Corning Ware Profile: P-4 Covered Baking Dish (1963)

The shape of the P-4 (1½ Qt) Covered Baking Dish is quite different from regular square Corning Ware.  It is rectangular with a flared rim, and deep for its size.  It was originally developed for use with a specially designed hot-plate in the Corning Ware Electromatics line, and introduced during 1963 in Blue Cornflower.

There are other Electromatic bases for square Corning Ware skillets, but the one made for the P-4 was more sophisticated than the rest.  Together, the set was called the Self-Timing Saucepan, and advertisements carried the tag line: "set it and forget it!"  The unit was capable of sensing when the correct temperature was attained, then would turn off automatically after a specified cooking time.

 

Floral Bouquet, Corning Ware P-4 Covered Baking Dish
Floral Bouquet P-4.

The Self-Timing Saucepan concept might have been short-lived, but production of the P-4 continued and it would be sold singly and in bakeware sets with a new name: Covered Baking Dish.  With a narrow rectangular footprint, it is not ideal for stovetop cooking, its new name suggesting that it is more useful in the oven.

 

8 blue stars design, Corning Ware P-4 Covered Baking Dish
Pattern name not known, the design is eight blue five-pointed stars.

Design improvements implemented for square Corning Ware cookware during 1972 did not affect the P-4.  They always have small tab handles, even though they were manufactured before and after that date.  P-4 baking dishes remained into the early 1980s, disappearingCorning Ware P-4 Covered Baking Dish, Country Festival sometime before 1985.  Date ranges on this page pertain to this Corning Ware shape in general; the dates of each individual pattern vary. 

(Photo: Country Festival P-4)
            
Patterns:  

Blue Cornflower
blue design, Shell Oil
Country Festival
Floral Bouquet
green design, Shell Oil
Spice O' Life (L'Echalote)†
Spice O' Life (Le Persil La Sauge)†
stars design (blue)**
Wheat *
White / Just White
Wildflower

Pattern sample, Wheat* - Items with a golden brown Wheat pattern typically are prefixed with "W", so this piece is marked W-4, not P-4.  This pattern was available at Bon Marche, but it is not clear whether Wheat was exclusive to that retailer.  It was produced during the 1960s & early 1970s.

** - This design consists of eight five-pointed stars of different sizes, the three largest stars within solid blue circles.  If it has an official name, it is not known.  Corning Ware in this pattern was distributed as a gift premium by the American Oil Company around 1971.

† - There are two different P-4s in Spice O' Life, the feature that distinguishes them being the choice of French phrase, but there are differences in the arrangement of the vegetables as well.

 

Overhead view, Corning Ware P-4 Covered Baking Dish, Floral Bouquet
Overhead view.

 

P-4 Covered Baking Dish, Blue Cornflower.
Blue Cornflower P-4.
P-4 Backstamp              
(Photo: Backstamp of P-4 baking dish.  Corning's naming convention consistently uses "B" for bowl and "C" for cover.  The stamp also states the dimensions in inches.)
         
     
Related Articles:

Corning Ware Profile: Floral Bouquet
Corning Ware Saucemakers, Double-Boilers, Baking Pans
1975 Brochure: Country Festival 
Isn't this pattern known by a different name?
Isn't that date incorrect?
More Related Articles: Blue Cornflower, Spice O' Life, Wildflower