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    

Vintage Turquoise And White Mugs - Hazel Atlas Striped - Nice ConditionVintage Retro Hazel Atlas Yellow Polka Dot Chili/cereal Bowl No Marking9 Pc Hazel Atlas Pink Elephants Barware St Shaker, Ice Bucket & GlassesVintage Hazel Atlas Turquoise Kitchen Aids Pattern Mixing Bowl Set 3 RareHazel Atlas Round~ Dippings ~ Grease Jar ~ Red StripeVintage Hazel Atlas Striped Milk Glass Cereal Bowls 4-3/4"Vintage Hazel Atlas Modernist Cobalt Blue Glass Fish Cocktail Shaker W/2 GlassesVintage Art Deco Hazel Atlas Show Dog Ice Bucket Cobalt Blue Barware CocktailsHazel Atlas Royal Lace *5" CandleholderHazel Atlas Crinoline Cereal Bowls Set Of 2 Blue Turquoise White Milk GlassHazel Atlas Sour Cream W Original Plastic Lid Pink Honeycomb Hexies 1/2 Pint 4 Vintage Half 1/2 Gallon Clear Mason Jar Lot Brockway Sur-grip Hazel Atlas BallVtg Hazel Atlas Red Tin Top Nut Chopper Grinder W Flower Decal & Glass Bowl 5935Hazel Atlas Vintage Milk Glass Christmas Winter Scene Eggnog Bowl & 3 CupsHazel Atlas Kitchen Aids Coffee Mug Tea Cup Milk Glass With Turquoise 2 Hazel Atlas Ripple Crinoline White W/ Blue *cups & Saucers*haHazel Atlas Moderntone Collection - 35 PiecesAntique Hazel-atlas Depression Glass Green Knobbed Salt & Pepper Shakers Fs!Super Vintage Hazel Atlas Fired On Jadeite Childs Set Cup And SaucersHazel-atlas Tin Lid Green Depression Glass 6" Tall Syrup Jug PitcherHazel Atlas Moderntone Glassware5 Awesome Retro Mid Century Hazel Atlas Pink Elephant Tall Ice Tea GlassesHazel Atlas Moderntone Little Hostess Childrens 7 Dishes Pair Of Lg Antique Vintage White Milk Glass Salt Pepper Shakers 5" Hazel-atlas ?Vintage Hazel Atlas Uranium Transparent Green "icicle" Design Shakers~ They GlowVintage Hazel Atlas Antique Cars Tumblers Drinking Glasses Lot Of 6Lot Of 3 Vintage Vaseline Glass Salt Shakers Hazel AtlasVintage Set 2 Hazel Atlas Blue Flower Modern Design Pint Sour Cream Glass 16 Oz.Vintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass New Hampshire 1950's 1950's RedVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Ohio Orange 1950s 1960sHazel Atlas Pair Of Ceramic Milk Mugs/ Pink (a-0) Yellow(a-26)Vintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Tennessee 1950s 1960s BlueVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Kentucky Pink 1950s 1960sVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Cape Cod, Mass. 1950s 1960sVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Texas Pink 1950s 1960s LonestarVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Georgia Yellow 1950s 1960sVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass North Carolina Green 1950 1960sVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Michigan 1950 1960s Green BlackVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Indiana 1950s 1960s White BlackVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass Pennsylvania Yellow 1950s 1960sVintage Hazel Atlas Frosted Souvenir State Glass North Carolina 1950s 1960sVintage Hazel Atlas Modern Tone Children's Dishes-6 Pieces Creamer/sugar/tea Cup