Dinnerware patterns of the 1950s

Written by alice drinkworth
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Dinnerware patterns of the 1950s
A homemaker is an iconic image of the 1950s, when dinnerware took on softer colours and geometric designs. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

The 1950s was a time of innovations in the home. The country was rebounding from World War II and the kitchen was king, with new appliance innovations making homemaking easier. Dinnerware patterns reflected the times with welcoming pastel colours and rectangular or floral patterns.

Fiesta dinnerware

The vibrant colours and simple design makes Fiesta dinnerware one of the most recognisable vintage patterns. The Homer Laughlin China Company started the Fiesta line in 1936. As interior colour preferences moved from vibrant colours to pastels in the 1950s, so did the colours of Fiesta dinner plates. Cobalt blue, light green and old ivory were retired in 1951, and forest green, rose, chartreuse and grey were introduced. The four new colours were retired in 1959, making Fiesta dinnerware in those hues authentic to the 1950s.

Tickled Pink

Tickled Pink was a pattern produced by Vernonware in 1958 and acquired by Metlox shortly thereafter. Pink squares and grey dashes speckled the face of the dinner plate. A turquoise version called Heavenly Days was produced shortly after Tickled Pink was introduced.

The Homemaker

Any talk of 1950s dinnerware is not complete without mention of the Homemaker design of dinnerware, by Ridgway and Adderly, renamed Ridgway Potteries in 1955. This British company created dinnerware that featured black and white images of furniture and cutlery used in the home on its dinnerware. Plates featured a hodgepodge of 1950s era images of a table, lamp, spoon and other home items spattered across the face of a plate. The Homemaker line of dinnerware commands high prices on eBay, with mostly British sellers having stock.

Plaid Dinnerware

A series of plaid dinnerware was produced during the 1950s by Vernon Kilns, designed by artist Gail Turnbull. These hand painted dinner patterns offered the geometrical designs of squares and plaid design in a variety of colours set against a white background. Gingham, produced between 1949 and 1958 featured varied hues of green and yellow. Homespun, also produced between 1949 and 1958 featured a plaid design with yellow with deep greens and reds. Tam O'Shanter had stripes of rust and greens, including deep hues of green and the popular, lighter hue of chartreuse.

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