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    

*rare* Vintage Old Christmas Hazel Atlas Candle & Holly Punch Bowl W/6 Cups SetVintage Hazel Atlas Pink Crinoline Ruffled 2 Cups & 4 Saucers 8 ¾” Dinner PlatesVintage Hazel Atlas Kitchen Aid Cereal Bowls - Set Of 3Vtg Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Xmas Tree Punch Bowl White Tree Ornament Green Hazel Atlas Criss Cross 8 X 8" Refrigerator Dish Cobalt BlueHazel Atlas Dancing Elephants Shot Glass - Perfect ConditionVintage Set Of 5 Hazel Atlas Platonite Red Candy Stripe Glass Mugs Mug StripesHazel Atlas Criss Cross 4 X 8" Refrigerator Dish Cobalt Blue6 Vtg Yellow Amber Hazel Atlas Style Depression Glasses Wine Goblet Stemware Yqz~~~ Vintage 7 Piece Tom And Jerry Hazel Atlas Egg Nog Punch Bowl Set ~~~ Covered Green Depression Hazel Atlas? Glass With Lid Candy/trinket DishHazel Atlas Child's Dishes "three Little Pigs"6 Vtg Green Depression Glass Clover - Shamrock 8" Luncheon Plates Hazel Atlas5 Sets - Vintage Hazel Atlas Bubble Candlewick Snack Luncheon Tray Plate & CupsVintage Tin Glass Nut Spice Grinder Hazel Atlas Jar With Wood HandleVintage Hazel Atlas 3 Three Little Pigs Cereal Bowl Rare Blue & WhiteVintage Pheasants Pitcher Hazel Atlas Hunting With Dogs Theme Pitcher 1950'sVintage Milk Glass Hazel Atlas Tom And Jerry Eggnog & Punch Bowl With 8 CupsRare Vintage Frosted Glass Florida 1 Quart Pitcher Hazel Atlas / Federal GlassTom And Jerry Hazel Atlas Ski Scene Egg Nog Mugs 2 Vintage Square/diamond Pattern Waffle Glass Coffee Jars Hazel Atlas Zinc Lids **htf**hazel Atlas Pure White / Opal Crinoline Ripple 2 Tiered Tidbit PlateVintage Beautiful Cobalt Blue Hazel Atlas Chevron Small Pitcher 1930's SquareDepression Glass Set Of 7 Cobalt Blue Hazel Atlas Flat TumblersSet Of 5 Hazel Atlas Hunt Scene Horse Jump Tumblers And Matching Ice BowlHazel Atlas Milk Glass Snack Set Of 12, Dogwood Pattern, 6 Cups 6 Plates,Green Royal Lace Footed Salt Pepper Shaker Hazel Atlas1934-1941 Depression EraVintage Hazel Atlas Art Deco JarHazel Atlas Children's Dishes, 3 Part Plate And Mug, Blue & White1940's Little Hostess Hazel Atlas Pastel Children's Tea Set 14 Pcs Moderntone Hazel Atlas Moderntone Platonite Little Hostess Child's Sugar Bowl Plate& 2 CupsVintage Hazel Atlas Glass Crystal 1/2 Stick Butter Dish With LidVintage Hazel Atlas Childs Tea Set Teal Green Brown White Pot Cups SaucersThree Vintage Hazel Atlas Glass Hen On Nest Covered DishesVintage Hazel Atlas Circus Cup 1950s Milk Glass Mug Childs Red Animal Theme 50sVintage Hazel Atlas Strawberry Jam Jelly Jar Painted Milk GlassHazel Atlas Moderntone Creamer Milk Glass With 4-blue Stripes