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.
Vintage Cups, Glasses and Mugs
The Steak ‘n Shake restaurant chain was started in Normal, Illinois in 1934 by Gus Belt. The restaurant, which still exists today, lays claim to the creation of the “premium burgers and milk shakes” idea. The slogan “In Sight It Must Be Right” refers to the fact that Gus Belt used to bring in a barrel of steaks and grind them into burgers within view of the customers, so they could see that his premium burgers were really made from great cuts of ground steak. The original restaurant offered curbside service as well as a dining room. By 1939 there were eight Steak ‘n Shake restaurants throughout Illinois. Today Steak ‘n Shake claims 51 United States locations all over the Midwest and South.
The markings on the bottom of this mug read, “Shenango China, U.S.A. Copyright by Interpace, C P-31. According to the Shenango China dating system with 1941 as “1”, this mug was made about 1972. The Shenango China Company was incorporated in 1901. From 1909 to 1935 they manufactured only commercial china for hotels, restaurants and other institutions. Beginning in 1936 they formed partnerships with fine china makers such as the Theodore Haviland Company of France and Rosenthal China of Germany. Through the years Shenango China was bought, sold and merged with several other companies. In 1989 they were sold to Pfaltzgraff Company of York, Pennsylvania and shortly after that, they were permanently closed.