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Kitchen Collectibles

Do you have a rolling pin collection at home? When you travel to a foreign country is your favorite hangout the markets and kitchenware stores? Do you love looking at Julia Child's kitchen in the Smithsonian?

Here are a few books to help you identify what you have and give you ideas for collecting more.

Selected Books

Alexander, Brian S.
Warman's Kitschy Kitchen Collectibles: Field Guide
TX656.A483 2005x
This guide covers can openers, cookie cutters, salt and pepper shakers, Rubbermaid, Tupperware, and more.
 
Florence, Gene
Kitchen Glassware of the Depression Years
q NK5439.D44 F565 2009x
Now in its 7th edition, look here to find the prices of glassware inherited from your grandmother or great grandmother, realizing that the green sunkist juice you routinely use is valued at $50. Or just peruse the pages of beautiful colored reamers, bowls, pitchers and salt cellars so that you can keep an eye out for them at garage sales.
 
International Cooks' Catalogue
q TX656 .I57 (1977)
Although it is a bit heavy to take along with you on a trip to a foreign country, you might peruse it before you leave to check out what interesting tools you should be on the lookout for. Edited by James Beard.
 
Kovel, Ralph M.
Kovels' Depression Glass and Dinnerware Price List
NK5439.D44 K67 2004x
This 8th Edition is filled with information on factory histories, makers and marks, and thousands of current prices for more than 250 Depression glass patterns, ceramic dinnerware patterns from the 1920s to the '90s, and plastic dinnerware.
 
Mauzy, Barbara E.
Sour Cream Glasses
NK5440.D75 M384 2002x
Who would have thought that among today's favorite glass collectibles are the decorative glass containers that sour cream came packaged in. Hm. I wonder if we shouldn't be saving our yogurt containers...
 
The New Cooks' Catalogue: The Definitive Guide to Cooking Equipment
Edited by Burt Wolf, Emily Aronson, and Florence Fabricant
q TX656.N49 2000
This is a thoroughly updated edition of the 1975 Cooks' Catalogue by James Beard. Primarily a catalog of recommended utensils it is also interesting and informative to read. Good for evaluating cookware at T.J. Maxx and Marshall's.
 
Ragsdale, John G.
Dutch Ovens Chronicled: Their Use in the United States
TX657.K4 R34 1991
If you are a fan of Lodge cast iron cookware, you might be interested in reading the history of the dutch oven in the U.S.
 
Stoneback, Diane
Kitchen Collectibles: The Essential Buyer's Guide
TX656 .S76 1994
If you've just begun to think about collecting kitchen gadgets, you might want to read this introduction which includes a history of American kitchens, collecting considerations, and resources for collectors.
 
Weaver, William Woys
America Eats: Forms of Edible Folk Art
TX715 .W364 1989
This book of traditional American folk recipes is illustrated with the utensils, tableware and cookware used in their creation.
 
Weaver, William Woys
Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History
William Woys Weaver lives in eastern Pennsylvania and knows a lot about food and gardening. He also collects ephemera like menus, food packaging, advertisements. Read more about the book in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article: Tracking history via a trail of paper crumbs
 
Yeske, Doris
Colors and Patterns of Depression Era Glassware
NK5439.D44 Y46 2010x
Colored glassware can bring sunshine colors into homes today, as it did in the 1930s when this American glassware was first made. The poet Pablo Neruda held that food and drink tasted better from colored glass.
 
 

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Websites

  • Feeding America: The Museum Gallery of Objects
    Check out these cooking implements available in the Michigan State University Museum's extensive collection of cooking utensils and kitchenware.
  • Fantes Kitchenware Shop
    This commercial site is from Fantes, a family cookware store located in the heart of Philadelphia's historic Italian Market since 1906. They specialize in utensils for the kitchen that may not readily be available elsewhere.