Swanky Swigs

Donated by Susan and Orville Hall Jr.

Swanky SwigsThese small beverage glasses, popularly known as “Swanky Swigs,” belonged to the Orville and Janie Hall family of Fayetteville. The glasses seen here date from the 1930s through the 1950s. 

The term “Swanky Swig” was coined by Kraft Foods. In 1933 Kraft began offering their processed cheese spreads in reusable glass containers they called Swanky Swigs. It was a marketing strategy to encourage housewives to purchase Kraft’s products during the Great Depression, when money was tight. Once the jars were empty, they could be washed out and used as beverage glasses. The glass jars were produced by Hazel Atlas Glass Co. The first Swanky Swigs were hand painted. 

More than eighteen different Swanky Swig designs were produced from the 1930s into the 1970s, including stars, solid color bands, animals, and some of the floral patterns seen here. During their heyday, Swanky Swigs were produced for markets in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The popularity of Swanky Swigs led other food companies to produce their own version of a decorated reusable glass container, but among glass collectors, the term “Swanky Swig” is used only when referring to glasses made by Kraft. 

In 1974, Fayetteville’s Safeway grocery store advertised Kraft cheese spreads in Swanky Swigs: olive, pimento, olive-pimento, and pineapple cheese spreads were 49 cents each; cheese and bacon, and Old English flavored spreads were 55 cents each (Northwest Arkansas Times, November 24, 1974).

Donated by Susan and Orville Hall Jr.

These small beverage glasses, popularly known as “Swanky Swigs,” belonged to the Orville and Janie Hall family of Fayetteville. The glasses seen here date from the 1930s through the 1950s. 

The term “Swanky Swig” was coined by Kraft Foods. In 1933 Kraft began offering their processed cheese spreads in reusable glass containers they called Swanky Swigs. It was a marketing strategy to encourage housewives to purchase Kraft’s products during the Great Depression, when money was tight. Once the jars were empty, they could be washed out and used as beverage glasses. The glass jars were produced by Hazel Atlas Glass Co. The first Swanky Swigs were hand painted. 

More than eighteen different Swanky Swig designs were produced from the 1930s into the 1970s, including stars, solid color bands, animals, and some of the floral patterns seen here. During their heyday, Swanky Swigs were produced for markets in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The popularity of Swanky Swigs led other food companies to produce their own version of a decorated reusable glass container, but among glass collectors, the term “Swanky Swig” is used only when referring to glasses made by Kraft. 

In 1974, Fayetteville’s Safeway grocery store advertised Kraft cheese spreads in Swanky Swigs: olive, pimento, olive-pimento, and pineapple cheese spreads were 49 cents each; cheese and bacon, and Old English flavored spreads were 55 cents each (Northwest Arkansas Times, November 24, 1974).

Child’s Rocking Chair

Jack Elzey with the family cats, dog, and child’s rocking chair, Madison County, circa 1910. William H. Chenault Collection (S-2005-37-62)

Donated by William H. Chenault

This child’s rocking chair first belonged to Netia Burkett Elzey (1888-1965), who lived her whole life near the Madison County community of Marble. Netia married Walter Harrison “Watt” Elzey (1885-1958) in 1906. The Elzeys farmed and raised three children—Jack, Lloyd, and Viola.

Watt Elzey liked to take photographs in his spare time, and he often used Netia’s little rocker as a prop in family photos. The chair suffered a broken leg in the 1940s or 1950s, but was later repaired by Netia and Watt’s son Lloyd.

 

Jack Elzey with the family cats, dog, and child’s rocking chair, Madison County, circa 1910. William H. Chenault Collection (S-2005-37-62)

Donated by William H. Chenault

This child’s rocking chair first belonged to Netia Burkett Elzey (1888-1965), who lived her whole life near the Madison County community of Marble. Netia married Walter Harrison “Watt” Elzey (1885-1958) in 1906. The Elzeys farmed and raised three children—Jack, Lloyd, and Viola.

Watt Elzey liked to take photographs in his spare time, and he often used Netia’s little rocker as a prop in family photos. The chair suffered a broken leg in the 1940s or 1950s, but was later repaired by Netia and Watt’s son Lloyd.

