Why name Pyrex mixing bowls after Cinderella?
"Cinderella bowl" is a well-known term for the type of nesting bowl with a handle on one side and a spout on the other. The name has become a convenient way to differentiate it from the older style of nesting bowl with a completely round circumference. Cinderella bowls first appeared in 1957 with three pattern & colour choices: turquoise Butterprint, pink Gooseberry, yellow & black Gooseberry. Sandalwood became the next pattern to appear on Cinderella bowls, in 1961. The shape of the bowls was designed by John Phillip Johnson.
Cinderella bowls, 441 & 444. The large bowl is from a 1964 Chip & Dip set.
What is not well-known is that during the late 1950s when Cinderella bowls debuted, many more opal and clear Pyrex products also would bear this same name. Aside from the 440-series Cinderella bowl set, the items listed below were introduced between 1958 and the early 1960s. Some are special gift promotion sets available for only one or two seasons.
Cinderella Butter Dish
Cinderella Beverage Server (8 cup carafe with candle-warmer)
Cinderella Carafe (8 cup or 12 cup with candle-warmers)
Cinderella Snack and Dip Set (025 & 410 square Hostess bowls and bracket)
Cinderella Electric Buffet (575 Space Saver & 12 cup carafe with electric warmer)
Cinderella Serving Casserole (575 Space Saver with cradle, or candle-warmer cradle)
Cinderella Cradled Space Saver Casserole (575 Space Saver with cradle)
Cinderella Oven Refrigerator Freezer Set (500-series refrigerator dishes)
Cinderella Oval Open Baker (053 shallow oval, no lid)
Cinderella Divided Serving Dish (063 divided dish with divided lid)
Deluxe Cinderella Casserole (045/945 oval with candle-warmer cradle)
Cinderella Casserole (023/683 round with cradle)
Cinderella Serving Bowl (443 bowl with 624 lid and candle-warmer cradle)
Cinderella Starter Set (043/943 oval, 474 casserole, 443 bowl with 624 lid, plus Magic Cradle)
Cinderella Twin Server Set (two 472 casseroles with cradle, no lids)
Cinderella Buffet Twins (two 473 casseroles with cradle and lids)
Cinderella Bake Serve and Store Set (470 casserole set)
Cinderella Casserole Set (480 casserole set)
A 410 & 025 comprise the 1959 Cinderella Snack and Dip Set (bracket not shown). This square bowl style had first appeared during 1949 in the form of Hostess Sets and Hostess Casseroles.
The Cinderella naming trend peaked in 1958, and a smaller selection of items was introduced with that name in 1959. By the early 1960s just a few new items named Cinderella were appearing, and existing ones, like 440-series bowls and 470/480 casseroles, would drop the name entirely from advertisements and packaging by the mid 1960s.
(Photo: Pyrex carafe with gold-leaf decoration. Image from leaflet dating to about 1961.)
Oval 043/943 casserole and 575 Space Saver. Image from 1960 catalogue.
When "Cinderella" has been applied arbitrarily to such a diverse range of casseroles and carafes, plus ovals, rounds, rectangles and squares, the meaning of the name clearly is unrelated to the shape or function of the piece. Neither is it a descriptor of the style of the handles or spout since some of these items have no handles or spouts at all.
(Photo: Turquoise Butterprint butter dish. Image from 1961 leaflet.)
The choice of the Cinderella name at that time coincides with the first re-release of the Disney animated film. Although Cinderella had originally opened in 1950, it was popular enough to make a return to theatres in the spring of 1957.
(Photo: 045/945 oval casserole. Image from 1960 advertisement.)
Also making an impact with the public was the televised Rodgers & Hammerstein musical by the same name, with Julie Andrews in the lead role. The musical was written specifically for CBS, and it was broadcast live and in colour on March 31 1957. It was a major event that earned record-breaking viewing figures, with about 25 million households tuning in. Just weeks later on April 29 1957, NBC aired Prokofiev's Cinderella by the Royal Ballet, starring Margot Fonteyn.
In the context of the fairytale, slippers made of glass are emblematic of the main character's favourable rise in status. This symbolism probably resonated with executives at Corning, a company at the forefront of the glass industry, whose history is synonymous with the greatest advancements in the capabilities of glass.
Non-divided dish and divided dish with lid. Image from 1960 catalogue.
Currently, "Cinderella" is commonly accepted terminology for 440-series nesting bowls, mainly because they were the first Pyrex product to be named this way. The word is also understood to mean round 470/480 casseroles, whose handles are shaped like the spout of a Cinderella bowl.
(Photo: Pyrex carafe with white & gold snowflakes. Image from 1960 catalogue.)
Pyrex Model Numbers
Which model numbers are duplicates?
1960 Advertisement: Pyrex Gifts
1960 Pyrex Catalogue: Part One, Part Two
1961 Pyrex Leaflet: The Perfect Gift
Dates for Pyrex patterns/pieces: 1940s to 1950s, 1960s to 1980s
Extra Photos: Pyrex (1950s), (1960s)
Isn't this pattern known by a different name?