Pyrex Heinz Grocery Store Promo

Welcome to the fourth edition of Material Culture Class, a monthly article where you get a little history behind the find.

Since June is all about green – green grass, green leaves, and fried green tomatoes  – we’re taking a look at a green, limited-edition Pyrex dish from 1953.  This is known to collectors as the Pyrex Heinz Forest Green Promotional Dish.

pyrex heinz promotional

It was sold in grocery stores for – are you ready for this? – seventy-nine cents.  You couldn’t get one at a yard sale for that now, probably.  But there was a catch! In order to get that awesome deal, you had to buy 3 Heinz products.  I am old enough to remember grocery store promotions like that, but I don’t remember seeing any in recent years.  At least, not for anything as useful as a glass baking dish.  Here is an ad that appeared to let homemakers everywhere know about this great promotion:

pyrex heinz promotional
Source: pinterest.com
Original source unknown.

Notice the canned Heinz products in the ad.  The label on the Heinz Baked Beans on the far right seems to be the same color as the dish, so we can assume that is where the color of the dish came from.

The curious thing about this dish is it’s number.  All Pyrex pieces have a very organized numbering system.  Always three digits, the third digit represents the dish’s capacity multiplied by two.  The first digit indicates what series or type it is.  300’s are generally 3 piece bowl sets, 400’s are generally 4 piece bowl sets.  200’s are generally baking dishes.  500’s are usually reserved for refrigerator dishes (for storing leftovers) and then there is the Space Saver casserole series that were numbered 548 and 575.   Confused yet?

The strange thing about this Heinz dish is that the 5xx number seems to put it in the “refrigerator dish” group, since Space Savers didn’t come out until 1957, but the promotion would imply it’s to be used to heat your Heinz Baked Beans. You’d think it would have started with a “0”, since that’s what most of the casseroles start with. Not a big deal.  But the third number, 7, would imply it has a 3.5 quart capacity. Remember, I said the last number is the capacity, doubled. The capacity of this dish is about 1.5 quarts.  It should be numbered 503.  But they already had a 503 – the 1.5 quart refrigerator dish from the four-piece set that Pyrex sold forever in a zillion colors and pattern.  Still with me?

I think the authors of the wonderful website Pyrex Love.com figured it out — perhaps the makers of Pyrex made an exception and numbered it 507 because of Heinz 57, which has been around since 1896.  Just a nice little nod to the ‘ole “57 Varieties” by the folks at Pyrex, to help spur their Pyrex/Heinz promotion.  Pretty darn clever.

If you love vintage Pyrex and want to learn more about it, check out the websites www.pyrexlove.com and www.corellecorner.com.  They are both a wealth of information.

Okay class, that’s it for today.  I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the past of grocery store promotions.  (There were also many Tang promotions over the years, and I have one of the Tang jars. You can see it here.)  Share your thoughts in the Comments and if you would like We Call It Junkin delivered free to your Inbox or RSS reader, sign up at the top of your screen.  Wishing you peace and happy junkin – Dawn

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7 thoughts on “Pyrex Heinz Grocery Store Promo

  1. I’m an information junkie, and so are you, I see! That was really interesting! I learn something every time I come to your blog. I was at an outdoor vintage market this weekend, and overheard one of the vendors who had a lot of Pyrex baking dishes say that they were flying out of her booth. Thank you for linking up with Sunday View!

    Laura

  2. Great idea to share the history of your finds! Great post! Thanks for stopping by my blog. You asked some questions and I answered them on the post in case others had the same questions. Check it out to see!

  3. I have a few pieces of Pyrex, but never been a collector. It is getting very popular again and very costly. I definitely remember the store promotions and still have some of things they gave.

  4. Thank you so MUCH for this history lesson. I have been an avid collector of vintage Pyrex, since we bought our first home. I know it sounds silly, but I tell my husband that most of the good things for the kitchen, have already BEEN made and the chances are pretty good, that if it’s older, it was made to be sturdier than the stuff ppl waste their money on now. I went for Pyrex in our kitchen because when I was growing up, I distinctly remember using the big 4 qt yellow pyrex mixing bowl. No matter how many times my sisters banged it around, dropped it, or what have you, it withstood the MANY tests of it’s time.
    I found the Pyrex 507-B in a consignment/thrift/antique store and I snagged it up quick, thinking that it was perhaps the turquoise one that I had been on the hunt for, for a “reasonable” price. I remembered reading that a lady had found a mixer bowl at a goodwill in awful shape, that resembled this color, and she was able to restore it to the beautiful turquoise. The odd thing was….this piece wasn’t in bad shape….but I just couldn’t ever remember Pyrex having this color in their sets. So I decided to use the old Google, and thankfully I came across your detailed and informative history lesson. I am so very very happy and proud to not only have found one in phenomenal condition, but to be able to know the history behind it, as well!
    Thank you so much again, I can’t wait to tell my mom about this!
    (PS Mostly bc I scored it for only $10!!!!)

    1. Wow, you got a good deal! I’ve started using my vintage Pyrex more and more – on a daily basis really – and you’re right, it holds up great. It’s so much fun to be able to USE a collectible! Thanks for your sweet comment. Take care – Dawn

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