It's the first official day of spring! So we thought we'd put the spotlight on a cheery artifact in the Museum collection that's decorated with red tulips. This small glass is known as a Swanky Swig. Swanky Swigs were produced for Kraft Foods by the Hazel Atlas Glass company beginning in 1933 and continuing to 1956 with a few interruptions. Kraft used the small glass jars to sell their cheese spreads and other foods. In the midst of the Great Depression when money had to be stretched as far as possible, Kraft hit on the idea of selling their products in a container that could be reused in the home. Swanky Swigs have a small lip around the top which allowed the metal lid to seal on. The first version of the glasses had red and black rings which were hand-painted on, but that was too labor-intensive, so the next designs were silk-screened on. There are many patterns including stars, sailboats, flowers, and cartoon like animals which were often used by children. The Museum's tulip glasses were made in 1941 and are 3 3/8 inches high. Come by and see them in person, once we reopen.
Though lots of glasses that held food products like peanut butter and sour cream are referred to now as Swanky Swigs, Kraft foods' glasses are technically the only true ones, as the company actually coined the term (see the ad below). To read more about Kraft's other innovative advertising ideas click here. For more information about Swanky Swigs visit this collector's site.