Collecting Vintage Soda Fountain Glasses and Paper Cups
Back when the majority of soda was sold at fountains almost every brand had their own designed glass used for serving. The result? Hundreds of different brands and styles of soda fountain glasses and paper cups available to collect.
Early soda fountain glasses have a syrup line – the mark to which servers filled with syrup before carbonated water was added. Later, fountain dispensers did this automatically.
Coca-Cola, by far, has the most styles – they’ve been serving Coke at fountains since the late 1800s. Some are fairly common, while others are extremely rare and very expensive. Pepsi is not far behind Coke with many to choose from. Hundreds of other brands can be found, including Mission, Cheer Up, Double Cola, Canada Dry, Nesbitts, Orange Crush, Wink, Seven Up, Dad’s, Klee Ko, Whistle, Vernors, Major Cola, Fanta, Squirt, Hires, Nu Grape, Bubble Up and many more.
You can also expand your collection into restaurant soda glasses from Howard Johnson’s, Friendlys, Steak & Shake and an endless variety of local restaurants and eateries from all over the country.
Most of the above can be said about paper cups as well. The big difference is that most paper cups where thrown out after use making older ones hard to find.
Good reference books for the soda glasses are Soda Pop Collectibles Price Guide and the Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide, both by Alan Petretti.
They cover all kinds of soda collectibles but have pretty good sections on glasses and cups.
While on the hunt for glasses look for boxes of soda fountain straws to compliment your collection. Coke, Pepsi and other soda brands can be very expensive but generic boxes from Sweetheart, Dixie, Marcel and others can be priced pretty reasonably and have great vintage graphics. A good place to start your collection is on ebay of course but always keep an eye out whenever you are out antiquing. You never know what will “pop” up.