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Collecting vintage glasses for Canada Day is one of the ways that I celebrate Canada Day. These fun drinking glasses look perfect on a Canada Day red and white themed table!
During the 1950s and 60s peanut butter manufacturers were selling the peanut butter in decorative drinking glasses that came with a metal or plastic lid on the top that you could pry off. They were a little bit more in price but then you got to keep the glass. It was a very popular collectible at the time since they were colourful and cheap. While generally known as Peanut Butter Glasses other food items were sold this way such as jam.
The range of designs on the glasses was huge. Flowers, sports, birds, dogs, Christmas, butterflies, fruits etc. etc. There were about a dozen different companies offering the glasses.
I've been collecting them for years now, I started when I was an antique dealer and while I could probably have bought thousands of them my kitchen isn't that big and I am a firm believer in using what you own. So I set a few rules for myself, the glasses had to be red and white but could have some black in them, they had to have something to do with Canada and they had to be under $3 each.
The price constraint was the biggest factor in me not getting carried away. I am seeing these glasses sell between 4 and 8 dollars now but the rare ones (like the Toronto Maple Leaf and Montreal Canadiens hockey series) can sell for thousands to serious collectors.
But I am not anywhere near being a serious collector. I buy them because they make me smile and look happy on a table.
The smaller glasses here are not peanut butter glasses but orphans from juice sets. I could collect the whole set but I enjoy the mish mash of styles. These little glasses look great with a small arrangement of red and white flowers in them. They are not to be confused with Swanky Swigs which was another collectible that started in the 1930's and was filled with cheese spread.
If you want to start your own collection then start by looking online. There are thousands of designs to chose from and you should narrow down what interests you. While I use to be able to find peanut butter glasses in charity shops and thrift stores I don't see them very often anymore.
They are still very popular at antique malls and some antique stores may have a few tucked in the back.
Make sure that the condition is perfect. It is not worth spending money on a faded or worn glass. Run your fingers around the rim to make sure that there are no chips and check the bottom for chips and to make sure that it sits flat. Hold the glass up to the light to check for any discoloration or hairline cracks.
Now that you have your lovely collectible glass, never, ever, ever put it in the dishwasher. These glasses have to be hand washed, no exceptions. You might accidentally put it in your dishwasher once and not notice that the color or image has changed but it has, and the second time that you put it into the dishwasher just might ruin it.
I don't just pull these out for Canada Day, I do use them year round. The different designs means that guest never mistake each others glasses. Children love to pick out their favourites. (See how I used them to decorate my Canada Day Table)
The red and white colours make them perfect for the Christmas season with the Christmas themed ones being enjoyed. The Sugar-bush glass above gets used at both Canada Day and Christmas.
And how big is my collection? A lot smaller than it use to be. I try to keep it at between 2 to 3 dozen glasses, we have started a one in, one out rule so that the house doesn't get over cluttered. This also means that I am super picky about what I buy now. I am paying more than my original $3 but not much more.
While I called this post Collecting Vintage Glasses for Canada Day the truth be told is that I use them all the time but at Canada day it is a lot of fun to pull out the whole collection and show them off!
Happy Canada Day!