Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mallory Randall Melmac Dinnerware and Raffiaware Motherload at Modern Plastics on Etsy TOP SECRET Coupon Code

Meet Modern Plastics....on Etsy...

Thermo Temp Salad Set serves six!  Only at Modern Plastics, $45.99
Imagine my shock when I found this new Modern Plastics store on Etsy, unloading tons of Mallory Randall melmac and Raffiaware!   As a melmac collector, I rarely see full sets in the way of Mallo-ware or Mallo-Belle.  What's even more cool?  This is coming all the way from Kailua, O'Ahu, Hawaii!  Surely I had to find out what the story was! 

Hard to find Mallory, in a breakfast set get it quick only $10 at Modern Plastics.
Shop owner Kailani Burke Nakanaela explains, "The story begins when my Husband and I decided to renovate his Parent's beach house. We have over fifty years of memories there, we actually met on the beach in Kailua as kids. We've been married 30+ years and now that the house has been passed on to us, we need more space for our children and grandchildren when they come to visit."

Along comes the melmac.....
She continues, "I have been removing Melmac from the attic space for a couple of weeks now, the boxes are all deteriorated from the humidity and sea air, so bringing them down a rickety ladder has proven tricky. As I peel away the layers of cardboard I am just amazed at how wonderful everything looks. Yesterday my Husband tried to convince me that we could put these in the dishwasher .... I just smiled and banished him from the kitchen. This is probably the first time I have actually enjoyed washing dishes."

This is what she found....I'm rare is this to find in the original box?
Kailani explains "I will be listing more items soon, there are over 200 Mallo-Ware plates and cups and saucers that I have not gotten to yet. This picture is one of ten Mallory mailorder boxes. Each box has service for four and the 1960 First Class Postage to hawai'i was a whopping $2.11."

She has tons of Raffiaware that would be lovely for snacking or summer fun!
So just what is Kailani doing with all that melmac and thermal plastic ware?   She says, "I am keeping a few pieces for myself, and for my children and grandchildren since they never really knew my Husband's Mom. I think I will be busy for the rest of the Winter cleaning and cataloging Melmac."

She has given us a top secret coupon code, in case you wish to purchase anything from her store, enter the code given here at checkout:
Mallory's History has been sketchy..but I pieced this together.

Not much in my travels has been found on the web or in print about the late and great Mallory-Randall company.  I often thought they were somehow connected to P.R. Mallory, the battery company but I have no proof of that. Some speculation as to smarts of this  Mallory USA long survived company who has been in business since 1900 proves that either all minds have the last name Mallory  (and mold plastics) or something is missing to the history.  I suppose we can only go by what we can prove:

Here is an ad from a 1956 Life Magazine (above) showing Mallow-ware (left, coming in ten colors at that time) and Classic (right.)  We know the company was producing melamine. Furthermore, I found and sold an old open stock order form, according to the print code on the lower right, was printed in 1956.   The address for ordering was Mallo-Ware, 456 N. Parkside, Chicago, 44 Illinois although the dishes themselves often are backstamped Chicago, 41, Illinois.  This could mean the offices and factories were in two different places. 

To confirm this, an old Mallo-Ware brochure (in with warranty information, below) confirms the two different addresses, as shown below, lists the company Mallo-Ware at 3760 Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, 41 Illinois.  
Milwaukee Avenue Address is printed on this ephemera.

Mallory Sites: Parkside & Milwaukee Avenue Debunked 

So thanks to old paperwork, we know there were two addresses.  I used my trust snooping skills to do a Google Earth flight from the comfort of my chair.  The 456 N. Parkside Address proves defunt, there is a large apartment type building there, which according to property records was a 5+ unit facility that sold in 2005 for $800,000.  Could this have once been office buildings and housed the corporate offices of Malllory?  Probably not considering the dwelling  doesn't look as old, and the same lot sold years early for 1/4 of that value.  Being there's a lot of new growth in the neighborhood, it is probably a more recent structure.

456 Parkside leaves us no clues.

So then I was off to the other location on Milwaukee Avenue. I used Google Maps and found an empty space at 3730 Milwaukee Avenue, and smaller empty space on 3760 Milwaukee Avenue with only the tiny brick faced Grayland Pub at 3734 Milwaukee Avenue still standing in between.  The area boasts residential housing across the street.  It appears the old buildings are long gone, but I find this hard to believe a factory was once here, hardly not enough room.

Only the skinny pub remains at the Milwaukee street address...
So, this begs the question, will we ever know what happened to Mallory Randall? Perhaps they only were in fact a distributor of wares and had another molding company doing the dirty work.  The only thing we will know is when we find wonderful snippets of history as marked on the bottom of the boxes, "Raffiaware by Thermo-Temp, Mallory Randall Corp., Made in USA,"  Even then, when we think we may be close to the answers, specimens pop up that surely puzzle us. 

We may never know just what these are, indeed a form of Raffiaware as listed in Jherrmann's shop quite possibly a knockoff or a spectaculr unfound Mallory design......

Mallory - Randall



  1. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your glad to arrive here. I just added you to my blog roll.

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  2. So cool! I don't collect actively anymore, but I used to have close to 1000 pieces of Melmac. I still have probably around half of it. Malloware was a fav, along with Russell Wright and of course the square Brookparks.

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  5. Love the site! I too collect Melmac and Thermo-temp Raffia ware and have been having trouble finding any info about the company. But a few months back I came across a Raffia-esque piece at a thrift store.It was a vacuum seal Coffee thermos. on the bottom it had Thermo-Temp by Aladdin. So maybe at some point Mallory merged or was bought by Aladdin but I'm not sure.I thought I would share and if I find more you will be the first to know!

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