• 50s and 60s “everyday” dinnerware: Blue Heaven for me…Salem Biscayne (and more) for Femme 1

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    fiesta-harlequin.JPGhallcraft-fantasy.JPGfranciscan-starburst.jpg

    harvest-time.JPGFemme 1 asked last week what kind of dinnerware I used. And the answer is: Blue Heaven (pictured at the bottom.)

    To be honest, I don’t know much about it, only that it was made in the 60s. I found a whole bunch at an estate sale about two years ago, and after my kitchen was renovated, pulled it out and started using it. We like the atomic graphics a lot, it’s got a nice weight, and it’s not too chippy. And, we have found other pieces around here, quite easily and affordably. I recently bought 8 cool matching glasses, about 8 ounce size, for $12.

    That said, Femme 1 also sent me her favorites. And I love those, too — especially the Salem Biscayne in the top photo. This is wonderful! Here’s some of what Femme 1 had to say, starting out in response to my note that I also have a lot of Stangl:

    “I adore Stangl! The pattern I picked out for my (ahem) first marriage (in the 70s.) was that blue spongeware stuff. I sold most of that on E-bay a few years back. I love Golden Harvest, but I have just a few pieces; I’d like to have more, but I had to restrain myself because I collect about five different patterns of dinnerware already: Biscayne by Salem (from the 50s through the early 60s) is my everyday stuff. It must have been a really popular item because now it’s incredibly cheap and I find it everywhere in thrift shops… Eva Zeisel’s Hallcraft Fantasy; Harlequin (the cheaper younger brother of Fiesta); Ben Seibel’s Harvest Time by Iroquois…and good ole Franciscan Starburst.

    Plus I have tons of odd and ends of stuff I just really love (like Bauer bowls and Redwing Golden Viking).”

    Thanks, Femme 1 — keep the comments, thoughts and ideas coming!

    And readers: What are your “everyday” dinnerware favorites? Send me your jpegs, and I’ll feature them, in the new year. Send to: Pam@RetroRenovation.com

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    Comments

    1. Thanks so much, Pam, for featuring my Salem Biscayne dinnerware. One of the reasons I like it so much, besides it being plentiful and cheap, is that the yellow in the leaf and the cream color of the plate matches my kitchen checkerboard wall tiles. We found several boxes of these yellow tiles when we moved into our first house (not a 50s ranch) in Indiana. I saved them, of course, and used them when we moved into our ranch.

      I’ve done a little research on your Blue Heaven dishes. They were made by the Royal China Company of Sebring, Ohio. Ohio was the home of many famous potteries that made many of the mid-century modern china patterns that we love. According to OhioRiverPottery.com, Blue Heaven started into production in the mid-60s and had approximate 25 different items available.

    2. Thanks, Femme 1. I have to say, I really love your Salem Biscayne, too, probably even better than my Blue Heaven! I love the little coral-colored dot in the flower and of course, the aqua leaf. Thanks for the info on my dinnerware. Since it found me — it was destiny, I guess.

    3. hi pam, blue heaven was my mom’s everyday dinnerware when i was a kid in the 60s and 70s in connecticut. she got them through a grocery store promotion (she’d get a new piece every time she spent a certain amount of money – probably 5 or 10 bucks.) while it’s pretty easy to find blue heaven at tag sales back east, i live in CA now, and no one here has heard of it. thank god for ebay!

    4. Pam, I use my Russel Wright dinnerware every single day. Have only broken 1 or 2 things in 10 years of using them daily, and having moved five times (no exaggeration). I have many pieces of Zeisel T&C by Redwing, and I enjoy using my Zeisel T&C sugar bowl to sweeten my latte every morning, but the stuff is just too darned fragile to use on a daily basis. I also have a few beloved pieces of Bauer — all of my mixing bowls are Bauer, from the 1930s GPK (for “Gloss Pastel Kitchenware ” line. I do use new glassware, though; a set of French bistro glasses — but only because I can’t afford to buy any of the Russel Wright pinch glasses I grew up with!

    5. Melissa says:

      I just bought some Blue Heaven plates and such at a thrift store today. But, now I’m worried about the lead content. Has anyone heard if these plates are safe to use?

      • pam kueber says:

        Melissa, on questions like this: I recommend that you consult with a licensed professional to get the latest information that will help you determine how to handle.

    6. Lisa Dupree says:

      Thanks for posting. I have my grandmother’s Jewel Hall Autumn that I thought was ugly when I was a kid. Recently my mom gave me what was left of her Franciscan Starburst! Love this vintage stuff!

    7. In the 60s did WD or A&P carry some dishes w/snowflakes on them as promotional?

    8. I bought a huge set of Blue Heaven dishware yesterday, and I’m so excited because I’ve wanted them for years!! I would like to use them for my everyday dishware, but I wonder about cleaning them… Have any of you had fading of the dishes in the dishwasher?
      I’ve heard the print on the glasses will fade, but I don’t have any of those yet.
      I generally use Seventh Generation or Method dishwashing detergent, but I am open to suggestions. Thank you!

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