Vintage Kitchen Items Mama Will Remember

Christmas Snow Salad
Photo: Jennifer Causey

In today's kitchens, refrigerators have touch screens and ovens can be turned on with an app. Modern kitchen gadgets simplify everyday tasks, but some of us miss the old classics. And while some of these vintage finds are now obsolete, looking back on these antiques makes us feel nostalgic for microwaves without Bluetooth. You might recognize these vintage kitchen tools, and you probably have some of these tucked away in a kitchen cabinet, such as those old Pyrex dishes from Mama. Thanks to rustic, shabby chic, and retro trends, some of these vintage kitchen accessories are coming back in style. Etsy is filled with shops that sell vintage kitchen gadgets and retro appliances, so there are plenty of people out there who want to keep things old-school like us. And while some of these retro kitchen accessories aren't around anymore, you might get some stylish vintage kitchen ideas from the throwbacks. Take a stroll down memory lane to find the best vintage kitchen items, and you might realize what that weird-looking tool sitting on Mama's counter is actually supposed to do.

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Bread Boxes

Bread Box


Bread boxes in countless colors once adorned every countertop, and we think it's time to bring them back. They protect your bread from the elements (i.e. late-night snackers) and you won't have to hide your baked goods in cabinets when company comes over.

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Wooden Dough Bowls

Bread Bowl


Although wooden dough bowls were formerly used to let dough rise, they're now extremely popular as centerpiece containers. Place a few of your favorite plants or flowers into the versatile bowls and a statement piece that complements your rustic chic style.

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Labeled Tins

Flour tin


Everything had a place in Mama's kitchen. She had her flour, sugar, coffee, and more in matching labeled tins. With rustic and retro looks on the rise, labeled kitchen tins are coming back in style.

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Punch Bowls

Montgomery Punch
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

If you didn't have a punch bowl with matching glasses at your party, was it really a party? Pull your punch bowl out of storage and fill it up with one of our favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic options.

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Milk Glass Everything

fenton milk glass


Milk glass has made a comeback, and we're so glad we kept all of Mama's around. This unique opaque or translucent glass comes in a variety of colors from soft pink, white, green and more.

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Hand-Crank Coffee Grinders

Hand Crank Coffee Grinder


Maybe we should be thankful that not all gadgets stick around. Coffee drinkers everywhere should be happy we don't have to hand-crank our coffee grinders anymore.

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Egg Separators

Egg Separator


You may see modern egg separators out there, but the first ones were made of tin. We believe those should be used solely as decoration nowadays.

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Cake Breaker

Cake Breaker


This tool was widely used for cutting angel food cakes and other soft confections, as the delicate tines wouldn't crush or compress the cake under pressure. Cake breakers were so popular that you could even find one in your silver pattern.

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Herb Cutters

Herb Cutter


Herb cutters came in many different styles. For example, some herb cutters had a handle on both sides of the blade for each hand.

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Jell-O Molds

Christmas Snow Salad
Jennifer Causey

There's nothing like a vintage congealed treat is there? Not in our eyes. Back in the day, Mama had a Jell-O mold for every season, occasion, and size.

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Hand Mixers

Hand Mixer


We are not envious of our Mamas for this one. Next time you walk away from your standing mixer as it's beating eggs, remember how hard these vintage tools were to use.

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Flour Sifters

FLour Sifter


No one was safe from getting covered in flour with this gadget around. Not only were there hand-crank flour sifters like this one, there were flour sifters from a later era with handle pumps.

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Fondue Sets

Fondue Set


Fondue sets were the grooviest way to have a night in. It might be time to bring back those chocolate and cheese filled nights of total indulgence. And who can forget the sticks that you'd use to pick up your bread or apple slices?

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Colorful Appliances

colorful appliances


Before the appliance world went stainless steel, kitchens featured gadgets, countertops, and cabinets in many shades of pastel and bright colors. This is becoming trendy again, and we want a toaster in every color.

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Potato Ricers

Potato Ricer


If you wanted the softest mashed potatoes, you'd use a potato ricer rather than a masher. With this gadget, holiday spuds turned out just perfect every time.

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Butter Dishes

Butter Dish


Some butter dishes like these were shaped to fit a stick of butter and others were round for tub butter. Another vintage butter tool was a butter mold, used to press beautiful patterns for table presentation.

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Egg Slicers

egg slicer


Because everything and anything had its own personal slicer. This would make for the perfect egg slices for your cobb salads and whatever else you put large slices of egg on.

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Colorful and Patterned Pyrex Dishes

Pyrex set


Whose Mama didn't have some colorful or patterned Pyrex mixing bowls? We still belive that there's nothing better.

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Recipe Card Boxes

recipe box


We hope the tradition of recipe card boxes never dies. Even though you can save recipes online, there's nothing like a handwritten recipe card that can be passed down.

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Handmade Hot Pads

Handmade Potholders


It isn't that our mothers and grandmothers had more hours in the day than we do now. They just took the time to make everything, like a mundane hot pad, a little more beautiful.

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Butter Molds

Butter Molds

Angelika Jakob Getty

The hunt is on for vintage butter molds now that more and more cooks are making homemade butter. Sure, you can just plop your butter in a bowl, but how much prettier it will look when you use a decorative mold.

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Aluminum Ice Trays

Aluminum Ice Tray


Long before the easy twist-and-pop plastic ice trays or automatic ice dispensers, these aluminum gadgets served to keep glasses of sweet tea filled with ice. You wouldn't want your fingers to get stuck in this gadget by any means.

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Cast-Iron Trivet

Cast-Iron Trivet


If you ever used one of these, you probably still have it, because it has never gone out of use or style. Before we started using pot-folders and tea towels for hot pads, these trivets stood between countertops and hot pots. They also make for pretty wall decor when not in use.

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Meat Tenderizer

Meat Tenderizer


While this gadget looks almost prehistoric now, there were days when this large mallet got nearly everyday use from Mama. Meat from chicken to the toughest of chuck roasts all survived the tenderizing process to make it to our plates.

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Jadeite Kitchenware

Jateite Kitchenware


This subset of milk glass is always green and always a delight to see in a kitchen cabinet. Everything looks good in this color, from elaborate cake stands to your everyday coffee cup.

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