Vintage Find: Pyrex

UPDATE: Since posting this article, it has come to my attention that most if not all vintage patterns of Pyrex have tested positive for lead content that is double the safe limit in the glass and about upwards of 400 times the safe limit in the painted design. I no longer recommend the use of vintage Pyrex with food, especially if you have kids.  

If you want to see a video of someone testing vintage Pyrex for lead, visit this blog.

Vintage Daisy Pattern Pyrex Casserole Dish / By SwitchbladeandCookie on Etsy
Daisy Pattern Pyrex Casserole Dish / By SwitchbladeandCookie on Etsy

Pyrex kitchenware is, hands down, the most useful of the vintage pieces in my home.  When I moved out of the dorms and started living in apartments with decent kitchens, my mom began gifting me pieces of the turquoise Butterprint pattern of Pyrex.

Autumn Glory Vintage Pyrex Teacups & Saucers by StrawberryfVintage on Etsy.
Autumn Glory Vintage Pyrex Teacups & Saucers by StrawberryfVintage on Etsy.

I don’t think I fully understood at the time just how useful this collection would prove.  I just thought they were cute and I loved (and still love) anything turquoise.  Now, a decade later, my Pyrex is still being used.  Every. Single. Day.  And it is still in pristine condition.

Long story short:  For anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, vintage Pyrex rocks.

Turquoise Butterprint Vintage Pyrex Pattern // By TurquoiseRollerSet on Etsy
Turquoise Butterprint Pyrex Pattern // By turquoiserollerset on Etsy

I don’t use plastic wrap in my house – we try to avoid it as much as possible.  Instead of wrapping leftovers in plastic or putting it in old, stained Tupperware, I just put it all in lidded Pyrex refrigerator dishes.  These are my favorite pieces.  Just ask my mom how my eyes light up at the thought of them!

If this sounds like a commercial for vintage Pyrex, it totally is.

How often do you come across something, new or vintage, that is super useful, durable…and cute?  And there is a pattern for every taste and budget.

Medallion Pattern Pyrex Cinderella Mixing Bowl / By HobAndNail on Etsy
Medallion Pattern Pyrex Cinderella Mixing Bowl / By HobAndNail on Etsy

It turns out that Pyrex vintage glassware has interesting origins.  Corning first started selling the low-expansion, borosilicate glass back in 1908.  In the beginning, the company concentrated on producing shock-resistant battery jars and lantern globes.

When an employee took one of these battery jars and cut it into the shape of a casserole dish for his wife, he realized how amazing the glass material was for use in the kitchen.  The company removed the lead from the glass and thus Pyrex was born!

 This vintage baking kitchenware set features a sweet floral pattern and was created by Corningware glass. Read about vintage kitchenware at differentdrumblog.com
Corningware Baking Set // By LkWhatTheCatDraggedN on Etsy

In 1998, Corning licensed the Pyrex name to World Kitchen, and Pyrex continues to be manufactured in the United States today.  Take a look behind the scenes at the Pyrex factory in Charleroi, Pennsylvania.

To purchase some vintage Pyrex kitchenware, check out your local flea market or vintage shop.  You can also search eBay or Etsy to find some really great deals on your favorite pattern!

Vintage Pyrex Casserole in Pink Daisy Pattern by Replacements4U on Etsy
Vintage Pyrex Casserole in Pink Daisy Pattern by Replacements4U on Etsy

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