The Allure of Texas Ware Melmac.....
|Little Ira Mency mixing cookie dough with her mother circa 1979.|
Yep, that's a rare photo of my childhood, with a putrid 60ish kitchen. However, the focus here is the spatter ware Texas Ware "garbage bowl." In 1979 my very young Italian mother was trying to teach me how to cook some type of bread . Far be it for me to actually learn (I ended up marrying a chef!). In a time before "health department guidelines" my best memory is squishing the dough in between my fingers and mushing it in the several sizes of Texas Ware mottled melamine bowls. (Perhaps this fueled my desire to eventually become an artist, I don't know.) Texas Ware, (and Dallas Ware) melamine is found everywhere still to this day, from the second hand shops to the estate sales.
|A photo from a Texas Ware "garbage bowl for sale" courtesy of SusanAntique on Etsy.|
Enter the "garbage bowl" as donned by Rachael Ray. A collector of original Texas Ware melmac herself, she released her own line of made-in-china mixing bowls. Not only do these bowl serve as use in the kitchen for picking up your snippets and peels and eggshells but ironically were originally called "garbage" or "end of day" by the factory and employees themselves. Quite possibly because they incorporated leftover "pucks of melamine" or "powders" that were leftover from other jobs or wouldn't be used. Frequently the most devine in design comes by accidentally on purpose. Ray's replica's blew out of stores went to back order, like this one, sold out at QVC:
|The "fake" Texas Ware lookalike as released by Rachael Ray, on QVC, still pretty in design.|
Back to PMC (Plastics Manufacturing Company) of Dallas. This huge conglomerate manufactured Texas Ware and original Dallas Ware* (*now manufactured by Carlisle Company) ranging from packaged dinnerware sets to cafeteria trays was last located at 2700 S Westmoreland Rd in Dallas, TX 75233, (below) Images courtesy of Google/Driving Directions. CLICK HERE TO USE THIS TOOL.
Let's zoom in to what I think is Texas Ware, corner of Hansboro and Westmoreland reveals a 2700 block sign: (Courtesy of : GOOGLE MAPS )
|This image from Google Earth: Corner of Westmoreland and Hansboro Street.|
|Sneak around back and notice what looks like a "grain feed". |
Was this for melamine pellets?
I interviewed someone (Paul Rothstein) for my Russel Wright research as he was owner of a Canadian Plastics Company, and he told me that Texas Ware was THE BIG BOY of melamine. He told me, "They had even found a way to manufacture their own melamine powders, making their production costs go down. Additionally they had a "seconds" thrift store across from them, where they sold the factory imperfections or unsold stock. " From the view above, (Hansboro Road) you can walk down a little further thanks to GOOGLE EARTH and see what appears to be smokestacks in the distance which would be located further up on Westmoreland.
|Ariel View HERE of corner of Westmoreland and Glenfield. |
Time to make the plastics?
|I also went to the end of the large conglomerate on Westmoreland, and went down Glenfield,|
Now, granted, I don't know if that is or was Texas Ware, but in my dreams it was and I certainly would appreciate any information you have. Granted, I was really confused because earlier on there was a different address from m. Enter Everyday Art Quarterly from 1946, and through the mid fifties, just as y research this ad from Life Magazine 1956 gave an address of 825 Trunk Avenue in Dallas Texas. Could this have been just a sales office, or possibly the headquarters prior to the Westmoerland address? Here's an ariel view of the place as it stands now leaves it hard to tell. A quick search of the Dallas Historical Society gave me no information, oddly.
Trunk Avenue Location If you want to navigate this map
yourself, GO HERE, courtesy of Google Maps!
COOL TEXAS WARE LINKS:
Here is an article about Texas Ware that goes onto give excerpts of Texas Ware memories (Not sure if I believe that the broken dishes lwere busted up and remolded -- as I thought thermoset plastics like "melamine" cannot done that, but who am I to say. Sure would like to see one of those plastic chunk bowls!
Here is a great article on How to Identify your Texas Ware... by Tera Crain. Though she does warn of Dallas Ware being made by Carlisle Company now, I want to reiterate that originally it was made by PMC. So, do check out your backstamps to see if yours is "authentic PMC!"
Time for shopping! Enjoy!
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