If your “good old days” included a hula hoop, a Beetle and The Beatles—or you just wish you lived during those “mod” years, then my most recent thrifted treasure will make you smile and nod with nostalgia. You’ve no doubt seen these iconic serving pieces but may not know that the line is called Blendo and was manufactured during the 1950s and ‘60s by the West Virginia Specialty Glass Company of Weston, West Virginia. There’s even a glass museum there, as the town apparently was well known for its glassware. The website for the museum says they only have one employee and I can just picture a little old lady, with glasses on the tip of her nose, sitting at the desk waiting for people to come in, meticulously dusting all of the beautiful glassware, probably full of knowledge that she doesn’t get to share as often as she’d like. Maybe I’ll go visit her sometime…although truthfully West Virginia isn’t high on my destination list, but hey, you never know.
Blendo glassware was a staple at summer barbecues during the era, with its cheerful “frosted” colors and sturdy feel, reflecting a time when rock music reigned, rockets were racing to the moon, and women wore pearls and gloves just to go to the market. Sigh, I really was born in the wrong decade.
The style is characterized by a bright neon/pastel solid base that fades as it goes up the glass and a gold rim. The Blendo line was at the peak of its production mid-century and came in a wide variety of colors and sets: juice, water/lemonade and cocktail pitchers and glasses, and serving ware (salad bowls and dishes, chip-and-dip trays, oil and vinegar cruets, and salt and pepper shakers). The serving pieces were popular wedding gifts at the time. As the cocktail era, recreated today on the TV series “Mad Men,” boomed, so did the sales of Blendo. I’m sure the release of such shows have also increased the popularity of these now vintage pieces. But I liked Blendo long before Mad Men, my first pieces were a gift from my, at the time, soon to be mother-in-law before our wedding, they had belonged to her mother-in-law.
Over the years I’ve collected a few different styles, the unique pitchers are my favorite.
But this past week I stumbled upon my most favorite set yet. Browsing a small thrift shop a few towns over, I spotted it from across the room and squealed with delight (literally squealed-people were looking) when I saw the price tag, $3 for the entire set! I couldn’t believe it, especially since I know for a fact that a set like this sells for $80-$100 online, so I high tailed it out of there with my treasure before the shop owner changed her mind! Behold the beauty…
It was a beautiful addition to my collection, and now I just need some little martini glasses to go with my lonely green martini pitcher, a gift from my dear friend Brienne who is always on the lookout for vintage finds and often thinks of me while doing so. They look like this just in case you’re wondering…
Now who’s ready for a cocktail?!