Blue Heaven Mid Century Modern Dinnerware: Friday's Find #199


TGITF Friends! This week I have just one fabulous feature to share, so I thought you might enjoy reading a little of the history behind these mod Royal China Blue Heaven dishes...


Mid century modern Royal China Blue Heaven dishes


I have been a fan of these retro MCM dishes featuring the funky atomic design for several years now but this is the first time I've come across them while thrifting!


Mid century modern Royal China Blue Heaven dishes


The set includes three each of the 10" dinner plates, 6.5" small plates and 5.5" small bowls, plus one 9" serving bowl and one 11.5" platter with handles.  AVAILABLE


Mid century modern Royal China Blue Heaven dishes


They were manufactured by Royal China, Sebring Ohio from the 50s-70s. Many of the smaller dishes are unmarked on the back.


Mid century modern Royal China Blue Heaven dishes



Some interesting facts from Sebring Historical Society  about Royal China: 
  • The company started with $500, six months free rent and employees working without pay.
  • Six months later, they had 125 people on their payroll and within the first year produced 7,800,000 pieces of pottery. 
  • Even though it was the Depression, the company updated the old kilns to more modern equipment and in 1934 the plant was converted to produce china and porcelain for the U.S. Government.
  • By 1948, a former printer, Kennith Doyle invented an underglaze stamping machine that would eventually allow the application of underglaze colors in intricate designs directly onto the unglazed ware and revolutionize the industry. The new process was then used on the famous Blue Willow pattern.
  • By 1965, Royal was the largest U.S. union plant and had over $6,000,000 in sales. 
  • In 1969, the plant was sold to Jeanette Glass Company (who also manufactured early jadeite) which was eventually sold to Coca Cola Bottling Company.
  • Operations seized in 1986 after being sold to an investors group from Boston. 


Mid century modern Royal China Blue Heaven dishes


Like Quaker Oats, Royal China often offered the dishes as promotions in grocery store premium catalogs like this one from the midwest chain Red Owl. 


Retro Blue Heaven dish promotion
{Photo credit: Laurel Hollow Park


You may have seen similar casserole dishes and loaf pans by the same name, with a brighter white background, like this one I sold four years ago. These were manufactured later by Fire-King in the 70s and usually are not marked on the bottom. (Sorry for the blurriness--old camera!) 


vintage 70s Fire King Blue Heaven casserole



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mid century modern Blue Heaven dishes

Until next time, happy hunting! 

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MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR FEATURING THIS POST: 



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11 comments:

  1. That is so interesting! Love the history and plates

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  2. I might have a set of these in the garage.....but would take months to find them. :)

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  3. I found a few of the glasses last year and sold them in my booth. The pattern is fascinating.

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  4. Thanks Cecilia for the history. I think my Grandmother may of had this design. It really seems familiar. My daughter would love those!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this beautiful dinner ware with us! I especially enjoyed reading the history of the company who manufactured it. It truly sounded like the American Dream....people starting a company on a shoe string, and with hard work & a quality product, building a successful company. What a great work ethic they had! Blessing to you.

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  6. Great article. I am so in love with everything mid century these days. What a great find. I found a few pieces of Royal China's Celeste Pattern with the turquoise starburst a few months ago and got so excited.

    Thanks for all the background info. The more I get into researching and learning about vintage goods, the more fun and fascinating I find it.
    All the Best,
    Gwen

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  7. Those are so cute! I need some new dishes.... alas.

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  8. These are so unique....I have never seen them. What a great find to have so many pieces in one buy!

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  9. We had one of the casserole dishes growing up! I had completely forgotten about it, until your picture flashed on my screen. Fun memory....

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  10. How cool! I've never seen or heard of them but now I'll be on the look out, as usual! xo Kathleen

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  11. These were my Mom's good dishes when I was a kid; she got them as premiums at the First National, a grocery chain like A & P in NH. I've sold most of them as I have my own sets of "good" dishes. She eventually used them for everyday (after us kids left home and the breakage rate decreased markedly!). Great memories. Due to a small kitchen and cramped table space, we used to call our self service at holiday meals "Lu's buffet"; food was served from bowls or pans on the woodburning side of the gas stove with more on burners! Thanx for the memories!

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I absolutely love to read your thoughtful comments and enjoy responding to each one! I respond by email to be sure you receive it but your email address is always kept confidential. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!