The internet is a strange and sometimes wonderful place where the least likely trends can produce surprising results. One such unlikely online craze had people checking their old CorningWare dishes, nostalgic pieces of kitchenware history hidden in our cupboards. The reason? They could be worth thousands of dollars, or so some online rumors had it.
Porcelain CorningWare cooking dishes were trendy in the 1970s. And if you got married during that time, you likely received a set as a wedding present. The idea that 70s kitchenware was worth a small fortune started with an article on That’s Life in March 2019.
“Your old CorningWare dishes stashed in your pantry could be worth thousands of dollars,” the post promised enticingly.
— Cheryl Mercedes (@CMercedesKHOU) January 11, 2020
The Australian website even quoted “glass expert” Dean Six, who explained why all of a sudden ebay collectors were willing to fork over as much as $10,000 for a CorningWare dish.
“Collecting is often what you remember, which is why this is big now because baby boomers are buying back what they grew up with. Boomers are decorating with these pieces in their homes,” Six said.
Of course, not all such porcelain dishes are made equal nor would they fetch the same price. “More rare patterns, like Wildflower—made from 1977 to 1984—and Floral Bouquet—made from 1971 to 1975—can fetch up to $10,000 online,” That’s Life added in their write-up.
That sounds incredibly good, almost too good to be true. Just imagine cashing in an everyday household item you most likely have in your pantry for thousands!
It wasn’t until the devoted nostalgic publication Do You Remember, along with other internet media, picked up the original article and posted it on their Facebook pages in January 2020 that it went viral. The post from Do You Remember was shared 26,000 times, liked over 21,0000 times, and garnered over 4,000 comments, with many online users describing their CorningWare and even posting pictures. However, some voices expressed doubt about the veracity of the claim. And how right they were to do so!
As the internet claims became more popular, Dallas local news network KHOU-11 tried to get to the bottom of it. They approached antique expert Keith Hardy, the owner of Blind Girl Productions Resale & Vintage, who had a decade of experience collecting CorningWare dishes.
“I guess about 11 years ago, my mother gave us a few pieces, and we brought them home. This invokes a lot of memories. There are people known to collect it. That’s what it did: It reminded them of their childhood back in the 1960s and 1970s,” Hardy explained, per KHOU-11.
Hardy told the news network that he uses an old CorningWare catalog to get an idea of how much he’d pay for his collection. Sadly, it seems like the “thousands of dollars” claims weren’t exactly accurate. “I definitely would not pay over $50 to $100 for different items,” Hardy said.
The viral post that has everyone checking their cupboards.
According to Hardy, viral claims about the worth of these dishes, along with ebay ads, are most likely a fabrication by some with a hidden agenda. “This is something that somebody is stirring (the) pot on the internet to attract business to themselves. I’m sure if you looked at the profile of these particular individuals on eBay, you’d see where they have thousands of pieces like this and what they’re trying to do is artificially raise the price on it,” he stated.
Trends like this just show that you can’t believe everything you find on the internet. And as the old adage goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.
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Author: Lori C. Summers