By Lisa Rodgers


NATIONALLY-Leave it to a woman to see the potential in something created at the time for a man’s world.   Pyrex has over decades become a staple in our kitchens.  It’s without question you get some kind of Pyrex for either a bridal shower, wedding gift or passed on to the next generation.

“The Pyrex® brand began with equal parts American invention and creativity. Initially created by Corning Glass scientists charged with developing lantern glass for railroads, the Pyrex brand found its way into the kitchen when Bessie Littleton, wife of a Corning scientist, asked her husband to bring home some heat-resistant glass to use in place of her broken casserole dish.

He gave her the sawed-off bottoms of some battery jars and Mrs. Littleton used the glass jars to make a cake. She marveled at how evenly it baked, how she could actually see it baking in the oven and how easy it was to clean.

This innovation spurred the first Corning casserole dish and after two years of research and testing, the Pyrex brand was officially launched in 1915,” according to

“I started collecting Pyrex back in March of this year because of the pretty displays I saw on Pinterest. I had my Mom’s smallest mixing bowl from the Homestead pattern and that got the ball rolling! I pretty much collected every piece of Homestead they made. Then moved on to the Snowflake Garland pattern and accumulated all of that too.

Through the course of collecting I have changed what pieces I’m collecting; sort of refining it so to speak. My favorite pieces are Cinderella mixing bowls, regular mixers, refrigerator sets, and space savers, “said Colleen Whidby who is a Belvidere resident and an avid Pyrex collector.

“I have met so many nice people both locally and throughout the country from the Pyrex collecting/buying/selling pages I’ve found on Facebook.

I find myself with extra pieces that I don’t collect that I put in a sell/trade pile or they go to the booth I share with my friend Carla at the Hidden Treasures Antique Mall in Loves Park.

We started that in May because she’s like the rest of the Pyrex collectors. You just can’t turn down a piece of Pyrex even if you don’t need it!” explained Whidby.

“I think the part of it I enjoy the most is arranging it through our kitchen and dining room. I purchased a country style pine hutch from a friend of mine and took it to another friend (my paint guy) Brandon from BH Restore and he put a nice aged patina on it. I now have a beautiful place to put my pretties!

Sometimes I find pieces that are not in the best condition and those pieces I put in my kitchen cupboard for use. The ones that go into my hutch display or my dining room display are off limits to daily use. I may use them at holidays or other special occasions but not for daily use. I do collect other patterns also.

Pink and yellow gooseberry, Amish butter-print (blue), black, turquoise, and white snowflakes, and delphite blue. I love anything pink or blue! They are my favorites,” concluded Whidby.

Did you know some of these facts?

More than 80 million Americans own Pyrex products.
The first line of Pyrex glass bakeware in 1915 featured 12 pieces, including casserole dishes, custard cups, a bread/loaf pan, pie plates, egg dishes and individual bakers. Several Pyrex products offered today can trace their lineage back to these original 12.

The first Pyrex measuring cup debuted in 1925 and had two spouts for pouring left handed or right handed, with the addition of red marking in 1941.

Pyrex glassware is has been made in Charleroi, PA for more than half a century, according to

In honor of its 100th Anniversary, Pyrex is issuing commemorative measuring cups.  “America’s Favorite Dish: Celebrating a Century of Pyrex commemorates the history of Pyrex brand housewares, developed by Corning Glass Works in 1915.

Central to the story of Pyrex are women, traditionally the keepers of the home, who helped Corning designers and engineers develop the products to appeal to the burgeoning women’s consumer market.

Corning Glass Works combined affordable products and attractive designs with strategic marketing to make Pyrex a mainstay in American homes.

Pyrex advertisements, ephemera, and glassware from the combined collections of the Library and Museum will reveal the evolution of this modern American tradition,” according to

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