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Friday, December 3, 2010

Airline Melmac - Eastern Airlines

I just got these wee melmac shot glasses? in the mail from The Cottage Cheese on Etsy.  I adore them, as they are from Eastern Airlines, but it's not something I normally collect.  There is a reason however....

I can only imagine how many planes used melmac probably from the 40s to the 70s, (some still use it today) but how much of the vintage melamine actually survived.  Think about it, if they changed colors, what did they do with the old sets?  If it got scratchy, where did it go?  Theories are first class had china, the rest had melamine.  This makes it rare and hard to complete whole sets of early airline melamine.  Not to mention you have the "mel-maniacs" and the "airline-aholics" collecting it and so it appears to two different collecting circles.  I would think only airline stewardesses, pilots, and granny with her big purse were able to bring this into the collecting world. 

The reason I bought these wee cups were because I was hoping them to be part of the elusive Northern Industrial Chemical Company's pieces, when they were molding for airlines in the 40's.  I've been trying to find for years. I'll never know of course, because Northern did not mark their airline dishes and it is a proven fact that MANY manufacturers molded for the airlines. 

More on Northern in detail will be on my Russel Wright site soon, so check back.

Information about airline melmac and melamine is found on Christopher McPherson's wonderful site called "Plastic Living."  It is a proven fact that his favorite company, Watertown Lifetime Ware, did a lot of molding for the airlines   and the navy early on, and possibly even beat most if not all manufacturers to the table with melmac dish sets. 

1 comment :

  1. Very cool find! These are that same green color as a lot of Devine Ware (brighter and a bit darker than the usual pastel greens.)
    Also I have this same little piece in buff white with TCA and maple leaf (Trans Canadian Airlines) with the Plastics Inc. of St. Paul molder mark. Also another in red with a TWA logo and no makers mark. Was maybe the TWA by Northern?
    These Eastern airlines ones are especially nice because of the wonderfully stylized Eastern logo - that eagle in flight with an upraised wing!
    One friend, a former TWA employee, tells me that when the airline changed to new Melmac cabin service, the old was sold very cheaply or even sometimes given away to all the employees - ground agents, flight attendants, pilots, baggage handlers, just about everyone.
    Sunny. PS. THANKS for the great pix, too!


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