Saturday, February 5, 2011

Retro Saturday

I have always loved 'old things' ever since I was a kid. Be it people, movies, or artifacts from the past, I have an interest and desire to learn more about things with a little history.

I remember as a young teenager being in 'Gus' Grill', the local diner, and ordering a coffee just for the thrill of appearing to 'look older than I was'. In all likely-hood the coffee would come in a mug, usually a white one but sometimes green. And they were heavy, thick mugs too, much like this one:

These are the classic 40's and 50's 'Fire King' coffee mugs made by the Anchor Hocking Glass Company that were everywhere at the time and even given away as incentives in 'rolled oats'  boxes. So when I started to 'collect' in the early 90's, I began to see these again at flea markets, auctions and shops. I have collected a few and will share them with you.

As you can see these are not mugs but are included in my wall display because they are from the same period and colour....besides not everyone drank coffee! These are 'Jadite' Fire King  oven ware tea cups. 

These are not even coffee mugs or tea cups but a creamer and sugar from roughly the same time  and I do not know what glass company made them. I loved the colour and they look great with the others along the wall under the high cupboard in the kitchen.

As you can see this has a sort of 'ray' design and no name. All I do know is that it is what they call a 'fired-on' distinguish it from the translucent items.

These Jadite mugs are much thinner ones than the first one above. They were made by Fire King and were popularized by Martha Stewart in the mid 90's which caused a 'rush' on them....much like what is happening to old Pyrex bowls today. Last year I did a blog on more of the Jadite I have,check it out here.

Both the creamer and the mug above are Fire King and are called Delphite and sometimes Chalaine Blue.

Here's two more Fire King mugs, the one on the left is Fired-on yellow and the other was sold as a 'blank' to a design company called 'Gay Fad' who painted the fruit motif on it.

I have noticed that some mugs from this period have the usual 'ridged' bottoms and some, like the two above, have a very flat bottom. I am not sure why they were produced this way but have heard that the 'flat' ones are harder to find. They 'feel' a little heavier than the regular ones....more stable maybe.

See how flat the bottoms are?

The last one in this line-up.......a 'fired-on' creamer.
So next time you see any of these old coffee mugs and they are for sale at a very reasonable price, why not buy it, take it home and enjoy a nice cup of your favourite hot beverage. I swear it always tastes better in these mugs!
Have a great weekend all!

PPS.......As requested by 'Chitown girl' here are a couple pics of them all in a row.


  1. Now you got me in the mood for some coffee in that first mug pictured. I'll be making my Saturday trip to the Salvation Army today to get rid of more things. I just might make it home with one of these mugs.
    You're not really helping me declutter with your beautiful descriptions of things, you know!
    Your Friend, m.

  2. Very cool collection! I would love to see a shot of the whole collection, to see how they actually look displayed under your cabinet.

  3. Yes, I remember seeing mugs like these when I was a kid. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  4. The colors are so clean and bright!

  5. I only have 4 mugs anymore and they were gifts from my sons at one time or another, of course, I have cups that go with the china but they are hidden away. It's mainly from lack of space. I like the smaller jadeite cups and especially the one with the flowers!

  6. my mother had these mugs when we were growing up as well as most of my canadian relatives. i loved them. the blue, and the white are me faves...

  7. Love the little blue jug. So cute.

  8. Love how you have the entire collection displayed... love em! :-9

  9. Oh wow. I love them displayed all in a row!! I love anything old and colorful! These are great, Jim. I'm looking forward to yard sale and estate sale time and finding treasures such as these... :) Have a great weekend!

  10. I get such a buzz in my bones when I find items such as you are describing. I would love to find an entire set of Fire King Primose tumblers and juice glasses one day. SIGH (And not have to pay $300 for each.) LOL

    The other day, I picked up a Gemco Juicer. My boys were surprised to find out. Americans actually made lots of items not that long ago.
    Such history and beautiful pieces.

    Take care,

  11. I love how you have them displayed. They look great. Those thicker mugs are my idea of perfect coffee mugs.

  12. I remember my parents as well as my Grand parents having mugs like the green ones; they were really heavy as far as mugs went!
    thanks for the memories :)

  13. I just found seven of first! I will show them on the blog in a few days, I'm waiting for my new cameral to come. Also, I love the way you have them displayed, very nice.

  14. How pretty those look all hung in a row like that!! Thanks for sharing :O)

  15. Oh, I love how you have them displayed! Glass mugs are the best, all I drink out of. You have quite a pretty collection.


  16. Thanks for adding that last photo!! They look great!

  17. Love the way you have displayed your cups! Seeing the white ones brings back memories of my Grandmothers house.
    Really enjoy seeing your treasures.

  18. Those are lovely jim! Thanks for sharing all those wonderful pieces.

    I'm still on the look out for some jadeite mugs, but I've never seen affordable ones!

  19. Hey there Jim! Sorry it took me awhile to piece your connection to Sophie together, but glad I found you. I am a Fire King Nut and have soo many items it is a little embarrassing. I started with the tulip grease bowl, and it exploded from there. I love FireKing! Oh well, just so my kids don't sell it at a rummage sale I say! You have a gorgeous collection of mugs. Right now I really obsess over the dark ivory and have a very large collection of the gay fad that I love! My family always knows I would take any piece of Fireking for any present....and around here we stumble on some fun pieces on occassion. Thanks for sharing yours!

  20. Jim, what a fun post. Thanks for the careful pictures of each one. I don't think I've ever seen Jadeite tea cups, but perhaps I've never looked before. And I love how you have them all lined up -- brilliant displaying. I love your vintage Saturdays!

  21. Those photos make my heart beat faster! I wish we could go flea-marketing together. Thank you for showing us your "finds."

  22. Hi Jim. Lovely post. (Love Fire-King as well...) The Peach creamer and sugar piqued my interest - I've seen them before. Here's the info.

    Canadian Depression Glass,
    Dominion Glass Company ( 1920-1950)
    Similar to the Homespun pattern, the Saguenay pattern consists of a series of thin ribs.
    Colours are Crystal, and Crystal with fired-on pastels of green, yellow, pink (peach), or blue.
    Saguenay was introduced by Dominion Glass after World War II (1945-50).


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