More than a third of all Americans once had these dishes in their homes – did you?
The “Butterfly Gold” pattern creates instant nostalgia.
The name Corelle might not be familiar to everyone – especially people who aren’t particularly interested in dinnerware. But for those of us who grew up in the seventies and eighties, Corelle plates are synonymous with childhood. If you didn’t use the gold, flowery-patterned plates at home then you knew someone who did. They were nice looking, relatively cheap and (almost) indestructible.
Introduced by Corning Glass Works exactly fifty years ago, the plates were an instant hit. The first year they sold 425,000 pieces. A year later that number skyrocketed to over 38 million. Corelle dishware sales continued to climb through the 1980s. At its peak, 35% of American households owned Corelle dishes. That’s about 75 million people all eating off the same plates!
In 1970, Corning took a creative approach to developing their new line of dinnerware. They surveyed 8,000 households to hear what kinds of plates and bowls people actually wanted. After talking with the public, company representatives noticed two main requests: dishes that are durable but aren’t heavy, and dishes that look good but aren’t expensive. Thus, the plates we all know and love were born.
Initially, Corning came out with four different color designs all set against “Winter Frost White.” There were two blue designs, Old Town Blue and Snowflake Blue, along with Spring Blossom Green and, of course, Butterfly Gold. The extremely popular, ornamental gold decoration lasted until the early 1990s.
Do you remember eating family meals off of Corelle plates?