Clear Pyrex 1915 to 1950: Casseroles, Round, Oval, Etc.
The handles, lids and knobs of Pyrex casseroles follow a clear evolution from 1915 to 1950. It is possible to group these shapes into date ranges and establish the approximate age of these items by recognizing the style of these features. The peculiar pointed knob that is commonly associated with older Pyrex was used from 1915 to 1948 on about 40 different lids, so focusing on this aspect alone is an imprecise method of identifying a casserole or determining its age.
Other Pyrex products might have handles that resemble the handles of certain casseroles, but their production dates are not necessarily the same. Details on this page are pertinent only to casseroles, pudding dishes and bean pots.
Also see: Baking Pans & Pie Plates.
Casseroles (l-r): Scalloped handle 1926-1939, Plain tab handle 1939-1947, Sculptured handle 1947-1950. Casseroles with no handles are from 1915-1926.
Initially, casseroles did not have any handles. Within the company, it was acknowledged that handles would have improved ease of use, but production costs were very high at the time and incorporating handles would have added an extra layer of complication, driving costs even higher. From the consumer's perspective, Pyrex was already expensive and raising retail prices was simply out of the question. But manufacturing efficiencies eventually would allow this design improvement to take place.
Model numbers are an important aspect in identifying Pyrex shapes & sizes. They are normally three digits and can be difficult to find on very old Pyrex. Some have no numbers at all, but those without handles are often marked under the rim or on the edge. Running a finger around the rim is the easiest way to locate these markings, and reading them is best done under the glare of a bright light.
(Photo: 135 round shallow baking dish, model number on top edge. "1" and "5" are stamped incorrectly.)
Even when the model number is clearly visible on the rim, occasional errors make it unusually difficult to interpret. Some are stamped backwards, and others might even have one or more digits upside-down. Casseroles that are a bit newer have their model number clearly marked under the tab handle, while more modern ones are numbered on the bottom.
Round lid (foreground) with etched design, marked 623-C, fits a round 023 (1½ Qt). The oval lids are engraved. The large one (left) is marked 644-C, and goes with a shallow oval 044 (2 Qt). The smaller oval lid (right) is marked 634-C-OR-643-C, so it fits two casseroles, a deep oval 034 (2 Qt), and a shallow oval 043 (1½ Qt).
Multiple model numbers appear on some lids and casseroles, providing clues about which lids will fit the casserole, or which casseroles match a particular lid. Shapes & sizes were standardized, and many tops and bottoms are interchangeable.
The most popular casserole size during this time span was 1½ Qt, and with the exception of bean pots, every casserole shape could be obtained in this size. Some shapes, like square casseroles, were available only in 1½ Qt. Among the many different shapes, round casseroles were the most popular, and they were offered in the widest range of sizes, from 8 oz to 3 Qt.
Casseroles Without Handles:
From 1915 to 1926 casseroles were manufactured without handles. The original basic round casserole shape (100 to 104) disappeared earlier, about 1923. "Standard" round and deep & shallow oval casseroles debuted in 1916. Square casseroles and round & oval Victor covers did not appear until 1921.
At the time, model numbers followed a less systematic naming convention. From smallest to largest:
Round: 104, 103, 102, 101, 100.
Round Shallow: 112, 113.
Round Individual: 164.
Round Standard: 167, 168, 169, 170; with Victor cover: 267, 268, 269, 270.
Oval Shallow: 183, 184, 185; with Victor cover: 283, 284, 285.
Oval Deep: 193, 197, 194, 190; with Victor cover: 293, 297, 294, 290.
Bean Pot: 502, 504, 506.
Round Pudding Dish: 463, 464, 465, 466, 467; with handles: 450.
Round Shallow Baking Dish: 135. Oblong Pudding Dish: 145.
Round 1½ Qt casserole marked 168-268, with ordinary lid, numbered 168. The casserole's model number indicates that two different lids will fit it.
Oval and round casseroles of this age have rims that rise above the level of the lid, or in other words, the lid rests entirely within the casserole's rim rather than on top of it. Square casseroles are more modern in design and this lid sits on top of the rim instead. All lids are topped by a pointy knob.
