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Attic Treasures
10/1/2002
Home plate: Dishes that have served your family for generations may hold delicious memories of days gone by.
The next time you sit down to eat, take a look at the plate your food is going to be served on. What do you really know about your dinnerware? It might be more than a simple plate; it could be a connection to your family history.

One day, Nancy Hogan's mother asked her to find out a little more about her dinner-ware. Nancy knew her parents married in 1947 and that her mother bought the set in Macy's on a pre-wedding shopping trip to New York City with her mother. The dishes were what the young couple could afford at the time and were intended to be a "temporary" set of everyday dishes until a better set could be purchased. As so often happens, her parents used these dishes throughout their marriage and eventually gave them to Nancy along with a colorful yellow bowl. Nancy's quest for more information led her to become a collector of American dishes. In a single moment, she saw dishes as more than serving plates — they became her passion.

Learning about your dishes is not difficult. There are a few definitions that will help you understand your dinnerware. First, pattern refers to the decal in the center of the plate, while the theme is the shape of the design around the edge. The markings on the back of the individual pieces are the trademark.

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