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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Trumpet Ware and Trump Plastics History

Trump Ware melamine Sugar Bowl
Courtesy: GrammaJunk on Etsy
The Rise and Fall of Trump Plastics: 
 
Trumpet Ware was Manufactured by Trump plastics Inc. Cayuga Falls, Ohio, owner Donald A. Trump.    When I first came across examples in the 1980's, I found pieces that did not look melmac like, but instead polystreyene that felt very much cheapie plastic feel like picnic ware would feel.  I believe these were some of the first pieces they were making.

Trumpet Ware Melmac
This wonderful boxed set of Trumpet Ware Melamine is available in  Etsy shop RandyASellerandBuyer!

I found an early reference to a Donald A. Trump in a 1954 SPE Journal.  In 1957 they were making a "Tyril line" .  In case you don't know, Dow Chemical had this new material which was not melmac or melamine but instead a styrene-acrylonitrile thermoplastic claimed to be stronger, more heat-and-stain resistant than conventional plastic dinnerware.  If you are wondering what I just said, it's simple, it was an "injection molded" alternative to melmac, thinner and more plastic feel.  Not melamine at all.  Which would explain why I didn't think that Trump Plastics were using melamine. 

Now, fast foward to 1958 this appears to be no longer the case as improvements were made as their box states "NO STRYENE" in their line of dishes.   In fact, they look more like melamine or melmac dishes, and several references I found in old books state they were "unbreakable." However, I can't be sure they ever did really use melmac or melamine.

They advertised unbreakable tumblers, and were published in an Ice Cream Journal for having unbreakable ice cream cups.   If you look closely at this box, it has a symbol in a diamond that says Made of New Miracle "Duracryl ?? or Duracrylic??" which is a type of thermosetting enamel finish used in floor polishes, on cars to make them shiny and more water resistant! Could this have been the secret ingredient to protect it from the dishwasher or perhaps make them unbreakable?

Unbreakable Melamine
The dishes were designed to withstand high temp dishwashers!

Trumpet Ware Melamine Set
Looks like melmac, but is it? Cute little salt and pepper still appear to be part of the original 20pc set! Buy it here RandyASellerandBuyer!


I pieced that together from old articles and boxes, and this man who is talking about his organ, talks in a book about smelling the fire of 1966 that occurred in the Trump Plastics Factory.   This has all been verified according to a living source aka someone who knows, and who very well may be the daughter of Donald A. Trump. She verifies the company was indeed located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and says it burned down by 1967 and was re-established after the fire again in the same area of Cuyahoga Falls.
Trumpet Ware Melmac
Creamer and Sugar set by BlackFoxBetty on Etsy.

She indicates that most pieces were made between about 1958 and 1972. They were sold by the millions to SS Kresge (a division of Kmart?) and to Kmart and Woolworth.  The source indicates her father designed the dishes to be durable and withstand "The dishwasher."

We know this to be true because the box above brags about it withstanding 190 degree dishwater! Perhaps this is why they decided to use the DuraCryl/DuraCrylic resin in the making of them, to make them unbreakable and withstand hot water. What a great idea, and they seemed to have a great vision, but where did they go? According to her, "The firm failed in the economic crunch / oil embargo of the early 1970's." Just like that. Another plastics dish manufacturer, gone.
The salt/pepper does not look melmac at all.  Courtesy: Etsy Shop: TheRetroStudio

Examples....

In my opinion good examples of Trumpet Ware are rare. You would not think so if the pieces were mass produced to dimestores, but perhaps the reason is some were unmarked, or they were cheap enough to be used to death and not many survived. In my 20 years of collecting on the East Coast, I've only come across a basket full of miscellany examples.   But is it melmac?  You decide.


Vintage Images
Visit this cool site!

10 comments:

  1. Floyd Chambers--oklahoma CityAugust 22, 2014 at 8:29 PM

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