(Photo: Square 800 casserole, 1½ Qt. Image from 1924-1925 booklet.)
The shape of the original round casserole lid was patented, and it was designed by William Churchill. Victor covers and the square casserole lid were the work of William Hedges.
Lids for oval & round Standard casseroles fall into two types: ordinary lids, and Victor covers. Victor covers rest within the casserole rim as ordinary lids do, but they arch about one half inch higher, allowing for more space inside the dish. An ordinary lid and a Victor cover are interchangeable on the same casserole. Victor covers were produced from 1921 to 1926, and they only fit handle-less casseroles.
Round 1½ Qt casserole marked 168-268, with Victor cover, numbered 268. Same casserole, different lid. Victor cover knobs are a bit larger than usual.
Ordinary lids for oval & round Standard casseroles are denoted by a 100-series model number, and Victor covers carry a 200-series number. This means that casseroles marked only with a 100-series number, e.g.: 197, might be older than 1921. An oval or round Standard casserole marked with both a 100-series number and a 200-series number, e.g.: 197-297, cannot be older than 1921.
Bean pots debuted during 1916 in 1 pt (502) & 1 Qt (504) sizes, and a 2 Qt (506) appeared in 1921. They are exceptions among early casseroles since they always have handles. Bean pot handles from this period are small with a half-moon shape, and their lids fit inside the rim of the pot, similar to round & oval casseroles from this time. Bean pots were changed about 1929 with new handles and an updated rim and lid.
(Photo: Bean Pot, 504 or 506, with rounded half-moon handles. Image from 1924-1925 booklet.)
Comparing a 168 ordinary lid (left) and 268 Victor cover (right). They have the same diameter and rest on the same part of the casserole, within the rim.
The selection of pudding dishes, or open baking dishes, included ordinary casseroles sold without lids as well as a distinct group of items designed specifically for this usage, in a range of capacities similar to regular casseroles. Mainly they are handle-free, but one exception is a round 450 (1½ Qt) pudding dish with small tab handles. It was produced from 1921 to 1925.
(Photo: 450 pudding dish with handles. Image from 1924-1925 booklet.)
Three sizes of round pudding dish without handles (464, 465, 466) had been marketed since the mid 1910s, and 463 & 467 were added in 1921. This shape's narrow flat rim and straight contours through the bottom and sides suggest that it is derived from 202 & 203 pie plates, but two to three times deeper.
A round shallow 135 (1 Qt) baking dish and a rectangular 145 (7¾") pudding dish also arrived in 1921. Neither have handles, but the oblong 145 has a wide flat rim. Pudding dishes (463 to 467) and 135 & 145 were dropped about 1926.
135 (1 Qt) shallow baking dish. It is different from a cake pan, with a base that is a lot smaller than its top, and curved bulging sides. In contrast, cake pans aim to be as straight and perpendicular as possible.
Two-Piece/2-in-1 Oval Baking Dish:
Available in just one size, this shallow oval covered dish first appeared in 1921. Its model number is 110, and it is quite distinct from the regular group of casseroles. The uniquely shaped cover was designed to be useful as a separate baking dish, and it pre-dates round flat-top utility lids by ten years. The 110 was known by a few different names in advertising and brochures, mainly variations on "2-in-1 Baking and Serving Dish" or "Two-Piece Covered Oval Baker".
Two-Piece/2-in-1 oval baking dish. Top and bottom are numbered 110.
A 110 was stated to be 10", but including the substantial rim, the total length is 10½". Its dimensions are comparable to a shallow oval 043, but even more shallow, with a useable depth of only one inch. Both the dish and the lid have a capacity of 2½ cups. The lid's handles seem to form a loop, but there is a perfectly flat solid window-pane in the centre. The 110 was available until 1938. It was designed by William Hedges.
627 & 628 Handled Casseroles:
Two sizes of round casserole developed handles in 1925: 627 (1 Qt) & 628 (1½ Qt), but the full selection of non-handled casseroles remained on the market during that year as well. The 627 & 628 seem to be short-lived because an entirely new generation of handled casseroles launched in 1926, replacing all of the previous shapes.
