Pineapple Tea Loaf

Being an intellectual property fan, I’m always happy to have a trademark story.

Ovenglass was a trademark of the H.C. Fry company. The Fry company produced glass between 1902 and 1933 in New York; while it produced art glass of various types and drinking glasses, Ovenglass was a specific composition of tempered glass that had a translucent white finish (described as opalescent) introduced around 1919. The finish came about after Corning alleged trademark infringement, saying that clear oven-safe glass would confuse consumers into thinking Fry’s product was actually Corning’s Pyrex.

The scientists behind both products were actually shooting for an even more lucrative market, glass insulators for telephone and power lines. The inventor who originally sold Fry the formula for Ovenglass in 1917 required that Fry stipulate it would not be used to make insulators; Fry ended up finding a different formula to use with glass insulators, but in the process refined its cookware formula, leading to the 1919 composition.

Also, curiously enough, Frye stamped the mold number on the bottom of what it made, but chose mold numbers that could easily be confused with four-digit years. For example, 1938 on the bottom of the casserole dish means it’s mold number 1938, not that the casserole was made in 1938. (After all, that would’ve been a neat trick, since as I said, production stopped in 1933.)

In the 1940s, Anchor Hocking produced some glassware under the name “Fire-King Oven Glass,” but it was more traditional-looking, generally opaque bakeware. That mark was changed to “Fire-King Oven Ware” before the 1950s.

Tip: If you like collecting vintage tempered glass, good for you, but don’t cook with it. Over time, and particularly through use, tempered glassware does weaken, and it will eventually shatter, even with proper care.

ksu_folder A family recipe provided by Jennifer Kiel of Washington, DC, from her mother-in-law’s collection, started in Kent, Ohio.


Pineapple Tea Loaf

2 cups sifted flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 can (8-3/4 oz.) crushed pineapple
2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (med. fine)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg until thick and light; stir in un-drained pineapple and butter.

Add sifted dry ingredients; stir until combined; fold in walnuts. Turn into greased ovenglass dish about 8 x 4 x 3″ and bake at 325 degrees 50 to 60 minutes. Turn out on a rack; turn right side up and cool.

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