Saturday, March 26, 2011

Canadian Melmac: Russel Wright Residential Melmac Colors in Canada

Strange Things!
Many of us have our theories of how Canadian Cyanamid and the three leading Canadian Factories that produced melamine dishes (GPL, RPL, and MAPLEX) actually came across the American styles of dishes.  Some of us think after Americans stopped caring about melmac and the molds were sold to Canada. I used to think that too, until I interviewed Paul Rothstein, whose father owned both Maplex and Rainbow Plastics in the 50's and into the 60's. His big competitor was GPL.

I always thought that Canada was producing melmac at the same time it was big in the States, riding the wave to so speak.  They had their own designs (like the cool styling of Vanguard cups) but possibly would order their molds (from a tool and die marker) to replicate popular American Designs.   Mr. Rothstein assured me this was not the case, as "copyright infringement" applied to Canada too.  I often wonder, however, if they were leased styles, meaning that American companies got "kickbacks" for similiar styles being produced in Canada?  I guess we'll never really know.
Did Canada steal the top secret color formula on Residential? I bought these at SusAntique!

 You can find colors and styles that look very simliar to Colorflyte (marked Coloramic) , Boonton Belle (unmarked in Canada) and Meladur (Rainboware) among plenty others. I was told there was a style called "Modern" that looks just like Joan Luntz' Brookpark though I've never seen it.   I have seen plenty of Watertown Pitchers and dishes marked "GPL" instead of Watertown Lifetime Ware, and the list keeps growing.  What I find most interesting is the plates above, which arrived in the mail the other day. Although not the Russel Wright shapes, I wonder how it was they almost duplicated the Residential Colors of Salmon Red, Turquoise Blue and Lemon Ice so closely?  Not perfect, but very, very, very close.  Makes you wonder, just what were those Canadians up to? 

Canada's Peacock Line Very Close to Residential Colors!

I bought these from SusAntique!


  1. I love those plates - so pretty and retro-chic!


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