Vintage Kitchenware Collectibles from Depression Glass to Pyrex That Won’t Break the Bank


Looking to start a new collection? Or maybe you want to make a more sustainable kitchenware choice? Consider starting a vintage kitchenware collection.

Not everything new is better. In fact, many old things are downright fantastic and that goes for vintage kitchenware collectibles. Whether you’re looking for practical additions to your kitchen or you’ve caught the collecting bug, vintage kitchenware is ubiquitous. And not only is it a more sustainable choice than buying new, it’s also a less expensive choice and one with a cool retro vibe, too!

Not sure you can tell the difference between Milk Glass and Jadeite? Read on to learn more about the most common types of vintage kitchenware you are likely to come across.

A Vintage Kitchenware Collection Primer

Image via Giddies

Depression Glass

Depression glass is machine-pressed tinted or clear translucent glassware that was produced during the 1920s – 1940s. It was widely distributed for free or at a low cost as giveaways or initiatives by companies looking to lure in customers. It became a popular collectible in the 1960s.

Image via MissmagpiesShop

Ironstone Pottery

Ironstone pottery is often referred to as “poor man’s pottery” because it was the mass-produced alternative to pottery. First produced in the UK in the early nineteenth-century, ironstone collectibles are prized for their heft and stunning whiteness.

Image via Onmykitchentable


Everyone loves vintage brightly-colored and patterned Pyrex dishes from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Not only are they appropriately kitschy, but they are still quite functional in the kitchen! Pyrex is also ubiquitous on Etsy, on Ebay, and at thrift stores, estate sales, and yard sales.

Image via TheBrownSuitcase


Jadeite kitchenware comes in a stunning color of green. Jadeite is nothing more than milk glass that has color added to it. Produced by the Anchor Hocking Company it first hit American shelves in 1942. Martha Stewart has an envious collection of Jadeite.

Image via TheVintageFind1


While not unique to a specific era or time period, many like to collect vintage teacups for the unique patterns and colors they feature. Your collection starts with just one!

Image via theSWEETstand

Cake Plates

By the same token, cake stands are also not limited to a specific time period, and a collection might feature milk glass, depression, and ironstone cake stands. The only limit to this collection is how much time and space you have.

Image via VintageUSSRera


Enamelware kitchenware is made from glass that is fused to steel or iron, which creates a smooth, hard glass finish over the metal. Enamelware got its start in the 1800s as a way to reduce the chemical reaction of cooking directly in iron pots. It was also lighter-weight and more affordable. Vintage enamelware can be found at estate sales, thrift stores, and more.

Image via JeniSandbergVintage

Milk Glass

Milk glass describes opaque white-colored glass that can be either blown or pressed. While white glass had been around for centuries before, it didn’t gain popularity until the late-nineteenth century and remained popular through the Depression.

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Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.