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Carnival by Homer Laughlin
The following originally appeared on pages 228-229 of An Overview of Homer Laughlin Dinnerware ©2002,
and is being posted on www.laurelhollowpark.net with permission along with corrections and updates.

With the success of Fiesta and other solid colored dinnerware, Quaker Oats decided on brightly colored breakfast sets. In early November 1937, development began on a small line that would make use of Fiesta glazes. Two styles of cups, saucers, and 6"plates were modeled. With regard to the cups and saucers, both versions are very similar in shape, but had different decorative elements. The first set had rings on the base of the cup and on the rim of the saucer. The second version had small blunt flutes at the base of the cup and surrounding the well of the saucer. The same was true with the 6" plates: rings towards the edge versus flutes at the verge.


Fluted version of Carnival under consideration in 1937.

Before the end of November, the fluted style was no longer under consideration and the ringed version fruit cup and oatmeal were made. At the end of January 1938, all five ringed pieces - teacup, saucer, 6" plate, fruit cup, and oatmeal - were put into production and sold by Quaker Oats as "Carnival."

Carnival came in two color assortments. Glazes used in the 1930s were: dark blue, red, Fiesta yellow, light green, and ivory. In the 1950s the color assortment was: dark green, gray, Harlequin yellow, and turquoise. Some of the pieces in the 1930s glazes are harder to find than others. Light green and yellow 6" plates are rather easy to find whereas light green and cobalt teacups can be scarce. With the 1950s pieces, all five shapes can be found in all the glazes available with little difficulty.

Four backstamps were drawn by the Art Department, however they were not used. Carnival is the one line made for Quaker Oats that wasn't marked. There are some very rare instances where Carnival in the 1950s colors can be found with a star marking. Carnival was also one of the few lines make for Quaker Oats where other potteries didn't share in production.



The five Carnival items

An original Carnival Oats box, circa mid-1950s

Carnival 6" plates

Ring comparison: left: Knowles' Deanna saucer, right: HLC Carnival

Carnival cups and saucers

Teacups, left: ivory and yellow, right: an odd pale yellow glaze

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