Boonton Ware / Melmac

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one-word-plastics-1967-the-graduateLong before Mr. McGuire gives young Benjamin unsolicited career advice in the 1967 movie The Graduate, plastics were making their mark in American manufacturing.  Six decades earlier, Bakelite made its world debut.   This synthetic plastic was invented in New York by Leo Baekeland, who coined the term ‘plastics’.

A few years later melamine formaldehyde was discovered.  Plastic had arrived to the dinner table.  Nicknamed Melmac and churned out by the ton.  Cheap, durable, boonton-ware-plate-croppedcolorful, just what a growing nation wanted and needed.  Highly fashionable in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Melamine resin kitchen utensils are a favorite rummage sale find. Durable, functional, lightweight, perfect for a generation or longer.

Every childhood meal was eaten on Melmac.  This
collection made its way to an attic for a few decades, but it is back in the cabinet, my first choice for sandwiches and snacks.  

Not safe in ovens or microwaves, but that barely dampens the utility of vintage Melmac!  The name Boonton Ware? Melmac was made in a small New Jersey town, Boonton, for many years.

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