Here's To The Company Glass!

Byline: Brian Callahan

One type of business that uses glassware for their advertising and promotions is the glassware business itself. Over the years, many glass companies have made drinking glasses with promotional themes and glass company logos. Sometimes colorful, often not, these glasses have not caught the imagination of most collectors, at least until now! Yet, some of these glasses are very attractive, and all of them are fun to collect, and usually still inexpensive.

          In Indiana and the Midwest, the most common glasses from the glass companies are from Brockway and Owens-Illinois. There's at least a half dozen different Brockway glasses in white, blue, and green colors showing the B Brockway logo and glass manufacturing plant. Usually these are tied into plant openings, anniversaries and special events. Sometimes box sets are found. Shown is a 50's Brockway Open House glass and box, a Hazel Atlas glass with four different Hazel Atlas Plant logos, and an Owens-Illinois Glass Container Division Transportation boxed set of 6.

          There is a nice variety of glasses from the Brockway Glass Company. Some of the examples include a Pomona, California Brockway Plant 25th Anniversary glass and a Dr. J. P. Poole, 1948 - 1982 glass. Dr. Poole is clearly a VIP to have his own glass made! Then on the right is a simple yet classy gold decorated glass, from Montgomery, AL. With the gold letters and wheat this glass can be overlooked as not being a promotional glass. You need to look harder to see the importance of this item.

          The Owens- Illinois company have several glass styles as well, but the most common are the Annual Service Award glasses. Sometimes these say Annual Service Award Dinner. Each is dated and shows a different scene each year. They would be better glasses if the colors were more vibrant, and the scenes more exciting. They usually have themes, like "Treasures of Time" or "Our American Heritage", similar to a prom night. I have one glass that says "Owens Brockway",  so at some point these companies worked together.

         The Bicentennial events in the mid 70's spurred many fine sets of glasses, and the glass companies got in on the trend with some of the more colorful glasses. Brockway made a cute glass, with the US outline in white, the "200" in clear within, and US inside the "00." Kerr glass company made the Patriot soldier shown in red and white.

       Another trend is glasses from the American Flint Glass Workers Union AFL-CIO. Sometimes in association with a glass company or a union event, these can range from mundane to super items. Shown is a royal ruby glass from Anchor Hocking, with the Anerican Flint Glass Workers Union logo, from Toledo Ohio, 1950. This glass is also collected by Depression Glass enthusiasts. Accompanying it is an Anchor glass jar, the same as the Welch's jelly jar "glasses", with the Winchester, Indiana logo and "It tastes better in glass" in a red and white circle on the reverse. About half of my union glasses are actually mugs.

        Everyone has a favorite glass among their different collections, and mine in this case is a Owens-Illinois Technical Center Dedication, 8 oz. measuring glass, in red, yellow, blue, and white, dated Sept. 27, 1955. Pictured on the glass is the Technical Center, which was probably pretty futuristic looking in 1955. Also drawn on the glass are outlines of scientific instruments like a microscope, compass, protractor, calipers, and more. Another great looking glass is a union label tall measuring glass, "It tastes better in a Glass container". The blue union label is on top, with glass containers pictured in red, and the slogan in yellow underneath. Notice that no actual drinking glasses are pictured, only containers. Some of these glass company glasses actually are made on blanks from other companies, like Libbey blanks. I guess in these cases the glass company made containers, but outsourced the promo glass.

          Some of the other companies that made glasses include Duraglas, Libbey, Corning (and Pyrex), Kumkang, and Carolina Glass Works. It takes a little searching to unearth these glasses, but there are plenty of neat ones to find, and a wide variety of types to collect. I like to imagine the glass workers in the 50's, working at the plant as thousands of Davy Crockett glasses of all shapes and sizes go by on the assembly line. What would the worker who boxed up cases of Mighty Mouse glasses in the 70's think if he knew they were selling now for $600 each? And are there folks who have cases of Camp Snoopy glasses at home, still waiting to cash in on their stash? Who knows, but we can all be thankful the glasses outlive the memories, and spark new memories for collectors.



This site was last updated 02/20/10