Melmac is a brand name of plastic dinnerware that uses melamine. Melamine is made from melamine resin, a synthetic substance that was first developed in the 1940s. Melamine resin can be easily molded into different shapes and it is also known for its durability. Melmac became so popular that during the mid 20th century, Melmac dinnerware can be found in practically every home in the United States. Melmac made a big dent in US homes because of its affordability, easy care and durability.
Melmac produces practically every kind of dinnerware. Some of the more common Melmac products include serving bowls, plates, cups and glasses. Melmac dinnerware came in a large variety of colors because any kind of color pigment could be added to the melamine resin during the molding process. In the 1950s, the shades that were in vogue were solid but muted colors like pea green and “seafoam.” By the 1960s, more vibrant and intriguing color combinations were introduced. This included patterns that mirrored the psychedelic look that was beginning to become such a popular fashion trend during the latter part of the 1960s.
Melmac was not only used at homes. It was also equally popular in school cafeterias all throughout the country. Melmac food trays were widely used. These trays came in either a round or rectangular shape and had segregated sections that made it convenient to put different kinds of foods (entrees, vegetables, desserts) in the tray without everything mixing together. In some trays there is even a convenient slot that was perfect place to put in a coffee cup or a half pint of milk.