Friday, May 27, 2011

Ranger-Ware a Buffalo New York Mystery or Ohio Plastic Line ?

What the heck is this?
Just when I thought I've seen it all, I dig through Derek's boxes of melmac (read about it here) and find something I've never seen or heard of in 20+ years of collecting plastics.  These crazy bowls are marked Ranger-Ware . It says they are by Buffalo Molded Plastics, Inc.  So I looked in some old books and found mention of a 1959 article in a Rohm & Haas reporter that discusses a salad set.

Here is the review from 1959, "The manufacturer's suggested retail price— less than nine dollars— is surprisingly low in view of the superior appearance and performance of the set. The bowls and serving pieces are molded for the Ranger Ware Division of Ranger-Rand Inc."    So I went further sleuthing and found small mention of Ranger Rand housed at 342 Madison Avenue in New York City circa 1960 thanks to a Society of Plastics Engineers Book.  Who were they? I don't know. Why did they have salad bowls molded for them in their name? Who knows. Why haven't I ever seen these before?

These aren't melmac or melamine, they are instead a stranger type plastic, like that David Douglas stuff.  What's really very strange is the fact the bases are painted yellow on what looks like metal base, but the plastic is actually silver plastic underneath the yellow paint.

What were they thinking? Paint does not hold to plastic!

Why on earth would a company mold silver plastic then paint it yellow? It would have looked so modern in plain silver. Now, I am quite sure it's factory paint so the whole thing eludes me. The kicker here is was Buffalo Molded Plastics in Buffalo, NY or Ohio? Currently, this listing of Buffalo Molded Plastics is in Ohio, so is this somehow related to the makers of these bowls?
Feels like: David Douglas wares, these trays offered at School of Vintage

So many mysteries, so little time. Anyone out there remember these bowls? Do tell!

1 comment :

  1. I've got a set of these bowls as well - from my mother. There is no paint over the silver plastic trim at the bottom.

    Can't decide whether to keep/discard - there's small number '4' on the bottom, but I suspect that has nothing to do with the modern plastic labeling...


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