EIGHT DOLLARS. My mother and father are divorced, and my mother did not get to take her bowls with her (long story) and when she saw mine, she said, “how did you get those away from your dad?” I had to tell her I had bought my own. Whenever I’m at my dad’s, I look to see if they are still there, and they are. I may ask my stepmom if I can have them at some point. I remember them from when I was very young, so they have some sentimental value for me as well.
I also have several refrigerator dishes with the turquoise chicken motif, they have followed me for many years. I have a yellow mixing bowl with a lip, I got it at a garage sale for a quarter. 😉 I have several Pyrex loaf pans.
But the greatest thing I have? I found the 8-cup Pyrex handled measuring cup. It is ancient, I can tell by the thickness of the glass and the way the measurements are crafted. I have wanted one FOREVER and found it at a Restore thrift store in the next town over. It was $8, and I waffled a bit on it, but bought it anyway.
I, too, don’t like plastics but since I tote my lunch to work, as do my kids and my husband, I’m afraid the glass would get dropped/broken, or worse yet, lost.
You have some great finds at amazing prices!!! That just makes them all the more exciting doesn’t it? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the original 8-cup measuring cup. That is an amazing find. Glad you bought it!
Yes, you should ask you stepmom someday about the bowls – the sentimental value is worth a lot. I think it is nice that your Dad kept them.
Plastics do work great for lunches on the go. They certainly do have their place at times, don’t they?
Dori, I love pyrex as well, and have just started collecting pieces from Estate sales. The best place to purchase and find old ones at great prices. ALso, have been picking up some pieces of Fire King. Gotta be on the look out now for those colorful nesting bowls, I do have some tan nesting bowls but not as old and not as cool. Be BLessed and I too want to order some of the anniversary pieces that one day I will pass down to my boys (who are both great cooks and love being in the kitchen). Neta
Here in this area where we live they don’t tend to have estate sales, they have auctions and the prices of everything goes sky high. I love Fire King and I have a few pieces of that also. I have a salt and pepper shaker set that I love.
Passing the Anniversary pieces down to your sons is a great idea. I love that you have boys that are great cooks and enjoy it. That is very special.
– Dori –
i also do not have a microwave—-and plastic is not used for food storage at all—–my pyrex bowls i found at a house sale by a cemetary on a weekday–not even an organized sale–just look inthe cupboards and give a price———–so for the 4 bowl set in very good condition and 2 refrigerator glass boxes —–i paid around 3 dollars!!!!! i also have some blue and white corningware pieces and 2 round covered pyrex baking sets which i love!!!!!!!!!noreen
Wow was that an exciting day!!! I would love to happen on to a sale like that one!
– Dori –
Hi Dori, You and I had this conversation last week, lol. Like I mentioned, I have purchased some of the “dots” because I love them. I myself am not a collector, though know so many who do. I have other vintage bowls, but I do appreciate them… love the colors and they bring back memories of my mom using hers.
I do wish I could find some of the refrigerator bowls! I have been searching for some time now! Great post!
Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl)
Hi Nicole! Continuation of our email conversation…. (thanks for that, by the way!).
The best place to find the refrigerator dishes is probably ebay. I notice them in our antique stores occasionally, but not too often. They are a hot item I think! One time years ago I bought a “lot” off of ebay that had bits and pieces so having those along with the other two full sets I have is really nice.
Have a good week!
Hugs – Dori –