Friday, April 6, 2012

Glasbake

This is my entire Glasbake collection. The shapes of which make for a rather awkward group photo. :-)

It seems to me, with a few exceptions, that Glasbake is generally overlooked. A cousin of Pyrex and Fire King, but not exactly an equal. And while I love my Pyrex, I love Glasbake just as much. Sometimes even more so!

For all the many, many pattern options that Pyrex made over the years, the one thing that stands out to me with a certain degree of annoyance is that they rarely, rarely ever used more than two colors per pattern. Occasionally, Pyrex made in England (or JAJ) used 3 or more colors. But the US audience is pretty much out of luck there.These two loaf pans are good examples of what I mean. The orange flower, bluebell loaf pan reminds me quite a bit of a couple of British made JAJ Pyrex patterns.I also love the fin lids. I only have the one, and I believe it was actually made for another style of individual casserole. But it fits this one, so all's good.

Though Glasbake is generally priced lower than Pyrex (at least in my area), I still don't come across it all that often. Most of these guys have come from thrift stores. The strawberry loaf pan was one of my very cheapest finds probably 2 years ago. 59 cents! But it was also absolutely filthy. So filthy I couldn't even tell if it was damaged, so that's likely the reason it was so cheap.

Typically I only come across the ovenware, but Glasbake also made mixing bowls. I just don't have any of them, and rarely see them. If you want to see an amazing collection of Glasbake and other type of mixing bowls, check out this amazing collection!

As for the ovenware, I think these generally came as sets. Possible pieces being two sizes of oval casseroles, round casseroles (these can share lids with Pyrex 024's), loaf pans, two sizes of rectangular utility baker. I don't believe they made coordinating pie plates, but I'm not sure. Most all the ones I've seen, both online and in person, have been clear.

Another reason I think Glasbake is lagging behind it's milk glass brethren is because the name was used by different companies during different time periods, which makes for a confusing history and items that are hard to search for. And to my knowledge there are no reference books or even collector's website to gather information. There is, however, a flickr group for collectors, and this excellent blog by kitchenware author C. Diane Zweig that sorts out the tangled history of the Glasbake name.

Sometimes Glasbake items are not marked at all. Some of my pieces are unmarked. But the shapes are all the same, and they all have a pebbly texture on the bottom, typically with a smooth round area that would normally say Glasbake. Perhaps these pieces were made while the company transitioned from being a McKee product to a Thatcher Glass product - or from Thatcher to Jeannette.

Finally, if you're searching for a Glasbake item, try all these various search terms: Glasbak (the very earliest spelling), Flamex, Glasbake, Glassbake, McKee, Jeannette. If you are looking for early Glasbake (or Glasbak) items, such as coffee pots, teapots, glass skillets, etc. these were also marketed as "Range-Tec" items. Apparently McKee had a field day with dropping letters off the end of their product names, lol!
And finally, my favorite Glasbake items. Deliciously pink mixing bowls. These were made specifically for Sunbeam Mixmaster stand mixers. I found these two bowls seperately at thrift stores, and boy-oh-boy do I wish I had the pink Mixmaster to go with them!

Happy Collecting!

7 comments:

  1. Lovely collection you have there! And thank you for the links and info. I'm a budding collector, and it's great to find online communities of like-minded people.

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    1. Thanks for reading! And good luck with your collection! :-)

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  2. Hear, hear for the overlooked Glasbake! I have a beautiful 1.5 Q casserole dish with the lid in the green floral pattern. It's in perfect condition and is my favorite item in my kitchen (even over my pyrex!!).

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  3. Please can someone tell me where I can buy Glasbake because I have had a number of items which I was given as a wedding present in 1975 and I still use them. Unfortunately one or two of them have broken in the meantime but I still use them on a weekly basis. Please help me!!! I live in the UK. I'm on cbond2@toucansurf.com

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  4. I have some bowls with a little thumb-sized handle. They would be the perfect size for french onion soup but I don't know if they're oven safe, since the cheese top has to be finished in the oven. Anyone know?

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    1. I have to start with a disclaimer. I wouldn't want to even guess without seeing a picture of them, and even then, it would just be a guess. But having said that, I believe all Glasbake items are in fact oven safe. Just like Pyrex, even if the item was obviously not designed for oven use (a mug, for example), it's still made out of the same type of glass - therefore, it's safe to use in an oven.

      HOWEVER, if you are wanting to use a dish like this for french onion soup, I would be very, very wary. There are many glass dishes, both vintage and modern that are oven safe but NOT broiler safe. The heat is just too much. Most modern Pyrex and Anchor Hocking glass baking dishes are clearly marked "Not for broiler use" or something similar.

      So long story short, I would NOT use vintage Glasbake (or Pyrex, Fire King, Hazel Atlas, etc.) under a broiler.

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  5. Hey do you stil have pink bowls for sunbeam. If so email me at permex.rm@gmail.com

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