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Tales from the thrift.

March 21, 2014

Well… it’s been a long time since I posted about my thrifty finds, hasn’t it? I think it was last June August when I posted that huge post about (almost) every awesome thing I had. But there’s a good reason for it: I haven’t really had time to go thrifting! Between everything that’s been going on with me & then the house reno stuff, it was impossible.

The other reason is that the few times I did happen to go, I didn’t find anything. Disappointment central. Then… I got lucky! Twice in a row.

So here’s a new TALES FROM THE THRIFT!*

Tales from the Thrift!

In case you didn’t know, I collect vintage stuff. Mostly housewares. And two of my favorite things to collect are vintage jars & Pyrex. I like the 1950’s/early 1960’s patterns and colors the most; the pinks, pale greens, turquoises, black & whites, etc. I love (& collect, or at least I’m attempting to in some cases) the Gooseberry, Pink Daisy, Balloons, DuchessMidnight Bloom, Flamingo, Pink Daisy, Golden Scroll, Starburst, Black Tulip, Butterprint, Medallion, Pink Scroll, Stems, Snowflake, New Dots & Barbed Wire patterns, among others. However a few of the green & bright blue patterns I like are from the late 60’s or 70’s, such as Spring Blossom.

And also like these blue snowflake/snowflake blue mixing bowls *:

1960's/1970's blue snowflake Pyrex Cinderella bowls.

The large bowl cost me around 5 bucks, the small one 3 bucks. The price on the large bowl was originally $9.00 at the thrift shop, but I got it on sale. I love my big vintage Pyrex mixing bowls. They’re actually the only vintage Pyrex pieces I use– the rest are display pieces (other than the fairly common clear pie plates, like you’ll see later in this post). I had never seen this pattern around in my travels (just on the internet), and I was amazed at the condition of these bowls! They’re practically perfect. And speaking of perfect…

In that same trip I got this awesome milk glass batter bowl! It’s Federal Glass, and according to internet sources it’s dated anywhere from 1940 to mid-1950’s. This baby is REALLY mint. It needed a good cleaning; but after some Bon Ami & a lot of elbow grease, it looked as good as new. This was a particularly excellent find because I had been wanting a batter bowl & was contemplating buying a Le Creuset one to match my French oven.

Federal Glass milk glass batter bowl.

I found this exact bowl for $35.00. I paid about $2.95 for it, so I think I got a good deal. Especially considering this & others by Fire-King are going for anywhere from $20 to $40 a pop. Yes, I have used it already.

And then… this Pink Daisy Pyrex casserole/baking dish. It looked like it had never been cleaned, ever. But once it was, it was gorgeous! And it came with a lid!

Vintage Pink Daisy Pyrex casserole.

I can’t actually find this particular one online either. I can find the divided casseroles, and the smaller baking dishes, but this one seems to be an anomaly. No… its NOT a divided casserole. And it’s not an “open baking dish.” I paid $3.50 for it so I can’t complain either way, but I’d love to know what an average price would be. Or what it’s called! Baking dish? Casserole? I don’t know.

Maybe the most interesting Pyrex item(s) are these little 10 oz. casseroles/au gratin dishes. I believe the color is “Verde” and they’re from the 1960’s/70’s. Apparently, these are either rare or much sought after- I found a set of two for $15.00 on eBay and ONE for $10.00 on Etsy. I paid $2.99 each.

Pyrex vintage Verde 10 oz casseroles.

The last Pyrex item I got was a “Fireside” Pyrex pie plate. Best I can date this it’s from 1977 or later, as that was when the Fireside color was introduced. The absolute latest date it could be from is the 1990’s. It cost me about $.99.

Pyrex Fireside pie plate.

The next couple of finds were special to me, despite the fact they don’t have a very high resale value (unlike the Pyrex). Vintage jars! Also unlike the Pyrex, however, I use these a lot to store dry food products in. You can never have too many jars. I like to reduce the amount of plastic I use around the house for food storage purposes, and so they all come in handy, vintage or not. I’m not partial to any particular styles or colors in this case, I just like ’em all.

