Whether you call them diner dishes, restaurant china or sturdyware commercial plates and tableware from the 1940's and 50's have a hometown charm that is as comforting as meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
Collectors (me among them) have for years found the classic designs and colors irresistable. Fishs Eddy a company specializing in American sturdyware was born when two passionate collectors turned their appreciation for the simple beauty and durability of these American dishes into a growing business. Julie Gaines one of the founders shared a story about the inspiration for their Pantone Collection that struck a chord with both the collector and color-lover in me.
Julie explained that years ago she and her partner bought a stack of vintage dishes from a manufacturer in Ohio that was closing their business. The stack included "color wheel" plates that were used by the company's traveling salesman in the 40's and 50's to show customers the different colors available. The actual names of the color, the identifying number and sometimes even the salesman's name were written in the glaze. One of the plates even had "Do Not Touch" bolding written along with the salesman's name.
She said that initially they didn't know what they were going to do with the samples and so the plates stayed in their office for the next ten years. During that time the destiny of these plates became clear as their design caught the eye of person after person who upon learning of their history expressed delight in the plates and their story.
The new line began to take shape and Julie said that it was only natural for Fishs Eddy to take the concept to Pantone a world leader in color matching. The result is the colorful Pantone Collection shown here complete with color name and number written in the glaze. Sometimes the story behind the product is as interesting as the product itself.