Exploring Jadite Dishware

When thinking about Jadite dishware I have always conjured up the notion that it’s the exotic, rebellious, cousin of milk glass.  Every good grandmother has a collection of mismatched milk glass, whether on display in her home or tucked away and hidden.  Jadite, from what I’ve read, was just as popular during the mid-century. Why then don’t I recall it crowding the shelves of my older relatives?  Was it considered passe’ after a certain period? Did the affordability make it unfashionable to display? Was it just my family?

One thing I do know is that when Martha Stewart declared Jadite cool in the 1990’s, no one questioned her judgment!  A new generation discovered that glass could be formed into almost anything (useful or not) in an opaque mint hue.  It’s hard to say if pop culture and general “trendiness” have influenced my love for Jadite.  If so, it’s on a subconscious level I’m not aware of.  I simply love that quintessentially 50’s color and how it immediately transports me back in time!

History

Around 1942, the Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation started producing groundbreaking glass ovenware that could endure extremely high temperatures.  It became an instant sensation because of it’s durability and reasonable prices.  This ovenproof line was named Fire-King and would be produced for the next 30 years!  Fire-King was offered in a variety of different colors. One color, however, would reach a heightened popularity: Jade-ite.

Vintage advertisement for “Fire-King Jade-ite”

A milky green color, Jadite (my preferred spelling) would soon be  manufactured by a variety of companies each with a different spelling for the signature name.  To keep their products unique, each company had a slightly different color variant ranging between the creamy shades of mint to sea foam green.

Reproduction vs. True Vintage Jadite

I know that for a lot of people in the Rockabilly/Vintage Lifestyle community the question of purchasing reproduction vs. true vintage can sound like utter sacrilege! There are a lot of purists out there who refuse to collect something if it’s not authentic. I totally understand!  But for me, it’s all I can currently afford; and if I died tomorrow I would rather die having owned some fake vintage Jadite than none at all!

Reproduction Jadite (and Milk glass) available here at Commerce St Mercantile.

One of the first questions to consider, is how you will be using your Jadite. If you are looking for ovenware I would suggest going vintage.  It is worth the extra bucks or the extra hours of searching. As most of you know, “they just don’t make things like they used to”!  The original ovenware would be far more durable and long lasting than the faux Jadite of today.  Unfortunately, there are sellers out there who deceive buyers by passing off repro as true vintage.  I think that if you are careful and use the available online resources (several vintage bloggers give information on essential vintage markings to look for) there is no need to worry.

If durable ovenware isn’t your thing and you just want some basic cups, bowls, servers, and DSA’s (damn sit-around’s) then I think you can do either. If you enjoy Fleamarketing and thrifting then for goodness sakes go for the real thing.  But if you’re like me and just want some pretty things in your home without having to interact with more people than necessary, well, buy them from me of course! Haha

 

 

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