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”


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