Other Vintage Kitchen Collectibles (Non-Electric)

“Other” collectibles run the gamut from depression era glass cookware and glass storage containers for the fridge, to mid-century and “space-age” kitchen accessories such as , canisters, spice containers, cake and pie carriers, bread boxes, wax paper and foil dispensers (plastic wrap still on the horizon), and various and sundry little things that made a kitchen complete back in the day.
I haven’t focused specifically on these but acquired some here and there, often as part a batch that was sold along with a mixer, toaster or other electric appliance. But did for a while collect canisters.

Many of these items are rather mundane and it seems they wouldn’t be that attractive as a collectible, however beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there are a great many people who find these things interesting and certainly are eager to collect them.

Many people collect only certain colors to go with the decor in their kitchens. Some examples are like this set of French canisters, the red Pyrex bowl and the red Speed E Whipper shown in this photo.

Other favorite collectible colors to highlight vintage kitchens from various eras are the green and yellow popular in the 1920s and early ’30. Pink with black or gray was very popular in the 1950s as was aqua or turquoise. And for a brief time in the late ’50s there was a surge of interest in the combination of turquoise and copper. Lincoln Beautyware produced an extensive line of kitchen accessories with this color combination, including trash cans and step stools as well as canisters and other accessories.

This is a Lincoln Beautyware dispenser for aluminum foil, wax paper and paper towels – before the appearance of plastic wrap.

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The Breadbox

What can be more mundane than a breadbox? It is what it is and works as designed, more or less efficiently, although in my opinion, the perfect bread box has yet to be invented.

They are VERY collectible!

Here’s an old green bread “box” made of enameled metal. It was made in England and is big enough to hold a lot of bread, as well as a bread board and knife, for that matter.

The IRISH Breadbox

This white is nearly the same size as the green one. It was made in Ireland and has a lid with an interesting scalloped shape. I’m not sure of the age but it was brought to the U.S. in 1946 by an English “War Bride” and I bought it from her daughter.
It shows a fair amount of wear and the enamel is chipped in several places, some quite large but to me, this only adds to its charm.

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Canisters

Most of these are from the 1950s and 1960s, an era that seemed to produce a proliferation of kitchen accessories that were designed to take up a lot of space on a counter top and they were certainly intended for display. Some of the ads show homemakers in an attitude that showed they were thrilled with their “Lincoln Beautware All-Steel Canister Sets.” Ditto the ads for Kromex. The West Bend Aluminum Company began producing canisters and similar accessories to match the colors of some of their appliances – Avocado green, Burnt orange, etc. At the time I had an Avocado green fridge so I did get the West Bend canisters.

I try to think back but I really don’t recall being all that thrilled with my kitchen stuff. It was there to be used and that was about it. Twenty years later I decided the stuff was really interesting and began collecting a bit here and there. I never really got into it so my collection is quite small.
I’m amazed at some collections that run into the hundreds. I met one couple in the San Fernando Valley who had added a large room onto their house to display their impressive collection of kitchen canisters and related accessories, such as wax paper/ foil dispensers, bread boxes, etc. Every material you can thing of went into those items, from plastic and lacquer ware to aluminum, to steel and copper. The varieties seen are simply astonishing.

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French canisters

This is a very old set of heavy enameled metal canisters from France. They have the distinctive “web” pattern in the enamel that is often seen in enamelware from France.

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Copper Canisters

This is a nice set of copper canisters that are lined with tin. They still have the lacquer coating since purchase so I have not yet had to polish them. I have enough copper that needs polishing!

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Kromex Canisters

The Kromex company produced an enormous array of canisters and other kitchen accessories, servingware and decorative tableware, many manufactured of spun aluminum. There are collectors who collect nothing but Kromex and I know of one who collects only the Kromex serving pieces. I have only one of the latter.

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This set of Kromex canisters also includes a Grease container, complete with strainer. It is at present employed next to my stove top and requires a bit of sprucing up before posing for its photo.

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This is another nice set of the Kromex “Spun Aluminum” canisters and it includes the fairly rare Rice canister that could be ordered in place of the Tea canister which was standard. Only a few department stores offered this set as a special order, which is why the Rice can is seldom found. The Grease can has a strainer inside.

