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Jul 30, 2014 09:45 AM

Vintage Corning Ware Experts - help please?

Today I bought a piece of French White at Goodwill that is slightly different from an "identical" piece I own.

In Common:
marks on the bottom, identical on both dishes
F-5-B 1.6 LITER

smooth bases, indicating pyroceram

Weight, by about 3oz.

Color, the heavier one has an ivory/gray tinted, not as brilliant white as the lighter dish, a difference only noticeable when compared side by side

decor lines on the side, on the whiter, lighter dish, run ever-so-slightly farther onto the bottom of the dish

What can you tell me about these two baking dishes? Is the lighter, whiter dish older, from more pure clay? I'm clueless, really.

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  1. edit, oops re read your post

    are you sure they are both pyroceram?

    perhaps a change in factory/composition

    1 Reply
    1. re: JTPhilly

      Hi JT,

      I can't be 100% sure they're both pyroceram, short of carting them out to the grill. But I believe that all Corningware with smooth polished bases (no ceramic or china ring) are pyroceram. Is that not right?

    2. Don't know, but I can tell you that I used to be able to shop at a Corningware outlet store, and some of the great bargains were oddly colored items that they ran when changing a line over from white to ivory, or whatever. Some number of items were produced during the change-over, and were sent to the bargain store.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DebinIndiana

        Hi DebinIndiana,

        Your explanation makes sense, and I admit it was my first thought. Until I weighed them. The lighter, brighter dish is a bit thinner, which is why the weight is off on the other one.

        Maybe a it's from a different factory using different molds, and with a slightly different clay?

        1. re: DuffyH

          Don't know if I qualify as an expert, but I have some Corningware from 1970 or something and some from the mid to late 1980s. The older pieces are a bit thinner than the newer ones. I think that they made some slight changes in the pyroceramic formula when microwaving became popular.

          For what it's worth, these are my baking dishes. Not that I bake a whole lot.

          1. re: texanfrench

            Thanks texanfrench,

            I figured that it's still pyroceram and therefore a fine baking dish. I paid $2.16 for this one.

            I confess that I really like them because they're lighter and available in smaller sizes than my Emile Henry and Le Creuset bakers. I just wish it were easier to find the smaller ones with lids.

      2. The Pyroceram (TM) versions of French White aren't made from clay; they're a kind of glass, just like the other CorningWare. Much of what's floating around thrift stores and the back of kitchen cabinets now was made in Corning's US plants, but it was also made in France under license by the glass company that makes Arcoroc (and a lot of other products with 'arc' in the name). It's still being produced there, and there was a brief moment in the early 2000's when it was imported; the Martha Stewart K-Mart line had some pieces.

        So your different piece might be an example of that. If the bottom is completely slick, no ring of rougher material, it's pyroceram not stoneware.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ellabee

          Hi ellabee,

          Thanks for that detailed explanation. I never knew Pyroceram wasn't clay, and didn't know that the French plant was the same one that made Arcoroc. I recall seeing a lot of Arcoroc at boat shows in the 80's. It was big for dinnerware, because no one wanted anything as pedestrian as Corelle, and because it was printed with nautical motifs. Tres cool.

          I recall once at the San Diego boat show our neighbor was finding the "indestructible" claims hard to swallow. He picked up a piece and pitched it about 20 feet across the booth, where it crashed onto the concrete floor. Didn't break!