Monday, June 10

There's a Dish for That

Deviled Egg Platter from

Emily Wallace guest-blogs for us about food, art, and design. You can check out more of her work here

"Dish" is in many ways a perfect moniker, able to conjure both a specific food and container—two things often inextricably linked. Where, for instance, would deviled eggs be without scalloped trays to keep them in place en route to church suppers? (I know the answer to this: scattered across the backseat of a car.) John W. McKee Jr. and John W. McKee Sr. described a similar situation in their 1988 patent application for a plastic deviled egg container, explaining, “deviled eggs are easily damaged and mutilated by the jarring forces encountered in transportation.”

By then, ceramic and glass versions had been in circulation for quite some time. An earlier patent from 1938 depicts Arthur J. Bennett’s design for an ornamental, glass deviled egg platter, though the application’s title suggests the container might also be used for “similar articles.” One has to wonder: What—in shape or content—is similar to a deviled egg?

Scan shelves, pantries, antique stores, or wedding registries. There are endless other items, including glassware and tools, intended for specific provisions. Check out a few of these iconic designs and be grateful.

 Charles Bougourd de Lamarre of Biloxi, Mississippi didn’t want you to cut your hand while opening an oyster (he hoped to dissuade the formation of bruises and corns, too).

Carl Bomeisler of New York City wished for you to have stylish handles on your corncob.

And Timothy C. Brown and William O. Waterhouse of—where else?—Louisville, Kentucky offered you a touch of equestrian chic for your mint julep. Cheers to that.