(Photo: Round 1½ Qt casseroles, 023 on left and 628 on right. The handles are similar, but not identical.)
Round 627 (1 Qt) casserole with handles. Both top and bottom are marked 627.
627s & 628s are comparable to 022s & 023s from the next generation of round casseroles, but they are not identical. Knobs on 627 & 628 lids are slightly larger, and rounded rather than pointy. Handles are also different, formed with a more complex type of mould. There is a prominent bump on the underside of the handle that makes a secure finger-grip.
Casseroles with Scalloped Tab Handles:
Oval and round casseroles with scalloped tab handles were produced from 1926 to 1939. Handles were added to square casseroles at the same time, but they are rectangular rather than scalloped. With this grouping of casseroles a more meaningful numbering convention was established, and it is relevant to most clear Pyrex casseroles manufactured from 1926 to the present.
— In broad terms, lid numbers begin with "6" and casserole numbers begin with "0", but there is a more precise way to define the first digit. Without lids, casseroles were offered as open baking dishes, so a "0" in the first digit pertains to an open baking dish, while a "6" means covered casserole.
— The second digit corresponds to the shape: 2 = round, 3 = deep oval, 4 = shallow oval, 5 = square, 7 = octagon, 8 = round utility lid, 9 = specialty shapes.
— The last digit usually indicates capacity in quarts multiplied by two. One exception is an oval 041 which holds only ¾ pt (12 oz), not ½ Qt.
— The suffix "B" means bowl, and "C" means cover.
Deep oval 1 Qt marked 032-632-B, with 632-C lid. The casserole's two model numbers mean that it could be purchased with or without a lid.
(Photo: Close-up of above.)
Knob-top lids designed for this new shape resemble the previous style, and they also have a pointy top. But for round and oval lids, one detail that distinguishes lids of this age from older ones is the fact that newer lids rest on top of the casserole, so for a secure fit, there is an additional rim descending from the underside of the lid. Victor covers were no longer made at this time.
Lids with a single knob were the only type of covers available until flat-top utility lids for round casseroles emerged in 1931. Just one size was offered initially, a 683 (fits 023), and 684 (024) & 686 (026) arrived about 1933, followed by 682 (022) in 1934 or 1935. Tab handles on round utility lids also have a scalloped shape.
(Photo: 023 casserole with 683 utility lid. Image from 1934-1935 calendar.)
Flat utility lids for oval casseroles have a wide rim rather than tab handles. Two lid sizes fitting four different shallow & deep ovals were launched about 1936. The small lid (602-613) fits 042 & 033 casseroles, and the large one (603-614) fits 043s & 034s. Oval utility lids and shallow oval casseroles were dropped in 1938.
Oval 603-614 utility lid on 034 deep oval (2 Qt), this combination is a 614 casserole. The lid's rim is narrow at both ends and widest along the sides.
Bean pots transitioned to the new scalloped handle shape sometime during the late 1920s. The exact date is unclear, but it had certainly occurred by the end of 1929. Although they were completely re-designed, bean pots kept their original numbering scheme: 502 (14 oz), 504 (1 Qt), 506 (2 Qt).
(Photo: 504 or 506 bean pot. Image from 1932 booklet.)
Newer 504 & 506 bean pot lids sit on top of the rim, adapted in the same way that round & oval casserole lids were in 1926. The 502's lid and rim were similarly changed, but it still retained its rounded half-moon handles. Its volume is smaller than the previous 502. The large bean pots were discontinued in 1938, but the smallest one might have disappeared as early as 1937.
Individually-sized 8 oz round casseroles were also updated with a new rim and lid in 1928 or 1929, but they remained handle-free and also kept their original model number, 164. This size was available until 1938.
left: Square 053 casserole with 653 lid. Image from 1931 booklet.
right: Close-up, square 053/653 handle, upturned shape.
Square 053/653 casseroles are another exception among this group, having rectangular tab handles rather than scalloped. With an upturned angle, these thick handles are completely different from the plain rounded type on the next generation of round & oval casseroles. Square casseroles were discontinued in 1938.
