A Very 70s Cup ” The Drinkup”

A brief background

The other day I picked up a Vintage early colour television from a deceased persons estate sale. The background to this tale was the deceased parents had won the pools back in the very early 70’s. With the proceeds they bought a house and from what I could observe fitted it out with all the products of the time. They all lived there until eventually they all passed away.

The place was a 1970s time warp, with lots of products in mint condition and some still boxed, the chap never threw anything out.

After buying the TV I could not resist a couple of other items one being an Ever Ready De-Luxe transistor radio ( an article for this nice radio to follow) the other being these iconic 70’s PYREX Drinkups. I remember these as a kid of the 70’s and just had to have them.


Pyrex – A modern Icon

No matter where you live you’ve probably got a little piece of Sunderland in your home. The city produced Pyrex, a revolutionary type of glass that became a “must-have” in kitchens throughout the world. You’ve probably got some hiding in a cupboard right now.

History in the making

J.A. Joblings started making Pyrex in Sunderland in 1922. The company had fallen on hard times, but a new recruit to the family business, Ernest Jobling Purser, had heard about a technique for making glass that wouldn’t crack or shatter in an oven.

American industrial glass-makers Cornings had stumbled on Pyrex. Joblings saw its potential and secured the licence to make and sell it across the Empire.They suddenly had a near world-wide market. Since the 1920’s millions of casseroles, bowls, dinner services and measuring jugs have been churned out at the Joblings factory in Millfield. Its glassware made Pyrex a household name around the world.

Here they are still in their original unopened packaging, they go well with my 1968 kitchen and 70’s tiling.


Revolution in the kitchen

Pyrex was part of a social revolution. After the First World War and the disappearance of domestic servants, middle class women were forced into the kitchen. Pyrex was the first domestic item marketed directly at the housewife. But few people realised just the impact that the introduction of a heat resistant glass would have. It was a godsend for the new domestic goddesses because you could safely take it from the oven straight to the table. It was also presentable enough to impress guests, and was easily washed up afterwards. Also, it made housewives more confident about getting good results in the kitchen.

Two distinctive 70’s colours, Avocado and Yellow. Not only was Avocado a very popular if not a little fattening starter in the 70’s, it was often a popular colour for your bathroom suite.


Collectable Pyrex

Pyrex has had many different styles and designs down the years. Early on the company attempted to make it ornate, but the glassware really took off when it became a basic must-have household item. When white Pyrex came along, designs could be added – and sales went through the roof.

Finally another two 70’s colours Mocha and Orange these often found as the two primary colours for 70’s curtains, often in the shape of huge great flowers.



Pyrex lives on but sadly no longer made in the N.E.  Pyrex Website

All that remains to do now is open the box and use them as intended. I’m off to make a cup of tea, settle down in my favourite chair, switch on a vintage colour TV and enjoy both the tea and an episode of “And Mother Makes Three”

6 thoughts on “A Very 70s Cup ” The Drinkup”

  1. My Mother’s side of the family seem to have been big Pyrex fans. My Mother got a white Pyrex dinner service as a wedding present and I’ve also got various items made of the same stuff and sold my Rington’s with hunting scenes on.

    I remember some of those mugs from my childhood, in fact there may still be some of the plastic bits knocking about.

  2. Nice find. My parents still have a set of six half pint drink-ups, collected in the late 60’s early 70’s over many weeks from a Mobil petrol station located in part of Woolco shopping complex!

    Although these have been in the cupboard for a long time, recently over the last two or so years, they have proved very useful as an ‘object from the past’ to jog my fathers dementia damaged memory.
    Currently using the very bright orange and yellow colours (very 70’s!), but crucially have handles that can be grasped easily.

  3. A blast from the past indeed, we had those cups when I was a kid.

    Workers got a staff discount to spend in the factory shop located a few miles away in Grangetown IIRC

    My late father worked at the Pyrex factory (Corning) Sunderland, there was at one time three divisions, Pressware (where my dad worked), Blow Ware and a division of laboratory ware.

    I can recall the factory being visited by former president Jimmy Carter about 1977, my dad (as did other workers) received some piece of commemorative piece of glass ware or other denoting this visit, I remember because we did a school project on this subject at the time.

    Later in life I moved into a house in the street just behind the factory and lived there until about 18 months ago, the factory has since been demolished and is a housing estate now, still being built in some places.

    IIRC the laboratory division was over the road from the main factory and went first, several years or more before the main factory ended up closing, I also had a few mates from school who ended up working there later.

  4. Does anyone know how to get scorch marks out of Pyrex?

    I have an old casserole dish which is thoroughly clean inside and out yet there are brown marks on it which I can’t remove by any means. It’s as if they are “in the glass”.

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