Vintage cream oblong pie dish with a green rim made from enamel.

During the 1700’s in Germany enamel was found to be a good material to use for cooking pots as it produced a surface that was non-stick.  Originally this coating would have just been inside the pot to line it but as this material became more popular enamel covered metal started to be produced.

By the 1870’s enamelware was being mass produced in America.  Sheets of various metals including aluminium, steel and iron were made into kitchen equipment like dishes, pots and baking tins.  These items would be coated in enamel or vitreous enamel which is a powdered glass.  When this product is fired in a really hot kiln or oven the enamel fuses to the metal.

Early kitchen enamelware products in this country were usually white with a red or dark blue rim.  The product shown in this photograph being cream and rimmed with green is not typically from this country but probably originated from a company called Kockum in Sweden in the 1940’s.

Enamelware is still popular to this day and can regularly be spotted in the kitchen cupboard or on a camping trip. Early vintage items are sought after pieces that have become collector’s items.  Vintage pieces can be distinguished by how heavy they are.  Modern pieces are much lighter and when tapped make a tinny sound.


More information:

Date 1940s, 1950s
Material(s) Metal
Item number MBPO311

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Have you ever had any enamelware like this? Was it white with a blue trim?
  • What would you cook in the dish in the photograph?
  • Would it have been a pie? What filling would it have?

User Stories

When I went on guide camp, we had to have our own plate & cup in enamelware.  I know mine was white with a dark blue rim.  I still have that plate somewhere but it hasn’t been used for some years! – Helen, Memory Box Volunteer

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