My latest fascination is all about the colorful hard plastic kitchenware known as Lustro Ware. Just yesterday I was at Antique Society (a local multi-dealer antique mall in Sebastopol, CA) and came across a very bright yellow Lustro Ware cookie jar and a pair of bright red salt and pepper shakers and just ‘had’ to have them. I see lots of ‘retro’ kitchens decorated with collections of this bright and colorful hard plastic from yesteryear, and I set out to learn more.
The ‘Columbus Plastics Company’ was launched back in very late1939 by Gebhard W. Keny and W.J. Braley. Some 5-6 years later in around 1946 they changed their company name to ‘Lustro Ware’ and were producing some 300+ items for the home and kitchen with the ‘patent pend’ stamp under the division of the ‘Columbus Plastic Products Division of The Borden Chemical Company’ with a trademark filed sometime in 1950.
Today, Lustro Ware is very collectible and you can find all kinds of items in many colors from yellow, red, pink, green, blue and more in the form of salt and pepper shakers, to bread boxes, plates, canisters, cookie jars, trash cans, utensil holders, trays, measuring cups and spoons, juice reamers, spice racks and spice holders, recipe boxes and so much more.
Items today (2013) that are currently ‘hot’ are the spice racks and holders (Vintage Aunt Jemima especially for a complete set) with prices $200+, shakers sets $25-$50 and canister sets $250+. Be careful with the Aunt Jemima sets as many are marked ‘F&F Mold and Die Company’ and not ‘Lustro Ware’.
Finding Lustro ware items with the letters in tact and no scuffmarks can be challenging. Do you collect Lustro ware? I would love to hear about your collection, please email me via my ‘contact’ page.