I like this “roly-poly” shape.

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Kromex Canisters – Copper

This nearly complete set is aluminum with an anodized copper finish. The Tea canister and one of the spice cans are missing, although the grease can and the hanger tray for the spices is there as is the top for a glass oil jar that matched this set. The salt, pepper, flour and sugar cans all have perforated shaker tops and the spice cans have shaker tops that fit inside the can so the caps can be snugly tightened to keep the spices fresh. a very nice design.
This set was very popular in the early 1970s.

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Kromex “Stackables”

These were a later type (late ’70s, early ’80s) and in my opinion not made as well as the earlier ones. These did not have the rolled edge at the top and the edges are rather sharp so reaching into one of the deeper canisters could cause a scrape.
They also were not always “stackable” or not securely stackable. If the bottoms of any of the canisters developed a bit of a bulge, they would not sit securely on the tops of the others.

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Kromex Accessory

This “carosel” condiment/sauce/jelly server was sent to me along with one of the sets of Kromex canisters.

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Novelty Canisters

This set of stacking canisters in Avocado Green with Gold trim were purchased by me in 1964 as at that time I had an avocado green refrigerator and stove. They have seen some wear but are in fairly presentable condition. They did take up less room on the counter than regular canister sets but were somewhat awkward to use and the proportions were not ideal. Larger containers for flour and sugar would have been better and smaller containers for coffee and tea. This is probably why they got so little use. I had a matching set for “Snacks” but gave it away many years ago. It was used quite a bit more than this set.

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West Bend Aluminum Canisters

The West Bend company made many canisters of different shapes and styles and a range of colors that changed over the years to reflect the trends of the times.

This Avocado Green set was a standard color for several years and they were sturdy and stood up well to constant use. I also have a grease container for this set but can’t find it at the moment.

This “Harvest Gold” set is also missing one piece, probably in a box with the green grease container and some others odd pieces.

This “Burnt Orange” set has the same shape and lid handles as the Harvest Gold set. This set includes the Salt and Pepper shakers and the grease container. The emblem and Salt has worn off of that shaker. This set was used but is in quite good shape other than a ding on the lid of the sugar can.

The burnt orange was a popular color right up to the time the West Bend company stropped production of its kitchenware line and matched the lid on the electric skillet, an electric fondue pot and a warming tray.

Avocado Green

Here’s another set of West Bend avocado green canisters and a matching cake saver/carrier with a top that locks on to the base. The canisters are the same shape as the gold and orange with the same “emblem” on the front of each can. This is a nice set that was never used.

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Other West Bend kitchen accessories

This is a “Bakery Bin” made by West Bend and in the same style as canisters made in the same years (early-to-mid 1980s). The color is a bit different from earlier colors. Inside it is purple and outside it looks metallic pink.
Its intended use is as a smallish bread box, for sweet rolls, etc.

This is a large container identified as “This ‘n That” and suggested uses included pasta in packages, large bread rolls, cookies, etc.

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Chilton Ware Grease saver

Chilton ware was another manufacturer of aluminum kitchen accessories and serving ware. They made very popular stovetop percolators and dripolators that were inexpensive and wore well. They also manufactured bakeware, especially cake and cupcake pans, cookie cutters and even some “cooking toys” for the “little homemaker.”

This is another kitchen accessory not usually seen nowadays. This is a grease saver with a strainer in which bacon drippings are saved for use in cooking. It is shaped exactly like the coffee percolators, the only difference the “GREASE” impressed on the side.

Cake and Pie Savers or Carriers

I don’t collect these but have a couple that I use. They can be extremely handy for the times ones had to transport a cake, a pie or both.

This one is metal and has a base chamber that will hold a large pie and is topped by a second chamber that will hold a tall cake and above that another section that will hold a pie or tart. It is a very clever design and is very handy. I’ve used it many times and will continue to do so. I which they still made them like this.
They can be used to store cakes and pies (as long as they don’t need to be refrigerated) as well as transport them.

The top pie section (or single layer cake).

The tall cake section.

The bottom pie section.

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Kromex Cake Saver/Carrier

This Kromex cake saver has the same raised letters that match one of the canisters sets shown above.
It has locking handles on the base that locks the cover to the base so it can be carried by the top handle while transporting the cake.

