Vol. 2, No. 1, Wednesday February 2, 2005

by dick bales

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.


One can also purchase other Hayner "go-withs" on eBay. For example, check out this Hayner corkscrew.


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?)


If you would like to comment on "The Common Stuff", please post it but you can also contact Dick Bales directly at  BalesD@CTT.com




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