Surely some of the most common shot glasses on our
shelves and in our display cases are the Hayner glasses. At any given
time, chances are great that a Hayner glass will be listed for sale on
eBay. (And probably with no bids on it!). In fact, our glassmaster
Robin Preston has compiled a list on the pre-pro.com website of the
ten most common pre-pro glasses,
and a Hayner glass proudly occupies the pole position! (There is also a
Hayner glass at number six.)
I first became intrigued by the Hayner glasses a few months ago, when I
was attending a bottle show in Central Illinois, looking for glasses to
add to my collection. I had seen only the usual "picture" Hayner glasses
on eBay, but had seen them dozens of times, and so I was totally
unprepared when I saw on a sales table a glass that just read "Hayner."
It was a straight-sided glass, simple but elegant, and I fell in love
with it and bought it.
Once home from the bottle show, I purchased the rest of the Hayner
glasses on eBay. (I think that it took me all of fifteen minutes.)
||The first glass shown here is,
of course, the afore-mentioned "Hayner" glass. One seldom seems this
particular Hayner glass on eBay. Until recently I would have guessed
that surely this is the least common of all the Hayner glasses.
However, Robin, my editor, has informed me of
a much rarer Hayner glass, shown below (And of course, the pre-pro
database has a picture of a two part
aluminum Hayner cup as well.)
||The second glass, labeled "The Hayner
Distilling Co.," discloses that it had offices in Dayton, Ohio and
St. Louis, Missouri. The
pre-pro database indicates that it also had offices in Atlanta,
St. Paul, Louisville, San Francisco, and Chattanooga, and that the
firm dates from circa 1898 to 1918.
|The third and fourth "Lock Box
290" glasses are the most intriguing ones. ("Lock Box 290" was the
firmís postal box in Dayton.) At first glance the two glasses appear
to be identical, but actually, there are a few subtle but very
distinct differences. The fourth glass is usually described as
having a "tail" at the end of the "9" in "290." But note that there
are more barrel staves at the end of the barrel in the fourth glass
than in the third. The sheaves of wheat are different in these two
glasses, and so is the word "Registered." These differences make it
clear that the third and fourth glasses have two separate and
distinct designs. It is obvious that when the fourth glass was made,
the glass etcher did not just take the central barrel design of the
third glass and slap on a new "Lock Box 290" logo. Rather, the
fourth glass is totally different from the third glass.
What is most mysterious is the rectangle that
appears in the lower right section of the barrel in the fourth glass.
Although just three dots appear in the rectangle in the third glass,
there appears to be a small heart with a dot over it, an old English
"S," and the number 9 in the rectangle in the fourth glass. What is the
significance of these items? I read an article once that told of postage
stamp engravers and artists at advertising companies surreptitiously
placing hidden words or images into their works. Could that be the case
here? Perhaps this glass etcherís real passion was golf, and so he
wanted to proclaim to the world that he [heart] + S + 9--that is, that
he "loves nine!"
If you search the word "Hayner" on eBay, the chances are great that you
will find more than just shot glasses. I purchased the advertisement
shown here for just a few dollars, hoping that it might explain what the
items in this rectangle meant. The ad did not, however, and neither did
this Hayner letterhead that is shown here.
The story goes that the country honky-tonk band
"BR-549" got its name from the old television show, Hee Haw. Junior
Samples played a truck salesman whose phone number was "BR5-49."
(Another version of the story is that "BR-549" was an International
Harvester truck engine, the so-called BR, or Broad Ringed, 549 cubic
inch behemoth.) In any event, I have often thought that "Lock Box 290"
would, just like BR-549, be a great name for a band! (Or at the very
least, the eBay user name for a shot glass collector?)