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 Hazel Atlas Set Of 9 Red Stripe Milk Glass Tumblers 5" Tall Set Of 3 Hazel Atlas(?) Mixing Nesting Bowls Polka Dot Milk Glass Mid-centuryDepression Hazel Atlas A&j Green Vaseline Glass Mixing Bowl & Hand Mixer5 - Vtg Hazel Atlas Aqua/blue Crinoline Ripple Petticoat Bowls, BeautifulVintage Hazel Atlas Cobalt Blue W White Ships Cocktail Shaker & 4 Glasses - NrVintage Hazel Atlas Fired On Orange Glass Halloween Witch Candy Bowl No LidRare Vintage Hazel Atlas Horse & Hunt Scene Cocktail Shaker W/ Glasses - Bar SetVintage 8 Hazel Atlas Red Rooster Milk Glass Coffee Mugs Cups4 Hazel Atlas Red Candy Striped Milk Glass Coffee Mugs Cups ExcellentVintage Hazel Atlas Fired On Orange Witch With Bats Ghosts Moon Candy BowlVintage Hazel Atlas Platonite Round Refrigerator Bowl & Cover With Red Band TrimVintage Crinoline (ripple) Hazel Atlas Pink Dinner Plate & Dessert12 Pc Set Vtg Hazel Atlas Platonite Pink Rose 6 Coasters Gailstyn Tumblers RetroSet Of 4 Royal Lace Cobalt Blue 5" Berry Bowls7 Vintage Equestrian English Fox Hunting Scene Frosted Glasses TumblersHazel Atlas Yellow Florentine #2 Poppy Short Juice Tumbler & 6" Pedestal VaseVintage Hazel Atlas Capri Dots Azure Blue Lowball Rocks Tumblers- Set Of 10Vintage 1940's Hazel Atlas Colonial Swirl Sea Shell Pattern 13 Piece Set!23 Piece~vintage Hazel Atlas Moderntone Platonite 9" Luncheon & 7" Salad Plates Set Of 3 Vintage Apple, Strawberry & Pear Jam Or Condiment Jars Hazel Atlas ? Depression Glass,moderntone Hazel Atlas,milk White 4 Tumbler Footed Cone GlassRare Vintage Hazel Atlas Glass Syrup/honey Dispenser 5"tall!Hazel Atlas Green One Cup 3 Spout Measuring Cup - Mint - Uranium GreenVintage Cobalt Blue Hazel Atlas Glass Sailboat Pitcher Sportsman SeriesHazel Atlas Cobalt Blue Candle HolderVintage Hazel Atlas Pheasant Hunting And Dog Pitcher And Glasses - 14 Piece Lot1930's Depression Glass Hazel Atlas Cobalt Blue Dancing SailorsVintage Set 4 Saucer Plates Hazel Atlas Milk Glass Turquoise Blue Kitchen Aids Vintage Hazel Atlas Capri Turquoise Blue Glass Creamer & Covered Sugar ~~ EcVtg Yellow Hazel Atlas Depression Glass Salt And Paper Shakers Florentine No. 1Vintage Hazel Atlas Child's Assorted Glass Tea Set-1943-lot Of 13 PiecesLot 12 ~ Ball Atlas Canning Jar Glass Lids & Bails ~ Hazel Atlas ~ New - In BoxHazel-atlas Mid-century Cocktail Shaker Golfer / Sailboat. New Low Price2 Vintage Hazel Atlas Ruffled Edge Crinoline Turquoise Aqua SaucersVintage Hazel Atlas Glass Works Clarksburg, West Virginia PostcardVintage Hazel Atlas Half Pint Canning, Storage Jar, Perfect Condition(lr) Hazel Atlas Moderntone Cobalt Blue Lot 10 Small Fruit Berry Diessert BowlsVintage Hazel Atlas Royal Lace? Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Bowl Mixing ServingHazel-atlas Uranium Green Sherbets - Set Of 66 White & Green Dots Mugs * Hazel Atlas * Great Condition 2 Lovely Hazel Atlas Amethyst Depression Glass "newport" 8 3/4" PlatesVintage Hazel Atlas Black Amethyst Glass Footed Bud Vase Silver Overlay FlowersHazel Ware Informal Sea Shell Snack Set 4 Trays 4 Cups GlassBlack Cloverleaf Cup & Saucer, Hazel Atlas Depression Glass Perfect Condition! Vintage Hoosier Green Depression Waffle Range Set Hazel AtlasVintage 12 Inch Round Moroccan Amethyst Purple Glass Cake Plate Hazel WareSet Of 2 Sour Cream Drinking Glasses *1/2 Pt* Stagecoach & Horse Scene Red/blackHazel Atlas Food Nut Chopper Metal Wood 1 Cup Glass Measuring Cup Vintage8 Hazel Atlas Moderntone Cobalt Blue Cream Soup W/ SaucersHazel Atlas! Amethyst, Colony Square / Moroccan! 1 Large Bowl & 6 Salad Bowls!Hazel Atlas Criss-cross Amber Brown Gold Covered Butter Dish With Knife Vintage Hazel Atlas Red "skating Dutch" 9" Mixing Bowl 1940'sHazel Atlas Crinoline Ripple Bowl And Saucer - Vintage Pink - 2 Hazel-atlas Moderntone Cobalt Salt & PepperVintage Lot Of 14 Hazel Atlas Glass Furniture Coasters Floor Carpet Protectors 9 Vintage Depression Glass Amethyst Cups & Saucers *moderntone" Wedding BandVintage Gay Fad Blue Willow Tumbler Lot Of 2 Satin Drinking Glasses Mid Century Modern Highball Glass Gold & Green Pebble Mad Men Era Barware Antique Vintage Hazel Atlas Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Salt Pepper ShakersVintage Hazel Atlas Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Dutch Theme Ice Bucket