Fiestaware – A Brief History of Fiesta Dinnerware

Fiesta dinnerware traces its origins all the way back to 1936.  First introduced in Pennsylvania by the Homer Laughlin China Company, it was – while not the first produced – the first well-known solid colored dinnerware brand sold in the United States.

With its Art Deco overtones, Fiestaware represented a distinct break with tradition.  Up to that time, the typical American dinnerware set design had featured highly decorative Victorian themes.

Also somewhat revolutionary was that Fiesta plates were not only available as full dinnerware sets.  They were offered as individual place settings and even pieces, which allowed consumers to customize their collections to their personal tastes and requirements.

Fiestaware has been produced on an off over the years.  However, even today the same firm still produces special edition models aimed at the collectors market.

Fiestaware is without a doubt one of the most collected style of plates.  The rich colors and art deco theme make for very attractive pieces of crockery, and they are very popular with collectors of all sorts.

Fiesta was originally sold in base set of five colors – red, blue, green, yellow and old ivory. Over the decades however, as shades have been retired and reintroduced, literally dozens of different colors of Fiestaware have been produced.

One popular habit for collectors is to try to collect a piece of every shade. Other ‘purist’ collectors insist on only purchasing the colors manufactured back in the 1930s, others only want the ‘Fifties colors’ Fiestaware dishware sets.

Red Fiestaware in particular is very popular with collectors.  It combines both scarcity and vibrancy, making it both difficult to find and particularly attractive.  One interesting item to note is that the scarcity of this color is due to its use of Uranium in manufacture.

The government confiscated the firms stocks of this element during the Manhattan project, so when a buyer purchases a piece of red Fiesta they really get a historical novelty.  Do note however, that stacking Red Fiestaware plates together will not result in a spontaneous nuclear reaction. They are perfectly safe!

Over time, Fiesta has varied not only their colors but also their designs.  The ‘Fiesta Casuals’ collection featured two toned yellow and brown, and turquoise and brown floral patterns accented with other solid colors.

In the last 20 years, Home Laughlin has introduced limited run of special colors. These include Lilac, Chartreuse, Jumpier, Sapphire and Chocolate.  Targeting their fans, there are quite popular with buyers who have owner Fiesta products in the past.