Rodney Kent, Starline, and Whatchamacallit

Welcome to another Vintage Pyrex mystery sovled!

I don’t want to assume what a collector may know or not know and so let me start at the beginning by telling a story. In 1899 Max Krischer founded Krisher’s Manufacturing Company and metal products consisted of sheet, wire, stamped, plated, finished, lacquered, polished, and buffed (The Metal Industry Vol 19. No 3. 1921). So far a boring start.

At some point in time the company moved from Calyer St. to 631 Kent Ave., Brooklyn, New York and called themselve Krischer Metal Products Company (Standard Iron-Steel-Metal Directory Volume 12 1950). Have you all fallen asleep yet?

In September 1956, Krischer Metal Products Company announces “Starline,” a giftware line of metal bases and glass or cermanic inserts (Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office 1957). For example, the beautiful Pyrex 503 matte black! (Photo Courtesy of Nicole Yancy).

But who was Rodney Kent? Accoring to “The News Enterprise” (Friday, August 10, 2012), Rodney Kent was the creation of Stanley Gelford who named the line after the cross streets of his office building on Kent Ave. and Rodney St. The line of hand wrought aluminum giftware was popular in the 1930 through the 1950s and often featured tulips. Personally, I’m glad they reimagined their look.

But the mystery isn’t solved just yet. Who was Stanley Gelford? I can’t find Stanley Gelford. But I can find Stanley Gelfman who bought Krischer Metal Products Compay on December 20, 1954 (The Tablet April 9, 1955). Stanley Gelfman later renamed Krischer Metal to Shane Industries in 1984. He passed away in 2013.

Now I am very, very excited for my next reveal. A Whatchamacallit with original tags was found with the title “Designs for Casual Living” and an address of 10 Rodney St. Brooklyn, New York. A quick Google map shows that 10 Rodney St. is on the same corner as 631 Kent Ave. Coincidence? I think not! And yes, dear readers, I found the proof. Designs for Casual Living was a division of Krischer Metal Products located at 10 Rodney St, Brooklyn, New York (Industrial Directory of New York State 1966). And I take my bow.

“Whatchamacallit” Photo Courtesy of Nicole Yancy.