Most families have at least one Pyrex mixing bowl or measuring jug in their kitchen inventory. Pyrex came into existence in 1879 and was patented and sold in 1915. The original Pyrex cookware items were baking dishes. Initially, housewives did not put glass dishes in hot ovens, but the idea caught on and became extremely popular.
Thirty million Pyrex bowls, jugs and dishes had been sold in America within the first 12 years of operation, and over 75% of US homes still to this day have one or more of these items in either everyday use or stored in their kitchen cabinets.
Older designs of the Pyrex kitchenware have become highly collectible and in some circles become quite valuable. The vintage set of primary colored mixing bowls that were introduced in the 1940s are an example of a valuable collectible set. In the 1970s different designs were produced in Pyrex bowls and while they are not valuable as of yet, they are becoming fashionable in the retro kitchens of today. If you go to thrift stores and flea markets you may be able to find these colorful designs, often on opaque white Pyrex. Some of the design names are “Crazy Daisy”, “Spring Blossom Green” and “Cinderella.” A book has been published about collecting Pyrex.
The Pyrex name was sold to the Borden Food Corporation in the 1990s. Borden Foods continue to make Pyrex under the World Kitchen trade name. The majority of the dishes are sold for use in kitchens around the world. There is still some use by the manufacturing industry, but not as much as when they initially came on the market.
The Pyrex mixing bowls are still useful and durable as they were when produced in the 1870s. The company has a guarantee that the dishes are oven safe to 300 degrees centigrade, you can freeze and microwave them, and they are dishwasher safe. One of the nice features in the bowls is that they are great for food storage because they do not leave a taint or odor leached into foods stored in them. Pyrex bowl sets are available with plastic lids which are great for food storage.
Standard Pyrex bowl sets comprise of a 1 quart, 1 ½ quart and a 2 ½ quart bowl together with the brightly colored plastic lids for all three sizes. These bowls are so versatile that they can be used for other things such as salad serving bowls or for storing leftovers. Once the lids are on they can be conveniently stacked. You may even find different sizes of Pyrex mixing bowls, including the 3 and 4 quart mixing bowls for when you need extra capacity.
The Pyrex bowls that are produced today for modern day kitchen use is just clear glass. It is unfortunate that these bowls will not become the valuable dishes as the quirky and unique designs as the bowls of the 1940s and 1970s were.