Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pining for Pyrex

I love wandering through antique stores. But I've found that wandering is enhanced when you're also hunting.

I've always been drawn to Pyrex®* dishes. No surprise there—bright colors, patterns that blatantly reveal their generation, and shapes that are extraordinarily similar, but just different enough that you want them all.

The idea for Pyrex Glassware came in 1915 from the industrious wife of a Corning Glass Works scientist who was frustrated with her unreliable casserole dishes. 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. The Pyrex baking dish was born. Two years later, it was being sold in department stores. The Pyrex line grew to includes durable products for the entire kitchen in all sorts of colors and patterns.**

White daisy casserole dishes atop one of my greatest antique store scores of all time: a 104-drawer card catalog from Grand Rapids' Community College Library, found at Victoria's Antique Warehouse.

White daisy, more commonly referred to as pink daisy, is the pattern I've decided to prey upon. The design debuted in 1957 and appeared on less than a dozen pieces (though it has been paired with different accessories and re-released as different promotions). It's not an entirely common pattern, which only adds to its charm and appeal.

Now, it's easy to find Pyrex collections online, but I consider that cheating. For me, antiquing is more about the process; about wandering through antique malls and the time spent being inspired by the treasures you find there.

Here's a few of my favorite antique malls in West Michigan:
  • Century Antiques:
    445 Century Ave. SW | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | 616.233.4000
  • Victoria's Antique Warehouse:
    449 Century Ave. SW | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | 616.235.9292
  • Sheri's Antiques:
    3270 Chicago Drive | Grandville, MI 49418 | 616.249.8066
  • Somewhere in Thyme:
    4165 Chicago Drive SW | Grandville, MI 49418 | 616.534.7948
  • Blue Star Antique Pavilion:
    2948 Blue Star Hwy | Douglas, MI 49406 | 269.857.6041
  • Lake Odessa Antique Mall:
    1014 4th Avenue
    | Lake Odessa, MI 48849 | 616.374.3089

*Please note, I am not a licensed collector or expert on Pyrex. These thought are merely based on my experience and observations.
**History from the Pyrex
® website.


  1. That's fascinating. I never knew the history of Pyrex. Makes me want to go hunting myself. Could you provide a list of recommended antique store in Colorado. Thanks!

  2. My mom has a set of nesting bowls in the turquoise blue/rooster print you have pictured and I WANT them!