Did your family own a set of Corelle?
Corelle dishware was introduced to consumers in 1970 by Corning Glass Works of New York. The product was aimed at middle-class Americans who wanted “a long-desired middle ground between paper plates and good china.”
The original marketing made sure to emphasize that a Corelle dish was translucent “like fine china” and “even rings like fine china.” But Corelle wasn’t fine china — it made from a lightweight, durable tempered glass product called Vitrelle (which was originally intended for first-generation television screens in the 1940s). This made it easy to handle, hard to break, and very affordable.
Popular Corelle patterns included Butterfly Gold, Old Towne Blue (above), Woodland Brown, and the wonderfully retro Spring Blossom Green. Clever hook-handles on the cups not only allowed for compact stacking, but also kept “your husband’s big fingers away from the bowl, so they can’t get burned.”
But enough with the nostalgia…what does all this have to do with baby names? Well, the year after Corelle hit the market, the baby name Corelle appeared in the SSA’s baby name data for the first and only time:
- 1973: unlisted
- 1972: unlisted
- 1971: 5 baby girls named Corelle [debut]
- 1970: unlisted
- 1969: unlisted
This means that the Corelle marketing campaign not only boosted sales, but also boosted the brand name onto the baby name charts.
And this wasn’t an isolated case — there are many other examples of historical marketing campaigns inspiring American parents to name their babies after brands and products (such as Finesse, Jordache, Calizza, Monchel, L’erin, and dozens of perfumes).
What do you think of the baby name Corelle?
For you, is the association with vintage dishware a pro or a con? ;)