Lifestyle Thrifting & Vintage

Glasbake Ovenware: What is it, who made it?

Glasbake ovenware was officially known as ovenware made of glass, and was a line of heat resistant oven/baking/serving ware developed in the early 1900s by the McKee Glass Company. It was originally known as Glasbak Ware. Note the missing ‘s’ and missing ‘e’. This is key to identifying when a piece was made, and by whom.

The McKee Company: Glasbake by McKee Division of Thatcher Glass Corp

The McKee Company was a long standing glass company out of the Pittsburgh region, and it was in the early days that it was spelled, Glasbak. In 1917 the spelling changed to Glasbake, and Ware was dropped from the name remaining this way through to 1953.

Vintage Glasbake McKee Company Logo

The company partnered with a number of  other firms throughout their history, which resulted in the spelling changes and subsequent company name changes. If you see Glasbake spelled with a double ‘S’ (Glassbake), this is not a McKee.

Here you see McKee’s telltale stamp and patent marking on the rim of an oven-to-table meat platter .

Glasbake Patent 1927 marking in glass roasting tray.

In 1951 ‘Glasbake’ was changed to ‘Glasbake by McKee Division of Thatcher Glass Corp’. The name then changed again in 1961 when Thatcher sold the McKee factory to Jeanette Glass. Jeanette Glass usually identified their Glasbake pieces with a number on the bottom that had a ‘J’ prefix. This is another tip for identifying the who and when of an authentic McKee piece.

What makes Glasbake so special?

What’s so special about Glasbake is their original marketing message, ‘From Oven to Refrigerator’. Glasbake pieces were designed to be used for cooking, serving and storing, and it’s this 3-in-1 combination that I think was so brilliant. Back when Sunday dinner meant pulling out all the stops, pieces like the meat platter certainly made cooking, serving, and clean up a seamless process.

Here is a full view of the Glasbake meat platter mentioned above. This magnificent piece circa 1927 was in Audrey Would’s Etsy boutique until just recently. It has since found its way to a new home, and is a great example of an oven to refrigerator piece.

Glasbake Tree Well Meat Platter Silver Frame Glass Insert

Oven-to-Refrigerator: How this works

Imagine for a minute, serving a roast.

  1. Cooking

The glass platter was used to cook the roast, and the tree well pressed into the base of the platter was designed to collect the roast drippings. As you can see, the Glasbake platter sits perfectly in the silver stand, which made serving a breeze!

Glasbake Tree Well Meat Platter Silver Frame Glass Insert

  1. Serving

The gorgeous silver plated serving stand was designed to glam up the platter, and the two combined made a deluxe serving statement. The stand adds a touch of elegance with its sleek lines and simple understated details, yet doesn’t feel too fussy to use.

Glasbake Tree Well Meat Platter Silver Frame Glass Insert

  1. Storage

At the end of the meal all that’s left to do is cover the leftover roast right on the platter, remove the platter from the stand and store it in the refrigerator. Function from beginning to end, and a testament to great design.

Glasbake Tree Well Meat Platter Silver Frame Glass Insert

Don’t you agree this is a well thought out design that covers all the bases for cooking, serving and storing a roast just right? If you have Glasbake in your collection, what pieces do you have, and which ones do you use the most? Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by.

Audrey Would Vintage Home blog

 

 

Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home

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10 Comments

  • Reply Kathy Kautz November 7, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I have a Glasbake 254 loaf pan with a poppy pattern on each side. Do you know if this glass contains lead and/or whether it is safe to bake with. Thanks for your assistance!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller November 9, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Hi Kathy,
      I don’t know for sure, but you can get a lead-testing kit in some hardware stores to test the pan for lead. If it’s lead-free then I would personally feel it’s safe to bake with.
      Thank you for checking in!
      Sheila

  • Reply Vennie Govender October 12, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Hi there, would love to identify the piece i picked at a flea market approx 4 to 5 years ago, this fish shaped dish is solid steel gold in color, extremely heavy and have marking on the bottom GlasBake USA 4141, the marking is kinda of up side down, i have googled and can only find glass dishes but none like this one.

    Would have been nice if I could attached pictures so as to see what i am talking about.

    • Reply Sheila Zeller October 14, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Vennie,
      This sounds like a really unusual dish! Please feel free to send a few photos to sheila@audreywould.com
      I can’t guarantee I will have any more luck than you in identifying your piece, but I’m always happy to try!
      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment,
      Sheila

  • Reply Jzzy55 August 26, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Just picked up my first Glasbake I’m keeping (I’ve sold others). A small oval green on white Grecian casserole – with lid! I was going to give it to an old friend who teaches Greek and Latin, but I can’t stop admiring it – so for now it’s mine. I really love Glasbake patterns – more than Pyrex – they are more colorful, more refined, more quirky!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 18, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you for sharing and describing your find! It sounds pretty amazing, and if you’re admiring it, I think it has your name on it! Enjoy!!

  • Reply Deb Mayberry July 26, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Just found 2 white Glasbake for Sunbeam bowls at Goodwill, have a 1970’s avocado green stand mixer that was my Mom’s, the larger bowl broke a couple years ago and was half heartedly trying to find another clear glass one, saw the set of 2 white , they’re the same size and will fit the stand mixer. I don’t use the old mixer much but use the bowls all the time, great for mixing anything and storing cookie dough to bake next day.

    • Reply Sheila Zeller August 6, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you so much for describing your Glasbake pieces. I love the vision of the avocado green mixer, and even though you don’t use it much, what a great piece to have! I am so happy for you that you found replacement bowls – what are the odds? I think white sounds just right! I am so please you shared 🙂

  • Reply Denee McKim May 15, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    I have a divided casserole dish that I use to make “leftover casserole” on one side and vegetables on the other. It has a cute green floral design on the side and apparently had a lid that was also divided. Unfortunately, when I found it at a thrift store the lid was not included. Since the finish and paint are mint I would never put it through the dishwasher. I usually rub it with cold coconut oil before adding my other ingredients.

    • Reply Sheila Zeller June 9, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Denee, your casserole dish sounds amazing! Maybe one day the lid will come along, you never know what will pop up in a thrift 😉 I love the care you take with your dish, and love that you don’t put it in the dishwasher!!

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