The Fostoria American Beer Mug is an intriguing piece. It was first introduced around 1933 and was produced for about a decade. It then disappeared off the assembly line for about thirty years. Later (around 1974), it was re-introduced as a “Tankard” and was kept in the production line through 1982. Therefore, this piece could be called a Beer Mug, or a Tankard, depending on when it was produced.
The Beer Mug (aka Tankard) is a hefty piece of glass. It is quite substantial, and would be a welcome addition to your Fostoria American collection, or to a well-stocked bar. The Beer Mug is approximately 4½” tall and has a capacity of about 12 ounces. While the Beer Mug was predominately produced in clear crystal, it was also made in a brown tone as well. Some folks call the color “smoke grey”, while others simply call it “brown”. The colored mugs are much more rare than the crystal versions, and there are even a select few in the color of ruby.
Two important distinctions should be made regarding the Beer Mug and/or Tankard. When it was first introduced in the 1930’s, the bottom of the Beer Mug had a plain bottom. In other words, the bottom of the glass was clear, void of any design. However, when this piece was reintroduced in 1974 as a Tankard, the mould was reworked. While the size and holding capacity remained unchanged, the Tankard now displayed a rayed design on its bottom.
The Tankards in my personal collection have a total of eighteen (18) rays at the bottom. The plain bottomed Beer Mugs are the oldest variations, and the Tankards with the ray design are the newest variations. Frankly, as far as value goes, I have not really seen a substantial difference between the two.
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