1935 San Diego Expo Pacific Pottery Brochure

1935-36 San Diego International Expo

Between 1935-36, San Diego held another exposition at the site of the original 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. The purpose of the expo was to stimulate the local economy as well as promote the area as a destination location. The expo ran from 1935 to 1936.

Building 42 (no longer standing) housed the Hollywood Potteries exhibit, featuring wares from Pacific, Metlox, Catalina Island, Bauer and Gladding-McBean potteries. The postcard below showcases a spectacular display of gardenware. If you look closely, there is a table in the middle featuring decorated Pacific chargers.

1935 San Diego Expo Hollywood Potteries

Pacific Pottery also produced a brochure with their wares. In addition to their display, they sold novelty items, including a cowboy hat glazed in Hostessware colors, and their stoneware honey orange, also in Hostessware colors. The hat shows up from time to time in red and sand glazes, and is very rare in other colors. The oranges are also extremely hard to find.

For fun, I reproduced the brochure using my own collection.

1935 San Diego Expo Pacific Pottery Brochure QwkDog



Better Homes May 1938 Cover

Spring Vegetable Varieties

Better Homes & Gardens, May 1938

“May’s the month for it – for a crisp green landslide of fresh vegetables offered in a score of teasing new ways. Not the first time, perhaps for there’s just nothing that can tie the tang of baby beets, youthful cabbage, or the first fat garden peas served up in their own birthday flavors, cooked just until tender. But it’s on return calls that we year for variety – new seasonings, different sauces, and little tricks of dressing up the young things for meals in the spring.”

In this feature on spring vegetables, we have the Pacific #617 and #659 platters in Delphinium Blue. The main dish is rice pressed into a loaf pan rice mold, filled with peas and surrounded by “well-seasoned” cabbage wedges and spring beets cooked with tops on.

Better Homes May 1938 Cover Pacific Pottery

Also on the back cover of the magazine, an advertisement for Pillsbury Flour features the Pacific Pottery #617 platter again along with a #619 cake plate in yellow. The display includes Fiesta plates and salt & pepper shakers. While the cocoa scones sound like a nice idea, the “corn and salmon loaf” probably leave something to be desired.

Better Homes May 1938 Pillsbury Pacific Fiesta

Better Homes Jan 1938 Cover

Shelves, Those Smart Space-Savers

The January 1938 edition of Better Homes & Gardens features an article on “Shelves, Those Smart Space-Savers.” It’s a little hard to see from the image, but there are many pieces of Pacific Pottery Hostessware displayed in the Welsh cupboard. On the bottom shelf, you can see the #430 ring pitcher with #431 barrel tumblers, the #314 footed salad bowl, and directly above it, the #302 beater pitcher. A dominant decorating style in the 1930s was Colonial Revival, and it’s always interesting to see the juxtaposition of modern dinnerware design set back into period furniture.

Better Homes Jan 1938 Pacific Pottery Display

However, Pacific isn’t the star of this particular edition. Pages 40-41 provide guidance for throwing your own Mexican Fiesta party, and the dinnerware in the display is Gale Turnbull’s “Going to Town” pattern by Vernon Kilns. The dinnerware isn’t mentioned by name, merely “As for dishes, Mexican ware of colored pottery is ideal to carry out the idea. But china will blend surprisingly well with a few authentic Mexican pieces to give the table a party atmosphere.”

The menu for our Fiesta includes Chile Con Carne, Avocado Salad, Tortillas, Fresh Figs or Dates, and Chocolate whipped to a froth in the Mexican manner. A Mexican party may need never be monotonous!

Better Homes Jan 1938 Vernon Kilns Fiesta

Better Homes April 1937 Cover

Adventures in Table Settings

Better Homes & Gardens, April 1937 | Adventures in Table Settings

Between 1936 and 1937 Pacific Pottery launched a nationwide advertising campaign featuring Hostessware in marquis women’s magazines like Better Homes & Gardens. As an advertiser, Pacific enjoyed the benefit of having their wares featured prominently in articles and editorials. In this two-page spread (pages 38-39), table settings incorporating Pacific Hostessware (plain and decorated) are illustrated for the “Spring Breakfast” and “Spring Luncheon” displays.

Better Homes & Gardens April 1937 Adventures in Tablesetting

For a Spring Breakfast

“The cloth with its tulip design appropriately sets the theme for this table setting. On it we’ve used blue and white plaid plates with the rest of the pottery in plain blue and white. Yellow-center tulips with their green leaves are gracefully arranged in a low blue bowl.”

For a Spring Luncheon

“Spring flowers inspired the selection of yellow-linen doilies for this setting on a maple table. The pottery is green and yellow, and the glassware, clear crystal. Note the charming use of four containers for the flowers instead of one.”

Pacific Pottery Decorated Hostessware Advertising - Better Homes April 1937

The display items are only mentioned by brand in a footnote at the bottom of the page.  Pacific advertises their Decorated ware on page 118 (shown below). The breakfast table image is featured again in an advertisement for Tablecraft Cloths and Napkins by Rosemary on page 152.

Sunset Magazine July 1936 Pacific Pottery

The Modern Garden Table

Sunset Magazine, July 1936 | The Modern Garden Table

The star of this July 1936 cover of Sunset magazine is the outdoor table setting designed by two San Francisco area decorators. “The story of this cover centers around the garden table, and the table centers around Ernest Amberg and Hugo Hirth, two young artists who are doing more than their part to promote modern decorative art on the Pacific Coast. In their shop at 165 Post Street. in San Francisco, they sell…only the finest handicraft of western artists – wood carving, metal work, weaving, and pottery.” Their firm, Amberg-Hirth, was well known for promoting area craftspeople and designers.

In the inset for the cover, Pacific Pottery is not mentioned by name, but you can clearly see the stack of BG plaid 613 dinner plates and the 449 and 450 demitasse creamer and sugar. A Bauer Pottery casserole is featured in the display at left.