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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fostoria Melamine Dishes 1957

Fostoria Melmac
Fostoria Melamine Backstamp courtesy of Vintage Cleveland on Etsy.

"Fostoria Announces Melamine Dinnerware," so the headlines read in an article in a Crockery and Glass Journal in Aug. 1957.  Wow.  I have written before on Fostoria Melmac, as I believe it's scarce and hard to find even though it was produced well into the early 1960's (Former Plastics Historian Robin Ptacek confirmed to me once that produced 1958-1962).  Molded for the Fostoria glass company, it was a solution to targeting those who wanted super duper melmac dishes.   At one time when melmac was at it's height, glassmakers and melamine dinnerware manufactures were fighting for the market share.
Fostoria Melmac
Here is a pic of the mugs from the top and underside. Note how thick the bottoms are. Pic: RetroChalet

Here is a prime example where one company thought outside the box, instead of Fostoria glass bashing melamine it jumped onto the bandwagon, tapping into the best of both worlds (selling glassware and melamine).  Now it's highly unlikely in my opinion Fostoria molded their own melamine, but contracting a firm to mold it for them in accordance to superior specs and design standards would have been probable.


Fostoria Melmac Platter on Etsy
Fostoria Melmac Platter on Etsy, @FleasToButterflies

Fostoria's dishes are heavy, elegant, and in shapes that are so sophisticated, that one wonders is this really plastic? See above, so lovely is the platter!  Perhaps that's why they called it Fashion Flair, and showed it integrated with their very own glass wine goblets.  This just goes to prove that melmac and glass can go hand in hand. 


Fostoria Melamine Dishes
1958 Ads were all over promoting Fostoria's new line of Melamine, originally announced in 1957 you can see the design I'm speaking of here.


The designs I've seen are lovely and well thought out. The top of the dishes featured here are white with design and undersides are solid pastel blue to match the cups, making a two tone color scheme.  These are pretty enough patterns which are integrated subtly onto modish shaped components. The below set was found at VintageCleveland on Etsy!  That set is now long gone, but compiling a whole set in good condition is a real find. 
Fostoria Go With Tumblr
Fostoria Glass Go-With Tumblrs

Evidence suggests Fostoria glass company embraced having melamine so they could also sell go-with tumblr, which are rare and hard to find indeed. They are etched with patterns and may match some of the lines. Perhaps if you are collecting Fostoria melmac you can find matching beer glasses, pilsners, or these squatty crystal drink glasses to match your line! 


As for melamine, the only  examples I found of this same line were badly stained, damaged, and when I dropped a plate, it shattered in half.  Perhaps the "unbreakable" melmac of the super duper 1950's was cut with something else in these dishes.   Perhaps one could still piece together a set but it would take you some time.  Finding a nice set like this is a rarity these days. This is a great thing for Fostoria Glassware collectors to add to their growing collection. 
Need to know more on Fostoria? .

History on Fostoria Glass Company here. 
See all my articles on Fostoria Melmac Here.

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