Unfortunately, the glass
didnít make the cut. (This was undoubtedly due to the glassmasterís
prejudice against any glass that doesnít have a pretty picture on
the front.) No matter; it is certainly worthy for being featured in
"The Common Stuff."
Or maybe not, because this glass is anything but common. It
attracted only four bidders, lakerdude, the genuineflask,
and the winner, hawgzfan5, yet it managed to sell for $75.00! Why
did such a nondescript glass sell for so much money? The reason is
simple. If you go into the pre-pro database and look at the list of
Arkansas glasses, you will see, one, less than a handful of Arkansas
glasses are listed, and two, this glass is not one of them. Indeed,
Barbara Edmonson makes the comment on
page 152 of Old Advertising
Spirits Glasses that "Arkansas glasses are really scarce."
Conclusion: an unlisted Arkansas glass is very likely especially
But not all states are like Arkansas. I am pretty fortunate. I live
in Illinois, a state that is home to dozens and dozens of pre-pro
shot glasses. Indeed, some of the most desirable pre-pro glasses in
existence hail from the Land of Lincoln. For example, in the last
paragraph of Robinís Kevin Wade interview,
Kevin comments that Chicagoís "Morning Joy" glass is one of his
Consequently, it is easy for me to specialize in Illinois glasses.
On the other hand, consider poor lakerdude, who lives in Arkansas.
If he were to concentrate on razorback glasses, he would be able to
count his collection on the fingers of just one hand! (Hmmm, sounds
like the ideal specialty for Dr. Richard Kimbleís "Fugitive"
|It appears that Fort Smith, Arkansas, is every bit as unusual as
this glass. Fort Smith was founded in 1817 as a military settlement;
the men stationed there would patrol the nearby Indian Territory.
The fort was abandoned in 1824, but by then a town had formed
alongside the fort. In 1838 the fort was reoccupied, but was again
abandoned in 1871. The town, though, survived these various comings
Pictured here are the original barracks of
Fort Smith was a major stop along the so-called "Trail of Tears,"
the 1838 forced relocation of the Cherokee Indian tribe. The town
also played a prominent role in the Civil War as Arkansasís
westernmost Federal outpost.
One of Fort Smithís most notable historic figures was Judge Isaac
Parker. He served as a U.S. District judge from 1875 to 1896. He was
nicknamed the "Hanging Judge" because in his first term, he tried
eighteen people for murder, convicted fifteen of them, and sentenced
eight of those to die. He hanged six of the eight on one day. During
the course of his career at Fort Smith, Parker sentenced 160 people
to hang. (156 men, four women.) Of these, 79 were executed on the
gallows. The rest died in jail, appealed their sentences, or were
pardoned. His courthouse is now a national historic site, where, it
is said, more men were put to death by the U.S. Government than in
any other place in American History.
Parkerís efforts to bring law and order to the "Wild West" have been
memorialized in numerous books and movies; the latter include the
two John Wayne westerns, "True Grit" and "Rooster Cogburn" and the
Clint Eastwood classic, "Hang Ďem High."
Shown here is a reconstruction of Parkerís gallows.
Fort Chaffee eventually replaced Fort Smith. When Elvis Presley
entered the U.S. Army in 1958, he did his basic training at Fort
Chaffee. It was here where he got his famous G.I. haircut and
allegedly coined the phrase, "hair today, gone tomorrow" in a
comment to the news media.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information on Holberg &
Company. (However, I did discover that the Fort Smith Hiram Walker
plant is the only facility outside of Mexico that bottles and
distributes Kahlua.) Nonetheless, it seems clear that this seemingly
"common" text-only glass is a true rarity that comes from a very
From the mailbag:
A few weeks ago junkmoney e-mailed me with a couple comments on
last column on "series" glasses. n this column I mentioned that I knew of only
three series glasses: The A.M. Smith "Merry Xmas" glasses, the
German Baptist Conference glasses, and the
Burrichter Bros. glasses.
Junkmoney pointed out that the "Magnolia"
glasses are also a fine set of series glasses.
In this same column, I stated that there were at least thirteen A.M.
Smith "Merry Xmas" glasses. Junkmoney pointed out that there are
over twenty glasses in the set. Thanks, Bill, for your comments!