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COOKIE/BISCUIT/CRACKER TINS

KRISPY KAN with Blue Magic crystals in the hollow knobs.

These biscuit or cracker tins are very handy because they have the crystals in the lid knobs that will absorb moisture and keep the contents dry and crisp.

They were manufactured in a variety of colors and designs and have held up well to frequent use.

The directions for care of the crystal-filled knobs is under the lid of each tin. These crystals have turned pink from absorbing moisture from the contents.

This is the appearance of the crystals after being “baked” in a 450° F., oven for 20 minutes.

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Refrigerator Storage Containers

Before there were “disposable” plastic containers and even before “Tupperware” appeared on the scene, there were refrigerator containers made of glass, ceramic and enameled metals (so they would be non-reactive to foods containing acid).

I don’t collect the “Depression Glass” containers, which are numerous and very nice, except that in the 1980s, when these became very collectible, the market was deluged with copies from Asia and many people were fooled into buying these fakes at very inflated prices.

I really haven’t made an effort to collect much in this line but I do have some Pyrex, which I use.
Here are two complete sets in the “primary colors.” These sets were very popular and quite common.

They matched the colors of the mixing bowl sets (except for the green) that were produced by Pyrex at the same time.

Pyrex also produced sets in other colors. The following photo shows one in pink as well as a McKee “jadeite” covered bowl and a Hall China refrigerator container made for GE and it has the GE logo on the top.

Hall China also made refrigerator containers, including beverage jugs, for other refrigerator manufacturers. Those most often seen were made for Westinghouse.

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“Jelly” Molds

Long before “JELLO” there were “jellies” and aspics and other molded dishes held together with various gelatinous compounds, going back some centuries, at least to Norman times.
When I was a child, soon after butchering, there was always the production of “calves’ foot jelly” which took a long time and made the kitchen smell different than usual. To me it was a mysterious process and very interesting and as it was during the time of year when the weather outside was cold, wet and miserable, I liked to spend time in the warm and cozy kitchen, mostly underfoot and probably annoying to those who were doing the work.

I can’t remember all the dishes in which this “jelly” was used, but they were mostly savory with meats and vegetables but there were a few sweets and one I remember that was made with wine, a favorite of my great grandmother.

For these “jellies” one needed to have molds and they varied in size and shape, depending on the ingredients.

Here’s a few, the shell shape probably for one containing seafood, one with a bunny that was probably for “potted hare” or similar dish. One in the shape of a bunch of grapes and etc. They are fun to collect and make a great display on a wall.

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Wooden Bowls

I don’t really collect these but many people do and some have enormous collections. I have just a few that are very special to me.

This is a very old dough “trough” intended for mixing dough for bread. It is quite large, as these things go, I have included a ruler in one photo to show the size. It’s a bit more than two feet long and 15 inches wide.
It was carved from a chestnut burl and it had to be a very large tree that produced this size burl. It isn’t varnished, it has a patina that has developed over time with use.

One edge broke a long time ago but the broken edge has been smoothed out with honest wear.

5 Responses to Other Vintage Kitchen Collectibles (Non-Electric)

  1. Cathy Vanatta says:

    I found a range set (greast container with salt and pepper shakers and wondered what the value would be. They are new and still in the original packaging.
    If you could help me with this, I would appreciate it.
    Thanks you, Cathy

    • asenjigal says:

      It all depends on the maker and the style or design. Some are pretty common, others are quite rare and it all depends on demand.
      A few years ago some sets were being priced at astronomical prices but then reproductions began showing up and people became afraid to purchase the, particularly the Art Deco designs.
      If you have good provenance that shows yours are truly vintage they can still range widely in value. I don”t have a recent price guide, I check to see at what level the major vendors on eBay or Ruby Lane are pricing them.

  2. honeyb says:

    very nice collection:) Are these items on the pages for sale or just for show? ty

    • asenjigal says:

      These things are all part of my collections and not offered for sale, at least not at this time, but it all depends on the item. Some of the canister sets and the bread boxes may eventually have to go because they take up a lot of room.

  3. Dawn says:

    If you find yourself weeding out, I would be interested in the “This ‘n That” canister.
    Keep my e-mail address and keep me in mind.

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