Vol. 2, No. 3, Saturday June 4, 2005
|by dick bales|
Surely one of the most common (and in
some circles, even reviled) glasses is the Security Distilling Company
glass. But I am a sucker for a series, and so I enjoy collecting this
glass in all its variants. And although I like series glasses such as
the A.M. Smith shots, I am most interested in Chicago glass, and so the
fact that the Security shot hails from the Windy City just makes
collecting it even more enjoyable.
The fourth glass is embossed around the base in this manner:
Finally, the late Barbara Edmonson describes a fifth variant in her book, Historic Shot Glasses. She notes a Security glass that reads, in black letters.
SOUTH WATER STREET/CHICAGO, U.S.A."
Although the Security Distilling Company glass is exceptionally common, it is probably unique in that the two Water Street addresses illustrate how a Security glass can be dated by the address on the glass. (Or is this unique? What about the A.M. Smith glasses with Minneapolis addresses of 247-249 Hennepin Avenue and 547-549 Hennepin Avenue? Did the company actually move, or were the streets renumbered?)
The most common means of dating Chicago shot glasses is by examining city directory listings. (This information is available in the database.) A change of address is a second method. But there is also a third way—by the city phone number that appears on at least a few Chicago glasses. That, however, is the subject of another column.
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