If your “good old days” included a hula hoop, a Beetle and The Beatles—or you just wish you lived back then—this collectible will make you smile. You’ve no doubt seen these iconic serving pieces but may not know that the line is called Blendo and was manufactured during the 1950s and ’60s by the West Virginia Glass Company of Weston, WV, and the Anchor Hocking Glass Corp. of Lancaster, Ohio.
Blendo glassware was a staple at summer barbecues during the era, thanks to its bright, frosted colors and sturdy feel. Its colors were applied onto the glass, giving it additional heft. The modern-looking glassware reflected a time when rock music reigned and rockets were racing to the moon.
Among the Blendo pieces in the extensive collection belonging to Mandy Heth of Etsy shop VintageBaublesnBits are blue, orange, green, yellow, peach and purple pitchers with drinking glasses in coordinating colors; a pink set that includes a salad bowl, salt and pepper shakers, and an oil and vinegar cruet; and a purple martini shaker with six shot glasses.
“The style is characterized by a bright neon or pastel solid base that fades as it goes up the glass and has a gold rim,” Mandy says.
Blendo was at the peak of its production in the 1950s and ’60s. It came in a wide variety of colors and sets: juice, water/lemonade and cocktail pitchers and glasses, and serving ware (salad bowls and dishes, chip-and-dip trays, oil and vinegar cruets, and salt and pepper shakers). The serving pieces were popular wedding gifts at the time. As the cocktail era, which was revisited on the TV show “Mad Men,” boomed, so did the sales of Blendo.
Collectors who would be attracted to Blendo glassware include enthusiasts of Midcentury Modern, nostalgia, retro, vintage, color groups and glassware styles. This is a collectible that should be used and enjoyed rather than stored away for safekeeping.
“They are really fun entertaining ware, even today,” Mandy says.
When searching for pieces to add to your own Blendo collection, consider these points:
- Producers: West Virginia Glass Company, Anchor Hocking Glass Corp.
- Price range: It’s not hard to find individual pieces in the $20 range. A complete set (pitcher and six glasses) from the 1960s was recently offered on Etsy for $59.95. Intact gold rims drive the value up as many are worn from years of use.
- Best Places to Pick: Flea markets, estate sales, thrift shops, antiques stores, Etsy and online auction sites.
- Market Value: Gold rims that are still intact will drive the value up as many are worn from years of use.
- Maker’s Marks: According to the Anchor Hocking Museum (anchorhockingmuseum.com), Anchor Hocking Glass Corp. used the “anchor over H” symbol from 1937 through 1968.