The first one is one I had never ever seen before or even heard of, which is why I grabbed it immediately. A “Double Safety” jar made by Smalley Kivlan & Onthank, Boston Mass. It looks to be a quart size. I LOVE the writing on this one! It’s so 20’s/30’s to me… I had to have it. It cost me around $1.27.

Vintage Double Safety jar.

One of the coolest things, aside from the great font, are the bubbles in the glass. On the right side of the lettering there are a few large bubbles, and throughout the glass of the jar there are tiny ones. Which is why I dated it around 1915-1920, as per this:

“Bubbles” are air or gas filled cavities within the glass.  The image to the left is a close-up of a bottle with bubbles in atypically high quantity for illustrative purposes.  Bubbles are caused by an assortment of irregularities in the production process including a glass pot or tank that was too hot or not full enough, glass cut-off or shearing irregularities, and various gob feeder problems.  In the glass making industry, small bubbles were referred to as “seeds” and larger bubbles as “blisters” (Tooley 1953).   Similar to the color question above, the presence of bubbles in the glass can help some in pinning down the date of a machine bottle, but must be used in conjunction with other features to more confidently narrow down a date range as it is not conclusive by itself. 

As a general rule of thumb, earlier machine-made bottles and jars (i.e., 1905 to 1910 [mid-1890s for wide mouth ware] through the 1920s) will have more and larger bubbles than later machine-made bottles (early 1930s and later) when bubbles in the glass became a much rarer occurrence due to ever more refined glassmaking technology.  Larger bubbles (~1/8″ and larger) and/or numerous bubbles of all sizes are more prevalent in bottles manufactured during the early machine period – 1890s (wide mouth ware) to early 1920s.  The absence of bubbles or presence of only a very few small “seed” bubbles (less than a pin-head in size) or very narrow “V” shaped bubbles, denotes a bottle that is more likely to date from or after the 1930s. 


Another cool thing about it? One of the parts of the wire bail top is hand-twisted. Very interesting find!

And I got a bunch of smaller jars, 3 Atlas E-Z Seal and 4 Ball Ideal. I gave three to my mother to store beans, oats or grains in and I kept the rest (I do have a lot of jars, haha). They cost about a buck a piece, but they were in mint condition.

Vintage Ball and Atlas lightning jars.

I also got a vintage WearEver Mirro aluminum muffin tin for just a dollar (you can see it in action here). Not that it’s boring, but it didn’t quite look as pretty in pictures as the others do.

The last thing I wanted to show you today wasn’t something that I thrifted, but something that belonged to my grandparents: 1930’s/1940’s Bakelite cutlery!

Vintage 1930's/1940's Bakelite in a vintage Ball jar.

I’ve been using these for a few years now and I love them! You might recognize them from a few posts around here. I found them recently on a post at Dusty Old Thing! I love mine, I’m glad to see other people love them, too. They aren’t rare by any means, but I love them. They’re a great color red, and they’re perfect to use for my summer barbecues & summer stuff.

So that’s it for my Tales from the Thrift today. I hope you enjoyed it! Hopefully I’ll be back soon with more finds. In the meantime, if you missed it, check out the last thrifting/vintage post for more vintage Pyrex, lightning jars, and more!

* Thanks to Xenia for the adorable phrase “tales from the thrift” & as always, thanks so much to Pyrex Love for all the information & guidance, as well as the other sources linked to in this post.
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  1. ZOMG!!! You got some amazing deals there! I love, LOVE the bowls!!! And the Bakelite is absolutely beautiful. I need to get to the thrift store soon 😀

  2. Aren’t the bowls great? I love them. And the batter bowl is my new favorite kitchen tool, haha. I went yesterday and got more goodies!

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