Sunday, August 18, 2013

1950's bascal aluminum cups

I recently found myself reminiscing about a certain jewel colored metal cup that I drank from growing up.  But the memory was foggy--who had them?  My mom or grandmother?  Where did they originally come from and who made them?

I shared with my boss and dear friend Nancy Morgan, the procurer of all things unique and beautiful, that if she ever ran across these cups in her travels please pick them up--and not soon after she did indeed find a set of 6 near perfect Bascal cups.

Now I needed to do the research.  It turns out that the cups were made in Italy by 2 main companies, Bascal and Sunburst. The aluminum was anodized to keep the metal from oxidizing and to keep the jewel like colors from fading.  The cups were the plastic ware of the times--perfect for outdoor barbecues, picnics and camping.  The most amazing thing about the cups is the amount of cold that they produce.  Add a beverage and the metal creates instant condensation and a sublime icy drink.

Now, where did I remember them from?  Well my mother said they belonged to my grandmother and she kept them in the camper--and that statement brought the memory right back --I could then see them in that little upper cabinet over the tiny camper stove.  I remembered drinking the Hawaiian Punch.  I have read on the web that they came from the grocery store--a few articles say they may have contained cottage cheese.  Mom said they might have been available with Green Stamps--a popular shopping outlet at the time. So, still a little mystery there, but how wonderful to have the memory back and a set of beautiful cups as well.


  1. One of the most beautiful items made in the 2oth century . . .

  2. I well remember where our families' Bascal tumblers came from; our Milkman in the very early 1950s- probably 1951-53 as my best guess. They WERE filled with cottage cheese and had a heavy aluminum foil cover crimped over the top. Each week during the time they were offered by the milkman he would deliver another color tumbler and I would rush out to our milk box to see what the new color of the week was. These colorful tumblers may have been available from other sources but our Emadene (dairy) milkman was our source and I think we usually did eat the cottage cheese. It's scary when we get to that age when today's antique was, in our youth, brand new.

    1. I adore you for sharing this, Steve. I'm an avid collector of all things aluminum ware and fire king, and brownie cameras, at 32 years old. I love hearing where these things came from.

  3. My husband recently passed away, and he had a set of these he got from his mother at her passing, they were a cherished memory by him, and we still drink from them and always think of him when we do.