Sunday, September 28, 2014

"You like potato and I like potahto,

You like tomato and I like tomahto;
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
Let's call the whole thing off!
 ~Ira/George Gershwin

I brought in a stash of jadeite or jadite or jade-ite!  That is what made me think of the old song with the potato/potahto lyrics.  Same goes for collectibles and collectables.  For awhile, I was calling jadeite "Martha green" because Martha Stewart had launched it into everyday use and even had it reproduced in 1999 (based on today's labels that is probably now listed as vintage!).
Like Kleenex, jadite is a generic term for green opaque glass and was produced by a variety of companies although Fire King's "jade-ite" is what most people think of when they hear that word.

This is a "jadite" Scottie dog ink blotter from  Houze Glass.  They called the color "jadine".
Here is a little information on them..."Houze made utilitarian glass products for many years in mostly during the first half of the 20th Century. Some of its early odd lines were gear shift balls and glass eyes for taxidermists.

During the 20s and 30s, the company made some spectacular lamps for national stores such as Woolworth. Their most famous trademark is Houzex which was often in the base of their lamps. Other products involving the color 'Coralex' was unique to the company,  a transparent, satin opaque pink glass. Other colors in this type of glass were baby blue, opal blue, moonstone, nile green, jadine, canary and veined onyx."
Jade green milk glass, or “jadite” has been made since the beginning of the twentieth century, but the word itself was coined by the Jeannette Glass Company in the 1930′s. McKee Glass, a contemporary of Jeannette, called their opaque green “Skokie Green.” The Fenton, and New Martinsville companies made a similar color they called Jade Green. Akro Agate’s version was Apple Green.

A full decade later, Anchor-Hocking’s heat proof jade green was named “Jade-ite”. The "Jadeite Fire King" brand was first produced by the United States glassware firm Anchor Hocking in the 1940s.
Most of Anchor Hocking's output of Jadeite was between 1945 and 1975.  A durable product in a fashionable color, it became the most popular product made by Anchor Hocking
I have a good selection of the jade-ite restaurant dishes in dinner and luncheon plates as well as the "Jane-Ray" - the household version of jade-ite.  Some bowls are still available, but I do have collectors who snatched up some of the rarer pieces.  The restaurant ware was produced from 1950 to 1956.  It was marketed for Mass Feeding Establishments, but it was sold in the five and dime stores.  The thick lipped coffee cups were called "cheater mugs" because the restaurants saved about an ounce of coffee even though cup looked "large".

These dishes cannot be treated like modern glass.  Fire-King glass was developed before microwave ovens were available for domestic use, and none of the earlier pieces are marked “Microwave Safe.” Some Anchor-Hocking patterns not marketed as Fire-King are indeed made of the same “heat proof” borosilicate low expansion glass.
The modern dishwashing soaps will reduce the "lustre" on the plates.  It actually removes a thin layer of glass over time.  When you see faded-looking pieces, you know they were done in the dishwasher.   It is hard to remember that restaurants actually had people washing dishes which is why this restaurant ware still looks "new".

To date your Fire King, here is a chart that I found online...

1942 - 45 FIRE-KING in block letters
Mid to late 1940's OVEN Fire-King WARE MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is written in script lettering)
1951-1960 ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King WARE MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is written in script 
1960 - late 1960's ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King DINNERWARE MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is
      written in script lettering)
late 1960's- early 1970's ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King OVEN-PROOF MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is     written in script lettering)
Mid To Late 1970's ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King Suburbia OVEN-PROOF MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-
     King" is written in script lettering)

So if I go for scallops and you go for lobsters,
So all right no contest we'll order lobster
For we know we need each other so we
Better call the calling off off,

Let's call the whole thing off.

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