Octagonal casseroles debuted in 1930 with two sizes: 672 (1 Qt) & 673 (1½ Qt), plus a matching pie plate (279) in the shape of a decagon. They were still available during 1933, but an exact ending date is not known. Their elegant features are quite distinct from other casseroles of this period; the knob especially is more ornamental than practical. The lid has a higher arch than usual, comparable to the lid that would be introduced in 1950 for round casseroles.
Octagonal 1 Qt casserole marked 672-B, with 672-C lid.
Advertising emphasized the beauty and modernity of the new octagon shape. These Pyrex items were designed to fit the popular trend in faceted geometric shapes that china and porcelain tableware experienced from the mid 1920s to the early 1930s. Plates with six, eight, ten or twelve sides were the very latest fashion at the time.
Casseroles with Specialty Shapes:
At least four Pyrex casseroles from the 1930s have particularly distinctive shapes. They seem to be special items marketed by the manufacturers of metal casserole stands rather than by Corning directly. They carry model numbers beginning with 09_ or 69_, and each one holds 1½ Qt. All but one contradict the usual relationship between the model number's last digit and the casserole's capacity. So an 097/697 does not hold 3½ Qt.
Casserole lid, 693. Visit the Corning Museum of Glass for photos of a 693 casserole.
A 693 casserole is round with fluted features on its perimeter that form eight small pointy corners. Its scalloped handles are flat, not upturned like those of regular round casseroles. The 693 lid is a flat-top utility lid, also with eight pointy corners, and its scoop-shaped handles are placed high on the sides. It mirrors the shape of the casserole and is deeper than a typical utility lid.
An 095 casserole is essentially a round bowl with no handles. Its sides widen sharply to form a prominent step that supports it on a metal stand, in the same way that the upper pan of a double-boiler is designed. Around the top half, the bowl is embossed with a border of textured blocks and vertical ribbing that is moulded into the glass. It was equipped with a metal lid that matches the stand. The bottom of an 095 is usually marked with: "Exclusively for Russakov Co. Chicago", and it seems to be from 1939. Visit the Corning Museum of Glass for a photo of an 095 casserole.
Embossed 096 casserole with 696 lid. Its pattern is a leafy latticework design. Visit the Corning Museum of Glass for a photo of an 097 casserole.
The other two specialty shapes, 096/696 & 097/697, are identical except for their embellishment. Very few clear Pyrex casseroles have embossed decoration instead of engraving or etching, and the 696 & 697 are the most elaborate examples of this kind. The raised design on the surface comes directly from the mould in which the casserole is formed. The pattern on a 696 is a lattice with leafy ferns or acanthus, and a 697 combines rosebuds and ribbons with ribbed borders.
(Photo: Close-up of above.)
Aside from the lid, the basic shape of an 096 or 097 casserole is similar to the 123 casserole introduced in 1937. 696 & 697 lids are also embossed with a pattern, but otherwise they are exactly like a 623 lid, with the usual pointy-top knob. The markings on some casseroles state: "Exclusively for Russakov Co. Chicago". Exact dates are not known for either one, but the 696 was advertised during 1936. It is not clear whether the 697 was offered at the same time.
Casserole & Custard Cups in a Matched Set:
A round casserole with a unique style was manufactured from 1937 to 1949, and it was designed specifically to harmonize with the newest shape in custard cups. The eight-piece Matched Set combined one 1½ Qt casserole (123) with a flat-top utility lid (723), and six 5 oz thin-rimmed custard cups (445). A 723 lid is pie plate shaped, and has a wide flat rim rather than tab handles. The 123 casserole's shape has a lot in common with 096s & 097s of the mid 1930s.
The 445 custard cups could be purchased separately, and in other boxed sets too, but the 123/723 casserole was available almost exclusively in the Matched Set. In advertising, it was called a "Sweet and Low" casserole at times, but more often the term "Matched Set" was used, this name appearing on packaging too.
Round 1½ Qt casserole marked 123-723-B, with 723-C utility lid, and 5 oz 445 custard cups.
The combined durability and delicate light weight of the thin custard cup was promoted in advertisements as an exciting achievement. Previously, custard cups had been thick and bulky while the thin cups were better suited to gracious table service. The pieces in the set were described as "handsomely chased" or "exquisitely chased" which is a reference to the three embossed bands circling the exterior.
