CivilWarTalk Throwback Thursday, 6 - 24 - 2021

James N.

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Just the thing for a hot summer's afternoon - a cool, refreshing beverage out on your deck or patio - but even better if they're served in one of these nifty Civil War Centennial mugs from 1961! These were an example of only one of the many "giveaways" or tie-in items available at the time, given by a Virginia gasoline distributor I've unfortunately now forgotten. I acquired ONE of these during the motor trip my mother took me on in July, 1961 to attend the reenactment of First Bull Run/Manassas outside Washington, D.C. that I've mentioned here before. In our entire trip from Texas to Pennsylvania and back, we only saw these offered in Virginia at one of the more expensive brands of gasoline, so I was only able to talk her into stopping once so I could get one FREE with a fillup of at least ten gallons or more - naturally I chose Stonewall Jackson!

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Way later I was "surfing" that old standby, eBay, when I happened to find these three; naturally since one of them is another Jackson I really don't have anything like a real "set", but for $12 I figured it would be close enough so many years after-the-fact. As I recall, there may have been as many as either six or even eight of these; I definitely remember seeing at the time R.E. Lee (naturally!), Jeff Davis, and probably Jeb Stuart. (Only Confederates were being offered, but I think I've also seen a couple of frosted blue ones featuring Lincoln and Grant.) They were made by a glass company called Siesta Ware, whose mark can be read below. Except for the Civil War designs I've seen many other of their distinctive wooden-handled products in souvenir stands, antique shops, and flea markets, though never these. Usually they're in pastel or brown glass, often with "Western" designs.

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Anyone else having (preferably) old Civil War-related photos, mementoes, or memorabilia from reenactments, living history or other events or vacation or other travel they would like to share with us is welcome and encouraged to do so in this weekly thread!

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James N.

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They're in awful nice conditions for circa-1961 cups.
Another reason I bought the three "new" ones; the glass body on my first one (inadvertently pictured in the forefront of the group of three) also looks as good although I've used it off-and-on for now sixty (!) years - the wooden handle's a bit blanched and the "brass" bands have some scratches though. These are definitely "hand wash only" items, due to the likelihood of dishwashers damaging the wooden handles!

I would be very interested to know if anyone else here has ever seen any of the other Centennial designs and exactly what additional personalities were featured! For those who may be surprised to see John S. Mosby included, recall that this was at the very same time that the syndicated television show The Gray Ghost was airing to a largely receptive audience who would therefore have been more familiar with him and his exploits than even many of the famous generals.

I've frequently seen similar and usually brown glass ones at all sort of souvenir stands, shops, and booths, having designs on them promoting wherever they happen to be: Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Everglades, Royal Gorge, etc., etc., etc. Many if not most of those, however, are often China-made knock-offs, especially the smaller-sized ones. As far as I know, actual Siesta Ware only came in this single size.
 
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I was always puzzled by the reverse side, just plain blank and red. That's why I said it was cheaply made. The "knife factory" probably saved alot of money by placing no design on the other side.
 
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