I’ve always been fascinated by the WWII to the 1950’s time period in world history. Such a tumultuous time, but also one of crazy technological advancement (mostly driven by the war). The big thing, of course, is rocketry and the ushering in of the atomic age.
In the 50’s especially, everyone became “space crazy”. It pervaded mid-century modern design, which I quite love. Pursuant to that- one of my most favorite possessions is my Franciscan Atomic Starburst dinnerware.
The above picture shows what the design is. What you might not see are some of the funky details- like how the plates aren’t quite round (more elliptical) and the edges vary from thick to thin. And there are these dents in the sides and lids of some of the pieces for extra grip.
It has the funky 50’s turquoise and olive color with the starburst scribble… gah! I just love it!
I got very lucky. A friend of mine ran a store that specialized in a blend of mid-century and current modern design pieces, and he had a big set of these dishes as part of his inventory. I told him when I first saw them that I in no uncertain terms wanted them. Cut to a year or so later; He still had them, but in storage. He was trying to clear out his inventory and let me have them for a song.
My initial set included six place settings (dinner plate, sandwich plate, dessert plate, large bowl, coffee cups, saucers) plus the split serving dish, serving platter, creamer, sugar bowl, jam dish) I have added a few pieces over time to my collection. Like the water pitcher. A grand coffee mug. Butter dish. Covered casserole dish. Even the atomic ash tray!
And yes. I use these plates every day. I believe in using the things that being you joy- even if the plates are 70 years old. I smile every time I use them. They really are one of my most favorite possessions.
Oh- and other pieces are always a good gift idea, FYI. Like if you can find the candlestick holders….
PS- fun fact. I grew up eating off a different Franciscan set called “tulip time”. It was my mom’s wedding dishes. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered I, too, had a thing for Franciscan ware.