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Vintage Glassware Sour Cream & Cottage Cheese Tumblers

Vintage Glassware Sour Cream & Cottage Cheese Tumblers


The following information is the boiled down, brief history & description of sour cream and cottage cheese containers. It is not intended to be all inclusive and should be used as a beginners introduction to both types of tumblers.


Food and beverage companies began offering products in re-usable, glass packaging during the first part of the 20th century. The packages were typically made from either clear glass or solid, colored glass.
At the end of WWII glass companies, along with multiple food item processing companies, were transitioning back to pre-war item production and eager for new ideas to increase profits. 
Screen printing was still rather new but on an upward trend so it was natural for food companies to call upon glass houses for colored, patterned glassware for packaging.
Hazel Atlas Glass Company was the leader among glass houses in patterned glass production. Production of Swankyswigs for Kraft began in the 1920s and by the end of the 1940s, was in its' heydey.
So, the expansion to manufacturing glass packaging for other, popular dairy companies was an easy transition.
Product packages featured bold, colorful prints typically on a clear glass background. Well known dairy companies like Penn Maid and Breakstone's followed the trend started by Kraft and started selling sour cream and cottage cheese (Seal Test) in patterned glass tumblers. 

Cottage Cheese Tumblers 

Cottage cheese manufacturers used 16-18 ounce Hazel Atlas tumblers with red, plastic lids or tin lids <not frequently found>. According to The Hazel Atlas Glass Identification and Value Guide by Gene & Cathy Florence, cottage cheese containers are found in the following patterns:

Sour Cream Tumblers 

Sour cream was packaged in a large assortment of patterned glasses either in 1/2 Pint or 1 Pint sizes. Barbara E. Mauzy, author of a popular collectors guide, Sour Cream Glasses, states in her book that: 
"...sour cream in usable glasses was so successful it continued until 1991 long after most food items were only available in plastics."

21st Century Tumbler Collecting

Today they are a favorite of vintage glassware collectors. This is largely because they can be found in different colors of the same patterns--sets. Who doesn't desire completing a full set of anything?
Sour cream glasses are available in numerous patterns and I recommend purchasing Barbara E. Mauzy's book Sour Cream Glasses for more information. The following patterns are currently listed for purchase on our website,, simply click on the pattern name to browse or shop:
  • Stylized Rose (1950s)
  • Ivy (1950s)
  • Wheat (1940s)
  • Love Daisies (1960s-70s)
  • Pinwheels (1960s-70s)
  • Daisies (1970s)
  • Lace (1960s)
  • Triple Diamond (1950s)
  • Polka Dots w/Bands (1960s-70s)
  • Regional Theme: Philadelphia (1976)
  • Transportation: Stagecoach (1970s)
Prior to 2010, sour cream glasses were readily available at thrifts, fleas, etc. for $.99. In 2011, Martha Stewart published an article on sour cream glasses in her magazine which caused prices to skyrocket. The average price has since dropped. Unfortunately, average cost is still higher than $.99. Depending on color/pattern/size the price for 1/2 pint sour cream glasses runs $4- $10 with 1 pint glasses ranging $7- $15. "Decorated tumblers" were in almost every home in America.

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  • Jennifer Benson
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