Once the largest glass manufacturer in the world, Hazel-Atlas grew out of the Hazel Glass Company, which was founded in 1885 to make opal glass liners for the zinc caps of Mason jars. By 1902, when its name was changed to Hazel-Atlas, the company was a leader in fruit jars, oil bottles, glass lamp bases, and commercial glass containers for everything from Vasoline and shoe polish to ketchup, jam, and pickles. By the 1920s, there was hardly a home in America that did not have a Hazel-Atlas glass container in its cupboards.

Significantly, some of these utilitarian containers were in colors, from narrow-opening amber snuff bottles produced for U.S. Tobacco to wide blue ones packed with Vick’s Vaporub. Got an old Milk of Magnesia bottle in your collection? Chances are Hazel-Atlas made it. In fact, colored glass would guide the company’s entry into dinnerware and glassware, producing numerous lines of what would become known as Depression glass.

The company's first dinnerware pattern was called Ovide, and it was produced in a transparent green or opaque black. Another early pattern was Ribbon, available in the same color schemes, while Moderntone arrived in 1934; customers could choose from cobalt and amethyst.

In 1936, Hazel-Atlas introduced a type of glass called Platonite, which was semi-opaque and is often mistaken for milk glass. Patterns made with Platonite glass could be fired in any number of colors, although they are often found as white pieces with concentric or single rings that have been fired onto the white surface in red or blue.

One of the hallmarks of Hazel-Atlas glass after World War II is the prevalence of fired-on patterns and designs, many created by Gay Fad Decorating Company. Glasses, especially whiskey and highball tumblers, as well as cocktail shakers to match, were decorated with dancing sailors, hats, windmills, maple leaves, daisies, musical instruments, and flying geese. In the 1950s, other tumbler designs—colorful songbirds, horses that had won the Kentucky Derby, Charles Dickens characters—were initially sold in grocery stores, filled and sealed with jam or dairy products such as cottage cheese. After the contents of these so-called packer tumblers were consumed, the glasses could be used for beverages.

Some of these packer tumblers make great series to collect. Tumblers from the 1950s filled with Big Top Peanut Butter feature U.S. states on one side and sheet music on the other (for example, Alabama is backed with “Oh Susanna”). Big Top state tumblers were clear since their first job was to sell peanut butter, but subsequent souvenir state tumblers were frosted, with more detail given to the map and illustrated icons that represented the state.

Another signature of Hazel-Atlas is its kiddie ware, which included bowls, mugs, and plates with designs that would appeal to children. Robin Hood and Friar Tuck frolicked on the outsides of some bowls, while others featured the images of Hopalong Cassidy, Davy Crockett, and Shirley Temple. Glasses were covered with nursery rhymes such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Little Boy Blue,” while budding musicians could get sheet-music glasses to help them play “London Bridge” and “The Farmer in the Dell.”...

Hazel-Atlas really excelled at kitchenware, especially its mixing bowls, butter dishes, and juicers (known as reamers) in the Criss Cross pattern, which was sold from the 1930s through the 1950s in clear crystal, pink, green, and blue. Three-spout measuring cups, some embossed with logos for companies like Kellogg’s, are also in demand.

Two subsets of kitchenware are also noteworthy. The first is refrigerator ware, which includes stacking square Platonite storage containers, oblong covered butter dishes, and jars to catch and store drippings. Shakers are the second popular area. Most are round, ribbed, and sometimes decorated with stripes, while shakers designed for ranges and stoves made by Electrochef and Hot Point are square and flat-sided. In either case, designs on Hazel-Atlas shakers were sometimes created by Gay Fad Decorating Company, as well as Tipp City Novelty Company.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Crude Colorful Sky Blue Antique Hazel-atlas Glass Half Gallon Mason's Fruit Jar Lot Of 4 Vintage Hazel Atlas Glassware Red Candy Stripe Bowl Milk GlassHazel Atlas Pink Crinoline Ripple 4 Cups/4 SaucersVintage Hazel Atlas Sierra Childs Tea Set Original Box Little Hostess Party SetCobalt Tiny[1 7/8"] Poison Bottle - Twist Top - Hazel AtlasVtg. Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Dutch Boy Girl Salt Pepper Shakers Red White BlueHazel Atlas Cobalt Criss Cross Juice Reamer In Excellent ConditionHazel Atlas Fired On Jadeite Green Art Deco Flour & Sugar Shaker Royal Lace Cobalt Rolled Edge Candlestick Hazel Atlas Glass CompanyHazel Atlas 2 Candy Stripe TumblersVintage Hazel Atlas Royal Lace Pink Depression Cupped Candle Holders With RolledVintage Hazel Atlas Circus Animal Milk Glass 5" Childs Cereal BowlVintage Blue, Royal Lace "hazel Atlas" (lid Only) Butter Dish4 Hazel Atlas Green Cloverleaf Tea Cups And SaucersYellow Checkerboard Hazel Atlas C Handle Mugs 3x Lot Hazel Atlas Flower Pots Grease Jar - Hard To Find! Vtg Retro Mid Century Spaghetti String Glass 10” & 4 6” Bowls Hazel Atlas3.5" Vintage Mini Hazel Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason Jar BankVintage Hazel Atlas Vitrock Ribbed Milk Glass Refrigerator Dish Jar W/lidHazel Atlas Royal Lace Cobalt Blue Tumbler 9 Oz. 4 1/8"Hazel Atlas Rectangular Cobalt Blue Criss Cross Refrigerator ContainerVintage Hazel Atlas Royal Lace Crystal Cookie Jar And LidVtg 3 Hazel Atlas Moderntone Platonite White W/ Red Stripe Handled Soup BowlHazel Atlas Cloverleaf Salt ShakersMckee Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Nutmeg Shaker VintageVintage Hazel Atlas Black & White Drizzle/splatter Bowl W/ Stand3 Octagonal Berry Bowls Hazel Atlas Moroccan Amethyst Purple Depression Glass Vintage Strawberry Covered Jam Jelly Container Jar Hazel Atlas Milk GlassHazel Atlas Ripple-pink/crinoline Cup/saucer Sets (4)Clear Glass Refrigerator Dish Large Criss Cross Design Hazel Atlas 8 1/2 SquareVintage Hazel Atlas Anchor Hocking Salt & Pepper Shakers Waffle Pattern Lot Of 7Hopalong Cassidy Cup Hazel Atlas Black & WhiteVintage Hazel Atlas Blue Child's Ranger Joe Roundup Cereal Bowl Clover Depression Era Tall Footed Green Parfait Glass Hazel Atlas, Soda FountainHazel - Atlas Cobalt Blue Moderntone Creamer & Sugar SetVintage Green Hazel Atlas El Dorado Dot Optic Pattern 64 Oz. Glass PitcherLittle Hostess Hazel Atlas Moderntone Pink Creamer Child's DishesVintage Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Red Stripe Candy Cane TumblerVintage Hazel Atlas Mount Rainier Washington Souvenir GlassGreen Depression Glass S&p Shakers Hazel Atlas Ringed BottomVtg 4 Hazel Atlas Moderntone Platonite White W/ Red Stripe Serbert Dish RetroVintage Hazel Atlas Chopper Blue StarsVintage Hazel Atlas Ribbed Glass Ice Chopper Crusher Bar Tools- Black Red Vtg Shot Glass~detroit Model T~hazel Atlas~frosted 4 Oz~barware~michigan~carVintage 50s Hazel Atlas Montana State Frosted Drinking Glass Tumbler SouvenirHazel Atlas Ribbed Glass Rectangular 8 Pc Snack Set