Sherbet anyone?

Grandma and her paint brush

In preparing for the kitchen re-do, I have been cleaning out the china cabinet. These ice cream/sherbet dishes, manufactured by the Libbey Glass Company, had been a staple in the soda fountain business of yesteryear. Obviously, Grandma wished she had some green ones. Depression glass came in clear, rose pink, green, yellow, and blue.

I have written before about Grandma and her paint brush. Any time someone gave her left-over paint, or if she managed to splurge and buy a can in a color she wanted, she did not rest until every last drop of it was gone. On one of my last trips out to her house–long after she and Grandpa had passed, I found these two ice cream dishes in a pile of trash beside the chicken coop. They were both green at the time, but as I have also mentioned before, Mississippi is hard on things. Periodically, I would take them off their shelf and wash them, and a little bit more green paint would flake off or be scrubbed off–some possibly due to the never-ebbing humidity. After all, I have had shoes fall apart while sitting in my closet.

Libbey Glass was initially founded as New England Glass in 1818. In 1874, Edward Libbey joined his father at the company, and by 1880, he inherited full control of the company. In 1888, he relocated the company to Toledo, Ohio where

The Northwest Ohio area offered abundant natural gas resources and access to large deposits of high quality sand. Toledo also had a network of railroad and steamship lines, making it an ideal location for the company. In 1892, the name was changed to The Libbey Glass Company.

Our Story. Retrieved from

Grocers, food manufacturers and other merchants began giving away free or reduced price glass dishes as premiums during the years of the Great Depression. A look at the newspapers from 1928 forward shows the many giveaways:

  • At All Certified Grocery Stores With Each Can of Golden Wedding Baking Powder 25c One Beautiful Optic Glass Tumbler FREE
  • FREE GLASS JADE BOWL with purchase of 2 boxes powdered soap and 1 10c can cleanser, all for 29c (Total Value 60c)
  • FREE! 15c Cereal Bowl with purchase of Belmont Brand Rolled Oats
  • FIT-FOR-A-KING C-O-F-F-E-E FREE CUP AND SAUCER with purchase No. 3 can $1.29

One could receive a glass shaker set with each dozen of Saegertown Ginger Ale, a colored glass cake tray with 2 packages of Pillsbury cake flour, free glass plates with salad dressing, free towels with laundry detergent, and the big special for only 20c:

The Miami News, 10 May 1935, p. 26.

As I told my Sis, I was not sure if anyone would want the sherbet dishes, let alone to go to the trouble of getting off the green paint, but I just thought it was so like Grandma and I would smile when I looked at them, sitting on my tea-cup shelf over the buffet. Libbey manufactured soda fountain glasses to hold ice cream or other fountain items, such as malts or sundaes. Before these were green, I speculate they held scoops of Neapolitan ice milk.

This entry was posted in Family, Texas, Vintage Mid-century dishes, Young County and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Sherbet anyone?

  1. Love the painted dishes! My grandmother had a collection of pink Depression glass and I inherited many pieces. I’ve added to them over the years with flea market finds, and always think of family when i use them. They are really durable too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Thanks for the share! I think the pink Depression glass is exquisite, but I am fond of green also. My maternal grandmother had a lovely set of green sherbet dishes, in an unusual shape–sort of like a cone. Maybe that is where Grandma got the idea to paint hers. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Betty says:

    I would have liked your Grandma. I wonder if she used the sherbet dishes after she painted them. I remember a neighbor giving me 4 or 5 sauces when I was probably about 4 or 5. These saucers were green, blue and pink. Likely depression glass. I can still see them in my mind, but I do not have any idea what happened to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      How fun you got the gift of the saucers! I loved the earlier depression glass; some of it was so delicate and pretty fanciful. I do not recall eating out of these while green, so I am not sure when she would have done so. I like to think of her as resilient in many ways–to make do as best she could having had a hard life. As a child I adored her, and as an adult, I loved what I learned from her.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.