Vintage Cups, Glasses and Mugs
In our blogs, we’ve been featuring a different promotional or corporate restaurantware product made over the years. This is another in the group of cool retro cups, glasses or mugs from our large collection. Here we’ll be sharing what we’ve learned about it and we welcome your additional input and comments.
This is a soda fountain glass from a Friendly’s Restaurant. I don’t believe it’s very old and they’re still very plentiful on the Internet. But it is an interesting example of company branding. The front of the tumbler says “Friendly Cola” and on the reverse it reads, “The only cola served in this shop”. I’m not sure where this glass was manufactured. There is a star mark on the base, but the mark inside the star is unreadable. It was probably made by Libbey, who used a star among several other markings over the years. Libbey was a very big manufacturer of restaurant glassware and they still are today.
The first Friendly’s Ice Cream Shop was opened in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1935 in the middle of the Great Depression. It was started by two brothers, Prestley and Curtis Blake, who were only 20 and 18 years old, respectively. They began by selling only double-dip ice cream cones for 5 cents. The ice cream shop name was originally “Friendly”, in order to project a welcoming and neighborly feel. The Blake’s second shop was opened in 1940 in Springfield, MA. They began to add food to the menu, starting with a hamburger. Friendly had become a chain with 500 restaurants by 1974, servicing the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. In 1979 the restaurant chain was sold to the Hershey Foods Corporation. Donald N. Smith bought Friendly from Hershey Foods in 1988 and the following year the “s” was officially added to the Friendly name. Friendly’s was purchased by Sun Capital Partners, Inc. in 2007. Today Friendly’s operate as full-service restaurants with take-out windows. The first concept store opened in 2008 in Fairhaven, MA to sell Friendly’s products exclusively.