Hunting for kitchen collectibles by color is lots of fun. It's like going on a treasure hunt with a plan of action already in place.. ..searching by color. Bingo, you spot a yellow pot holder, or a set of red canisters or a green bowl which will fit in just perfectly. Whether you plan to use what you find or collect kitchenware for show only, building a collection with color as your theme can provide lots of hours of pure enjoyment as well as some great looking kitchens .
Collectors can be very creative about how they use color and patterns in their kitchens. For example, recently I visited the home of a collector friend who has a passion for vintage kitchenwares and textiles in the color orange. "Orange" of course, is not a typical Dimestore era color. In fact, believe me, orange is not an easy color to find pre-1960s ! Yet to my amazement this gal has found 1930s-1940s odds and ends here and there in the color orange and has grouped them together with white and black accessories. Wow...does she have an adorable kitchen. There was nothing Halloween about it, it was simply warm and charming. She was able to blend these colors together in a new way creating a very pleasant and cheerful kitchen.
Artists know that colors and color combinations create different moods and invite different reactions.. There is a whole literature on color theory and color psychology and much interest among manufacturers, especially in the textile world to have a pulse on color matters. In fact in 1915, a trade organization called The Textile Color Card Association of America TCCA was established to chart American taste in color. This group consisted of industry representatives who would choose colors for the following season. They also developed a standardized chart of colors that garment manufacturers and allied industries could refer to and continue to meet.
In the context of the Dime Store Era, it is interesting to know that in the 1940s, the war influenced the availability of materials and even what colors would prevail. The U.S. Government War Production Board closely monitored the textile industry reserving certain fabrics, textiles and metals for military uniforms or equipment. In the Spring of 1948, The Textile Color Card Association issued their color chart and you begin to see a change from the drab colors of the war years to the beginning of more colorful palettes.
Other industries were also greatly influenced by the war efforts. We begin to see major changes in the household products available after the war with numerous improvements. Aluminum, plastics, glass are examples of materials which advanced greatly as a result of wartime technologies.
When the war ended, the post war years would see a calmer nation ready for a return to family living and home concerns. Magazine articles in popular women's magazines shifted from subjects about how women could be thrifty during the war to topics about home décor and entertaining. Manufacturers encouraged adding color to the home and ran advertisements encouraging women to buy products for their "gay modern home". Housewares which had been softer in tones in the 1930s would now be produced in strong reds and deep yellows.
Garments would be influenced by Christian Dior's "New Look" of 1947 with colors of pale grays and blues, Blues would also find their way into home décor and on industry packaging. There was nothing pale however about home textiles. Everyday tablecloths, dish towels, curtains and upholsteries were bold, colorful and often patterned with florals, abstracts or whimsical themes. Color was everywhere from outside packaging and advertisements to the products themselves.