Glassmaking factories produced the occasional jade-green item as early as the 19th century. But jadeite really began taking off in the early 20th century, as consumer tastes in dishware shifted from post-Victorian frippery, such as floral and iridescent patterns, toward pure white, jet black, and jade green. These hues seemed completely modern despite the fact that their appearance and names evoked traditional materials, such as porcelain (milk glass), onyx (black), and jade. â€śSince the beginning of glassmaking over three millennia ago, glass has been used to resemble all kinds of things, including semiprecious stones,â€ť says Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.
Many glassware companies dabbled in jadeite, but only McKee and Anchor Hocking/Fire-King made complete dinnerware lines. The more delicate patterns, such as the squared-off Charm pattern from the 1950s, were for domestic settings.