Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ThriftDay - Diner Dishes...and a little trivia!

Following the lead of my good junking friend, Candy at Junk Sophisticate, who has appropriately dubbed Thursday - "ThriftDay", I wanted to share a recent load of dishes I found at my local Volunteers of America. I try to hit our thrift stores once a week (there are four within about 10 minutes of my office) - so lunchtime is just the right amount of time to go "shopping" - and my boss is pretty understanding if I'm a "few" minutes late!

Anyway, I've been shopping for things for us to sell at the Springfield Extravaganza (coming up soon - September 18-20, 2009) - and came across the most wonderful old "diner dishes" - used by some local restaurant(s) I'm sure. I collect (and LOVE) white pottery of many kinds, so the "white" just sucked me in! I couldn't believe how many there were (and the price was RIGHT)...there were piles of plates, saucers, dessert bowls, soup bowls and cups...oh my!!! And of course I had to flip them over to see the names...some of them were familiar and some not: Homer Laughlin, Buffalo China, Shenango, Walker, Wellsville, Bailey-Walker, Syracuse, Victor, and Sterling. I believe they're mostly Ohio and Pennsylvania companies. Ohio used to be a huge manufacturer of pottery, and East Liverpool, Ohio was at one time known as the "Pottery Capital of the World". (a little Ohio trivia...)

Another tidbit of information (a little "Kathy" trivia). One of my first jobs in high school was at a diner in Bryan, Ohio (Lester's Diner - in business since 1965 - I was there in the 70s...) So maybe seeing all these diner dishes was like going back to my roots - so to speak. Anyway, I was the first "bus girl" they had, and I cleared a LOT of those kinds of dishes off tables - so that's my claim to fame in diner history in Bryan... Lots of fun memories there... Here's their website...

They've now had a good old-fashioned homestyle dishwashing, which after years of banging around in a big old commercial restaurant dishwasher - probably seemed like a day at the spa! LOL Anyway, here are some pics - the dishes are all white, aged to perfection and ready for new homes to serve up some meatloaf and mashed potatoes and a piping hot cup of coffee (so diner-ish)...

See - I said piles of dishes... and more...

So, I had to make a little cup pyramid...too much photo-fun!!

Just a "few" more... (did I go a little overboard??? nah.....!)

I love vintage pottery, and these old dishes had all the great "markings"...

OK - one last "photo op" and I'm done!! :)

Thanks for stopping by the "diner" and happy thrifting!!

P.S. I bought over 60 pieces, and they still had more...maybe I'll have to go back!

That thrifting bug never goes away...


  1. VERY, VERY, cool Kathy! I love each and every piece! You are one lucky girl and I know these will be snatched up quickly at Springfield! Thanks for playing along on my THRIFTday! Here is mine for today... A vintage aqua dresser!

    Candy - AKA Junk Sophisticate

  2. Ooohh . . . you know I love these! Why is Ohio so dang far! Great buy!


  3. What a huge find! So many pieces too!~Patti

  4. Beautiful whites! Love your photography, your eye for composition is wonderful.
    Have a wonderful Thursday~

  5. Thanks ladies - for your nice comments! I'm really tempted to go back and see what's left - or if they put out more...! I love the whites too!!!

    Candy - love the dresser you found!

    Patti - thanks for visiting!

    Lani - you just have to come for a visit!!

    Anne - thanks - I've been working on my photography - the right time of day to take pics, etc...with a little help from some of my blogging friends! :)

    Have a great day! Kathy

  6. Hi Kathy,
    Love all these white dishes....that's all I use now in my own home. Your pictures of the backs of these pieces reminded me that I have been seeing a lot of people hang and display pieces of china in their home and just show the back maker mark....I think it looks great and a few of the maker marks on your load would look great displayed that way.

  7. I love and buy these old diner dishes as well. They are virtually indestructible. I really love the little bowls for beans and soups. Makes for fun serving at the table.
    That last photo made me smile...I guess you saw that a lot when you were working back in the day!

  8. Hey Kathy, Nice haul on the dishes! I didn't know our fair state was the dish capital of the world.... ya learn something every day! I loved your cloche/candolier you created and posted the other day. so creative. Speaking of creativity, I slaved over a blog button on Sunday. Hope you'll grab and post it, hint hint...
    see ya soon, hugs, Sue

  9. I am a sucker everytime for cream dishes!! Love them !! Janna

  10. I love these, Kathy...what a great find! Loves...

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog and enjoying the dishes with me!! :)

    Janis - I like the idea of displaying with the markings showing - they're all so unique.

    Debbie- you're right...lots of "stacks" of dishes! ha ha

    Sue - will stop by and grab a button!

    Take care all! Kathy

  12. I was just surfing the web when I found this article. I just want to warn you that old dishes like these may have high levels of lead. We had some old diner dishes and we just threw them all in the garbage. They were poisoning us. Many old dishes have lead, but when the glaze is scratched the lead leaches into food. Ours were also from Ohio, probably some of the same manufacturers


Thanks! It was so sweet of you to pop in for a visit! Have a blessed day!