Serving Set

Donated by Paula Thompson

This fancy silverware no doubt saw its share of holiday meals. The serving fork is silverplate and was from the 1847 Rogers Brothers line manufactured by Meriden Britannia Company ( Meriden, CT). The pattern name is “Assyrian Head,” designed and patented by Henry V. Hirschfeld in 1886. The serving spoon, part of a set, is sterling silver made by Gorham Manufacturing Company (Providence, RI) in the “Fontainebleau” pattern, designed by Gorham’s leading designer, Antoine Heller. It was also introduced in 1886.

The flatware pieces come from the Robert M. Thompson household of Rogers (Benton County). Priscilla Cabinette Thomas of Virginia was a violin and piano teacher and church organist In the late 1800s when she met Robert Marion Thompson, a minister from Kentucky. The couple was married around 1896 and had two sons. The Thompson family moved to Rogers, Arkansas, about 1900 where Robert preached at the First Christian Church and other nearby churches.

Flask

Donated by Pauline Lancaster

This yellow earthenware flask with a Rockingham glaze was made by Lyman Fenton & Co., Bennington, Vermont, sometime between 1849-1858. The spine of the “book” boasts the tongue-in-cheek title, Departed Spirits. The letter G is stamped under the title.

According to the donor, it was left behind by a hobo as payment for a night’s stay in a barn.

Earthenware book-shaped flask, circa 1850

Donated by Pauline Lancaster

This yellow earthenware flask with a Rockingham glaze was made by Lyman Fenton & Co., Bennington, Vermont, sometime between 1849-1858. The spine of the “book” boasts the tongue-in-cheek title, Departed Spirits. The letter G is stamped under the title.

According to the donor, it was left behind by a hobo as payment for a night’s stay in a barn.

Fashion Clock

Donated by Zelmer and Norene Teague

Complete with Seth Thomas clockworks, this clock was made by Southern Calendar Clock Company of St. Louis in 1877. The upper dial keeps time; the lower dial is a perpetual calendar—it automatically adjusts for months of different lengths and indicates February 29 in each leap year.

John Sisemore, a farmer and Civil War veteran who lived near the Madison County community of Japton, bought this clock in 1877. According to Sisemore family lore, John was one of three people in Northwest Arkansas that year who purchased this brand of clock. The other buyers were the Johnson family who owned Johnson Mill in Washington County, and an unknown woman in Fayetteville.

John Sisemore’s clock was used by Sisemore family and descendants until 2008, when Zelmer “Teb” and Norene Teague donated it to the Shiloh Museum.

Fashion clock, 1877

Donated by Zelmer and Norene Teague

Complete with Seth Thomas clockworks, this clock was made by Southern Calendar Clock Company of St. Louis in 1877. The upper dial keeps time; the lower dial is a perpetual calendar—it automatically adjusts for months of different lengths and indicates February 29 in each leap year.

John Sisemore, a farmer and Civil War veteran who lived near the Madison County community of Japton, bought this clock in 1877. According to Sisemore family lore, John was one of three people in Northwest Arkansas that year who purchased this brand of clock. The other buyers were the Johnson family who owned Johnson Mill in Washington County, and an unknown woman in Fayetteville.

John Sisemore’s clock was used by Sisemore family and descendants until 2008, when Zelmer “Teb” and Norene Teague donated it to the Shiloh Museum.

Egg Basket

Donated by Billy Dean and Catherine Foster

This basket belonged to Elnora Coralee Webb Fritts (1865-1962). She was born at Durham (Washington County) and lived there always. Elnora and her husband, Lon, had four children: Herman, Lillie, Hattie, and Maggie.

Billy Dean Foster, Elnora’s grandson by her daughter, Maggie, remembers filling this basket with eggs when he was a little boy, and what a heavy load it was when he carried it!

Elnora Fritts's egg basket

Donated by Billy Dean and Catherine Foster

This basket belonged to Elnora Coralee Webb Fritts (1865-1962). She was born at Durham (Washington County) and lived there always. Elnora and her husband, Lon, had four children: Herman, Lillie, Hattie, and Maggie.

Billy Dean Foster, Elnora’s grandson by her daughter, Maggie, remembers filling this basket with eggs when he was a little boy, and what a heavy load it was when he carried it!