Little Spoon's Virtual Museum
Of Restaurant Ware And Restaurant China
Since 1996 A Personal Collector's Site For Restaurant China.
Shenango China Company
Shenango China Company, New Castle, Pennsylvania 1901-1991
Bought Wallace China in 1959
Bought Mayer China in 1964
Sold to Anchor Hocking in 1979
Here are the Date Codes Deciphered:
First column is the year of manufacture. Second column is a number which represents the year of manufacture in the backstamp. The Third and Fourth columns are letters which represent whether the plate was made between January-June (column 3) or July-December (column 4).
Example: 20A = July-Dec/1962
I guess the point is if the diner turns the plate over and sees it was made thirty years ago, that may indicate that the meatloaf wasn't made too recently either. The date codes keep the nosy from the truth.
El Rancho pattern coffee mug. Can range in price from $15-$35
Good old wavy green pattern which was made by all of the restaurant china companies (and still is).
Plain brownish creamer. Even without a logo a nice piece for around $6-$8
Nice children's cereal bowl. These can fetch very high prices $75 and up if in great shape.
They don't do anything for me. I have a hard time believing anyone is going to pay $75 on Ebay for one of these and then let their kid eat out of it.
These were a really great find. Bought a small stack of them for about $10-$15 in mint condition. I sold them for about $35 a piece and that was years before the whole 'Tiki' revival craze which ran alot of the restaurant stuff into the clouds. Supply and demand. God bless America. Bet they can get an easy $50-$75 each now though. Beautiful colors, lots of artwork. Probably shouldn't have sold them.
I bought this for $2 in a mall down in redondo Beach around 1997. Sold it on Ebay years later for about $10. Wish I had the backstamp picture for it. It seems like a pretty old design logo wise.
Years and years ago when this website started out as an AOL homepage (yes I know, AOL, yikes!) I made friends with an interesting lady back east with a love and interest in Diners and a side interest in the china used in said diners. She sent me a picture of a Shenango catalog from (I believe) the early 1970s. Thanks Susan.
I think these pictures date from the first days of my site. I leave them here for sentimental reasons. Paid about $2 per piece for each of these three. You can also tell by the terrible jpeg quality just how old these pics are. I believe these were shot with the first generation of Kodak Digital cameras a DC25.
Schellhase Lobster Platter
Eat Em Alive Dan and Louies Oyster Bar
Stewart & Ashby's Private Blend Coffee It's Really Good - Served at Century of Progress World's Fair Chicago 1933
Colombo Cafe Covered Sugar Bowl
Lakos Cafe? Jakos Cafe? Iokas Cafe? Tough font for me to read.
Union Trust building Detroit, MI
Kohler's Swiss Chalet Coffee Cup and Saucer
Del Webb's Mountain Shadows Scottsdale, AZ
NOTE: Following are some missing images that I am trying to track down and restore to this website. There are more pictures just past them so keep scrolling - Chris March, 2012
This Interstate Restaurant plate has always thrilled me. Very understated with a clean line to the artwork. Also features one of the rarer colorful backstamps. I don't think they used these for too many years which is a shame.
5.5" plate circa 1930-1948
Nice piece of tan bodied Inca Ware. I have a page of Inca Ware as well.
Everybody had an Al's at some point. I used to live over a place in Los Angeles called Al's Bar. Artist's District Downtown Los Angeles. Shared bathrooms down the hall. Lots of so-called artists and some real ones too. Until the morning I walked into the bathroom and there was a rat in there that chased me out. I moved the next day.
This backstamp was used late 1920s to late 1940s. The Inca Ware referred to the tan body which was a popular restaurant china feature in that time period. Jackson China had Jak-Tan and Syracuse China had Adobe Ware, etc.
Roadside Rest plate
Henri's Nationally Known (never heard of it)
Split Rock - Lodge Cottages and Club
looks like it was a swingin joint. Anyone know where it was?
The Mayflower Shop
Salesman's Promotional Ashtray (and great concealed weapon)
Backstamp used 1910s and 1920s
Mickey Mantle's Country Cookin. Yeah like he can cook. Sounds like a tax shelter. But hats off to Mickey, a real ball player from back in the day before neuroscopic knee surgery, steroids, baseball strikes and cable TV royalty disputes.
As many times as I have sold these two items above, I keep finding them in thrift stores and rebuying them. The Copper Penny was a small chain in the Los Angeles area that I used to eat at as a child. The Woody's Smorgasburger is on Sepulveda just below LAX and I believe it is still there. My friend used to short order cook there back when we were all starving musicians in the late 70s-early 80s. Smelled good, never ate there.
The Drum Room. Nice pretty plate. Old girlfriend bought a stack and didn't give me one.
Illinois Central Railroad - Dresser Tray
1920s Louisane pattern. 8 3/4" x 6"
Some simple common nice pieces. I like the one on the left for maple syrup as you can rest it in the little bowl while it drips.
US Medical Department Sugar Bowl. Used in the cafeterias in the hospitals as well as in the doctor's offices.
1920s-1940s for this backstamp. Also made by Tepco China, Syracuse China, Sterling China, etc.
1920s-1949 3 1/8" tall. I have a few pieces on display on my Medical Department page.
Forum bowl. Found one of these in a junky antique store near Torrance, CA for about a buck. Very old piece. I know nothing about it.
Great colors. Worth about a buck. Very undervalued.
Another find! I think this went for about $100 on Ebay years ago. I did not own it.
Shenango China Nursery Rhyme china is a hot collectible. Generally runs around $50-$75 per piece.
Stickney's Hickory House. It would be more fun if it was Stinky's Hickory House.
I don't know the pattern name of this piece. I don't have much interest in these plainish pieces.
Hand Painted Inca Ware
Pan-Dee's Snack Shops
Nice simple bowl. Value of a dollar or two in mint
Turf Catering Company. Nice tan body piece
Very plain but very pretty creamer. I really like these understated colors. Nice piece even though value is low $10 or so
Yup! Part of a Hotel Roosevelt creamer. I have no idea where the other photo went of the whole darn thing. These run around $25-$35 when the market is high. Hotel Roosevelt was in New Orleans I believe. Haven't been there. Want to go.
Cafe Diablo Kaffee Klatsch
This is one loud cup. Not my taste. Presented here to show all types and sizes.
Unusual thin design as well.
Disneyland Salad plate. Bought in Redlands, California for about $7 and sold for about $20. Pretty common though sometimes get good prices. I think this was a late 1970s piece.
I don't know this pattern name but in the 30s or maybe the 40s there seems to have been a lot of different white with red artwork plates from most of the big plate makers circulating. Personally I do not care for this type of art or coloring. Seems blechhh like to me. Value is low and it is very common. There might be an odd piece out there that was used in railroad dining cars or something so do your research before dumping these at your next garage sale for a buck each.
Bon's Cafe. I think this was owned by Bon Scott
The Modernistas (I think I invented the word) go apes*** for these sorts of skinny skrawny stick-like ugly art pieces. I don't get them. They represent everything I love about restaurant china...Hearty! Heavy! Substantial! Warm! Big portions! Gravy! This looks like bad art imitating bad art. Modernism. Backwardism. Go figure. Eames chairs! Ha! Give me a lazy boy anyday. Much as I love my Craftsman Oak stuff, it sure hurts to sit in it. They are punishment. Big pillow. Big portions. Big calories. Big cars! Big motors! Big rooms! Big windows! Big speakers. I like things BIG!
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©1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Chris Trent