Unofficially known as “Balloons,” this design was the first patterned promotional item that came as a Chip and Dip set. The set comes with both the 441 and 444 Cinderella Bowl and a metal bracket that attaches to the large bowl for the purpose of holding the smaller bowl.
Balloons is turquoise with patterns of white hot air balloons, a flying bicycle contraption and a crescent moon. The set came with a suggestion card on how the new Chip and Dip set might be used. Along with using the set for chips and dips, the bowls could also be used for salad and dressing, as a punch bowl and used separately for “mixing, serving, and baking.” Balloons retailed for $3.95 in 1958.
Corning Glass Works offered its first patterned opalware gift set in 1953 when the Heinz Baking Dish was sold in grocery stores. Widespread distribution of promotional patterns occurred after the overwhelming success of the 1956 release of seasonal “decorator casseroles.” Using existing Pyrex shapes, gift sets featured new patterns offered for a limited production time. They often came with mounters, cradles, or candlewarmers and were advertised in the spring to appeal to Mother’s Day and summer wedding shoppers and in the fall to give the holiday gift-buyers something new. Corning continued to produce gift sets through 1983, creating nearly 135 different gift set patterns during that time. Corning intended these pieces to be sold for a limited time, and directed retailers to remove older, unsold promotions from the shelves.
Often, patterns used for these gift items were unnamed, or given names descriptive of the dish’s purpose, like “chip and dip set.” Collectors over the years have assigned names more reflective of the specific pattern.