Casseroles with Plain Tab Handles:
Round and deep oval casseroles adopted plain rounded tab handles in 1939, and this type remained until 1947. These handles are level with the rim of the casserole rather than upturned. Square 053/653 casseroles with upturned rectangular handles are from the previous generation, contemporary with scalloped handled casseroles.
At the start of this period the variety of casserole shapes had been scaled back to include only rounds and deep ovals, but deep oval casseroles were discontinued around 1943. The smallest round casserole, an 021/621, was also dropped in the early 1940s.
Round 1 Qt casserole marked 022-622-B, with 682-C utility lid. A 622 lid with a pointy knob also would suit this casserole.
(Photo: Close-up of above.)
Round utility lids also have plain tab handles. Although this type of cover was promoted most frequently in advertising during the 1940s, it was still possible to purchase a casserole with a knob-top lid too. Knobbed lids from this time frame have pointy tops and are identical to the lids introduced in 1926 for use with scalloped handled casseroles.
Casseroles with Sculptured Tab Handles:
A new design for round casseroles appeared in 1947, but it survived only until 1950. This shape is defined by more elaborate sculptured tab handles that are wider than the previous type and resemble two overlapping tabs. Up to this point, casseroles had been designed with a thick ridge around the rim for supporting it in a stand, but this feature was eliminated.
When the new casserole was introduced it was still equipped with the same pointy knob-top lid, but an entirely new lid appeared in 1948. The new knob is slim with a rounded top, and it is the first significant alteration to this feature since 1915. Utility lids with sculptured tab handles also became available, and an extra-deep 687 or 726 roaster lid arrived in 1949, which fits an 026.
Round 2 Qt casserole marked 024, new knob-top lid, numbered 924. Theoretically an older 624 pointy-top lid would be appropriate too.
(Photo: Same 024 casserole as above, but with 984 utility lid.)
Some of the new knob-top lids and utility lids for this casserole style follow a slightly different naming convention, their numbers beginning with "9" rather than "6". But lids starting with "6" also exist, and model numbers for casseroles begin with "0" as usual.
By the late 1940s backstamps began to abandon the concept of multiple model numbers that indicate open baking dish versus covered casserole. In simplifying the numbering scheme, it becomes clear that lids begin with "6" (or "9") and casseroles start with "0", and the "B" & "C" suffixes are essentially redundant.
Casseroles with Rounded Full-Width Handles:
Casseroles were thoroughly modernized in 1950, with a smooth round shape top to bottom and rounded full-width handles. This familiar design has not changed significantly since its introduction and it still appears on store shelves today. Three sizes have been available in opal Pyrex, specifically 022, 023 & 024, and an additional size, 080 (8 oz), was manufactured in opal Pyrex only.
Round 1 Qt casserole marked 022, knob-top lid, numbered 622-C. This style is fully rounded and quite different from the older boxy shapes.
Compared to the previous styles, the new knob-top lid is higher and rounded, providing more space above the casserole, as Victor covers had done in the 1920s. The top of the knob has a flat profile, allowing the lid to stand perfectly balanced while inverted.
Utility lids are shaped like a flattened dome. Although they are not a very convincing pie plate, they do function as a shallow baking dish. Roaster lids (687) for 026 casseroles also became available in this new style. Utility lids and roaster lids were last seen in the 1980s, and covered casseroles marketed since then have been equipped with knob-top lids only.
Two round individually-sized casseroles with flat-top utility lids debuted in the mid 1960s. Having small thick tab handles, their shape is different from the larger round casserole sizes. The 10 oz (300 ml) casserole is an 018 with a 680 lid, and the 20 oz (600 ml) is an 019 with a 681 lid. The 018/680 was available up to the early 1980s, and the 019/681 was discontinued in 1986.
(Photo: 018/680 & 019/681 round individual casseroles. Image from 1970 catalogue.)
Clear Pyrex 1915 - 1950: Baking Pans, Pie Plates
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Compare flat-top utility lids
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Clear Pyrex Custard Cups & Individual Dishes
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Which casseroles use the same lid?
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