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 at Home Blog








Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home

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