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Collect Retro Blendo Glassware
If your good old days included a hula hoop, a Beetle and The Beatles—or you just wish you lived during those “mod” years, the images on these pages will make you smile and nod with nostalgia.
Written and photographed by Jickie Torres

You’ve no doubt seen these iconic serving pieces but may not know that the line is called Blendo and was manufactured during the 1950s and ‘60s by the West Virginia Specialty Glass Company of Weston, West Virginia.

Blendo glassware was a staple at summer barbecues during the era, with its cheerful “frosted” colors and sturdy feel reflecting a time when rock music reigned and rockets were racing to the moon.

Mandy Heth, who operates an Etsy shop called Vintage Baubles & Bits, has an extensive Blendo collection. Among her cherished pieces are blue, orange, green, yellow, peach and purple pitchers with drinking glasses in coordinating colors; a pink set that includes a salad bowl, salt and pepper shakers, and an oil and vinegar cruet; and a purple martini shaker with six shot glasses.

“The style is characterized by a bright neon/pastel solid base that fades as it goes up the glass and a gold rim,” Mandy says. Here she shares her insight and advice on collecting Blendo.

“The style is characterized by a bright neon/pastel solid base that fades as it goes up the glass and a gold rim,” Mandy says. Here she shares her insight and advice on collecting Blendo.

History

The Blendo line, manufactured by the West Virginia Specialty Glass Company, was at the peak of its production in the 1950s and ‘60s. Blendo came in a wide variety of colors and sets: juice, water/lemonade and cocktail pitchers and glasses, and serving ware (salad bowls and dishes, chip-and-dip trays, oil and vinegar cruets, and salt and pepper shakers). The serving pieces were popular wedding gifts at the time. As the cocktail era, recreated today on the TV series “Mad Men,” boomed, so did the sales of Blendo.

jickie blendo bowl

Market Appeal

Collectors who would be attracted to Blendo glassware include enthusiasts of mid-century-modern, nostalgia, retro, vintage, color groups and glassware styles. This is a collectible that should be used and enjoyed rather than stored away for safe keeping. “They are really fun entertaining ware even today,” Mandy says.

Pricing

Blendo is quite affordable as far as collectibles go. It is not hard to find pieces in the $20 range, particularly on online auction sites.

Where to Find Them

Mandy has found many of her Blendo pieces at antique malls and on eBay. For more information on Mandy Heth, visit her Etsy shop.