Though I concentrate on airline ashtrays, I couldn’t pass this one up. Vernon Kilns made millions of pieces of dinnerware and commemorative plates in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. There’s nothing very special about most of them and lots be easily found on eBay or specialty china websites. Aircraft commemoratives are a different story.
This one, of course, is interesting to me because of what it depicts. Boeing was incorporated in 1916 as the “Pacific Aero Products Co.” The first aircraft was the “B&W” seaplane which can be seen at the 10 o’clock position on the plate.
In 1917, the company name changed to the “Boeing Airplane Company”. The history continues with depiction of the B-1 seaplane from 1919, the 1938 314 “Clipper” which opened up transoceanic travel for passengers, the 307 “Stratorliner” from 1939 which was the first pressurized-cabin transport aircraft and the B-15 bomber from 1957.
Front and center is the B-17-E “Flying Fortress” which was produced in great numbers and was one of the workhorses of the Second World War. The [[Memphis Belle]] is probably the most famous of all the 17s made.
The back of the plate contains some Boeing history along with “Designed Exclusively for Frederick & Nelson Seattle by Vernon Kilns U.S.A”. Frederick & Nelson was a department store chain that became part of Marshall Field. Vernon Kilns went out of business in 1958.
The plate is in beautiful shape and I’ve got my eye out for others. It appears that there are a total of 9 plates that were made commemorating aircraft manufacturers including Douglas and Curtis-Wright.