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    

2 Vintage Hazel Atlas Red White Candy Stripe Mixing Bowls NestingHazel Atlas Teal Turquoise Polka Dot Bowl6 Vintage Hazel Atlas Green Polka Dot Retro Mugs Cups CuteHazel Atlas Co. Pink Elephant 1940s Mid Century Mug BarwareTwo (2) Vintage Hazel Atlas Candy Red Striped Cereal BowlsNine Hazel Atlas Crinoline Blue And White Saucers All With Ha BackstampEight Hazel Atlas Crinoline Blue And White SaucersMaroon Red Teapot From Child's 1950's Moderntone Hazel Atlas Tea Set Plus 2 CupsVintage Crinoline Ruffle Hazel Atlas Sugar Bowl With SaucerHazel Atlas Set Of Seven White Crinoline Cups Beaded HandlesHazel Atlas Blue Willow Frosted Large 9" Covered PitcherVintage Hazel Atlas Polar Bear Glass Cocktail ShakerHazel Atlas Lot Of 3 Daisy Milk Glass Coffee Cup Mug Kirby Martin4 Cups & 4 Saucers Of Hazel Atlas - Crinoline Pattern Beautiful Condition.Vintage Retro Hazel Atlas Drizzle Spaghetti Black & White Plates Rare Milk GlassHuckleberry Hound Cartoon Glass - Rare Hazel Atlas GlassVintage Hazel Atlas Milk Glass With Black Shield Four Piece Shaker SetVintage Amethyst Salt And Pepper Shakers~depression Glass~hazel Atlas~nice! Vintage Lot Of 4 Hazel Atlas Cobalt Glasses Dancers, Pointer, WindmillHazel Atlas Pink Ripple Crinoline Dinner Plate And Salad PlateVintage Hazel Atlas Child's Prayer Mug-deer Bluebird-lord Thank Thee For Today8 Hazel Atlas Capri Dot Turquoise Azure Blue Vintage Martini Glasses Tumblers Hazel Atlas Capri Aqua Dots Set Of 7 Old Fashioned GlassesHazel Atlas Pink Crinoline Cream And Sugar Set . Beautiful Condition. Vintage Hazel Atlas Pink Crinoline Sugar And CreamerSet Of 24 Pieces Mixed Akro Agate Hazel Atlas Childs Tea Dish Set GlassVintage Hazel-atlas Pitcher Egyptian Design In Wedgwood Blue.Vintage Hazel Atlas Green Depression 8" Glass Serving Mixing Bowl Diamond ArchesLot Of Child's Glass Dishes Miniature Tea Set Hazel Atlas Glass Tea Sets 1950's Vintage Hazel Atlas Sportman Pheasant Shot Glasses 2oz Set Of FourVintage Hazel Atlas Republicans Say When Political Shot Glass Hazel Atlas Florentine #2 Yellow Cream Soup Bowl W/ HandlesPlugged Mold Error! Quart Hazel Atlas Mason ~ Canning Jar! Missing Letter "l"Antique Shirley Temple Cobalt Blue Hazel Atlas Co. Milk Pitcher Cup Bowl Set Vintage Hazel Atlas Yellow Ribbed Glass Creamer PitcherVintage Retro Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Black String Spaghetti Drizzle Coasters -2Florentine #1 Poppy Green Open Sugar Bowl Hazel Atlas Depression Glass OriginalRetro Hazel Atlas Turquoise Capri Dot Cup & Saucer Lot Of Five Sets4 Vintage Hazel Atlas Pink And White Ruffle Crinolin SaucersVintage Depression Glass ** Hazel Atlas Crisscross ** Refrigerator Ware Set7 Vintage Continental Can Company "el Dorado" Glasses Hazel-atlas Dot ThumbprintHazel Atlas Clear Beaded Glass Luncheon Plates Boopie 'snack,cup And Smoke' - 4Vintage Hazel Atlas Ice BucketVintage Child's Red Ranger Joe Mug Cup Hazel Atlas Lot Of 22 Vintage Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Dark Red Small BowlsVintage Hazel Atlas White Glass Stove Top Salt Shaker Marked On BottomVintage Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Apple Shaped Jam Jar W/cover