Sunday, 7 August 2011

Swanky Swigs

Collector glassware is fast becoming a favorite of mine, but it can be really hard to identify items.

Luckily, this small juice glass came from my grandmother's house, via one of my collector aunts, so we know it is a Swanky Swigs collectible.

Don't you just love the name? When my aunt told me what it was, I immediately knew I had to research it. What I found out was that Swanky Swigs were made from the 1930s - 1950s by the Kraft Food Company as re-useable containers for their peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise and cheese spread products. They were produced in the USA by the Hazel Atlas Glass Co. and in Canada by Dominion Glass. Each had a metal snap lid and was hand decorated with stencil and glass enameling paint later heated to help retain the image.

Complete sets of drinking glasses in various sizes and with numerous patterns could be collected. Several pop culture swigs were distributed with Welch's jelly during the 1950s and 1960s featuring characters such as Howdy Doody, the Flintstones and the Archies. These are very valuable.

All Swanky Swigs are collector's items, because a lot of them didn't survive the advent of technology, namely the dishwasher, which would ruin the color pattern on the glass.

Luckily my grandmother never owned a dishwasher so the color block pattern of mint green, canary yellow and coral is brightly preserved on this glass.

If you're interested in adding to your Swanky Swigs collection, you can find this item in the Retro Junction shop on Etsy.


  1. Very cool. It would be awesome if companies would do something like that today. I'd be all over re-usable containers instead of having to add to the recycle bin or trash.

  2. I was thinking the same thing! It reminds of when my sons were younger and they were collecting McDonald's Happy Meal toys. It's a marketing ploy that seems to work, surprised more companies don't do it.

  3. I swear I remember seeing these little glasses at my gramma's house when I was little. I wish I had them now!

    I would also love it if companies still made jars that were meant to be reused for glassware!

  4. I love swanky swigs and it's a shame our dishwashers ruined so many of them! What a fabulous way to "upcycle" what would have ended up thrown away. People were green back then and they didn't even realize it!

  5. I have a whole bunch of the ones that have cute animals on them -- my mother kept them in the china cabinet drawer and let me use them on occasion! I think that a cheese/pineapple spread came in them!