Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Percolator OF DEATH???

After spending my usual HOURS obsessively photographing and listing a vintage Corning Ware percolator, I got an email from Etsy support letting me know that item had been removed.
The product had been recalled by the manufacturer!

This came as quite a surprise to me since I'd seen LOTS of these for sale (that's how I chose my price, came up with tag and description ideas, etc.) but now on Etsy they're cleared out (still available on eCrater, Ruby Lane, Tias, etc...though not Ebay).

Etsy had every right to remove the recalled product, but it SUCKS. I wish I'd known about the recall BEFORE I spent my time on the listing. I usually research things like crazy, but this was such a common item that my research was minimal.

So now I went looking for the recall itself and found Corning Glass Works recalled the percolators because the handle and metal band could unexpectedly separate from the glass base of the pot. See the full recall HERE and some more quality info on it HERE.

I'm also (more importantly) a bit freaked out I could have sold something that's not just dangerous but known to be dangerous, like here we are in VintageLand, completely oblivious and still playing with Asbestos-Putty or suggesting an 1890s bottle of turpentine as mouthwash.

What else has been recalled that I'm poised to sell to unwitting victims? Does milk glass cause terminal toe fungus? Do pre-1978 hats cause brain damage?
There's the government's big huge database of recalls at recalls.gov, which I will now use to check everything at the start of my research. But what about a nice simple list of common offenders that pop up frequently and you wouldn't expect? You know, like the Percolator Of Death.



niftyknits said...

I'm still worrying about those saddle shoes. Mind you, that's partly cos I don't know what saddle shoes are. do you wear them while riding?

JillHannah said...

THESE are saddle shoes:

You wear them to the soda fountain with your steady
to check out a band that does early Beach Boys covers using a computerized Atari, white noise, and a banjo.

Pair with root beer float or PBR accordingly.

Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

Regarding Percolator of Death - laughed til the tears came out! Would make a nice planter, maybe, without the handle?

Regarding what are saddle shoes - if you had to ask, you never suffered through elementary school being forced to wear the hideous things - Saddle Shoes of Humiliation should be on the recall list!

Jennifer said...

I agree with Kathy on the saddle shoes! With regard to selling recalled products, it can be extremely time consuming and tough to tell if something has been recalled. I recently founded a company called WeMakeItSafer http://WeMakeItSafer.com to help resellers and families identify unsafe products in home and resale inventory. We currently only cover recalls since 1999, so I’m afraid not much help for vintage sellers (yet) but, if you ever sell something from the last decade, hop on over and check us out.

Oh (and this is super exciting b/c we haven’t told anyone yet) we just rolled out last night (like at 2am) some new, free “latest recalls” widgets that include pictures! You can grab them for your blog/site from the Product Search page.

Cindy said...

Wow, I have never even considered that! I understand consumer protection, but what about those of us who are just collecting and have no intentions of plugging in that percolator of death? I think if the recall is listed in the product description then it's the collectors decision whether or not they want to own it. However I am commenting on this while wrapped in an asbestos blanket and munching on a bag of lead paint chips. ;)

JillHannah said...

What if we Total Recall the saddle shoes and go all pre-politics Ah-nold Schwarzenegger? Undo a bit of the childhood trauma perhaps?

That's a great idea you've got going! Please keep me posted if you start expanding pre-1990. If not, it's still quite useful (I thrift non-vintage for all kinds of stuff) and 1999 will eventually be vintage, too!

I agree that dealing in recalled percolators shouldn't be like dealing nuclear weapons - there's a large responsible segment of the population that will want to own Corning Ware percolators without ever making them perk. Plus, knowing it's the handle that's defective, one can always grab the whole thing by the base with potholders.
That being said, the U.S. is a very litigious country; the national pastimes are baseball and suing eachother's pants off. Corning, Etsy, and Ebay all need to stay above reasonable legal action. Requiring a disclaimer is incredibly nuanced and takes much longer to police. Etsy is already swamped with resellers, mistaggers, and people who want to slug your grandmother with a kitten.
If I can find a way to privately sell this percolator to someone who understands that it may kill their family while they sleep, I will. If not, it can keep company the cake stand with a tacky glue job, the slide projector that doesn't advance, the vase that isn't really vintage, and the encyclopedia I love too much to sell.

At least you should be warm under your asbestos blanket!

Anonymous said...

Don't know about it being a "Percolator of Death" but I remember drinking coffee from this product when it was the newest and latest thing. It tasted terrible! We washed and scrubbed the inside, but the coffee always had a chemical taste.

Anonymous said...


I was visiting your website and in regards to Corning Percolators not all were involved in the recall. In 1976 during the recall people that sent in their percolators were sent new percolator with a three digit number to the right of the handle ingraved on the metal band of the coffee pot. Each three digit number on these percolators will be different for each pot. The percolators that DO NOT have this three digit number are NOT safe to use.

Consumers were still using them in 1979, so Corning launch the recall again because not everyone knew about the recall and more percolators needed to be recovered. This time if you had a percolator involved in the recall. Corning sent the consumer a product brochure, coupons, and a small box to mail the lid of their percolator back to them to make it nonfunctional. The Product brochure items were discounted for consumers of percolators only.

Corning stopped making the percolators because of the new wave of Automatic Drip Coffee makers not the recall. During the Recall of 1976 all the new percolators sold had the three digit number in the metal band.

We have three Corning Ware “Spice O’ Life” percolators the Electomatic and stovetop 6 and 10 cup , all with the three digit number on the metal band. I love them since the 70’s and use them almost everyday for more than twenty years. I mostly use the stovetop with a filter-drip cone just because it takes to long to wait for the water to heat and perk on the stovetop.

If you are not sure about percolator call Corning Ph. 1-800-999-3436 they can revise and send information.

Thank you,

Joey Raul said...

I love my percolator and use it regsrdless of the recall! If used with. Care you should have no problem and from experience it only hsppened when it was immersed in water for long periods of time........I love my spice of life percolator I have the electric one and stovetop one they make the best iced tea !!and great coffee!!!

JillHannah said...

Thank you for the wealth of incredibly pertinent, useful information!

JillHannah said...

Joey Raul- Percolator ice tea! Brilliant! I could not find a good website with simple percolator ice tea instructions. If you know one or can explain the process for us, I'd love to make it its own post (happy to credit you, of course). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

By the way,

If you google Corning ware Percolator on Ebay Community I posted photos of the diagrams paperwork Corning/Revere Ware sent me back in the early 1990's as well.


Zethrael of Teldrassil said...

Saddle shoes are black and white leather tie shoes. Look for pictures from the 1950's, and you will know them you see them. They were the coolest shoes then, and kind of cool now. PS- cheerleaders used to wear them. Not sure if they still do.

arod cadman said...

I use mine all the time, my 9cup stovetop is pre-recall & I have a 10cup post-recall electromatic percolator

Anonymous said...

I have 3 post-recall e-1210 electromatics with 3-digit code and use them regularly. Also have P-80 and P-280 (recalled) for display. Best coffee...retired the Mr. Coffee to the garage.

Anonymous said...

I still use mine daily