Decorating Lifestyle Thrifting & Vintage

Indiana Glass Cooler Tumbler

February 18, 2018

When I saw this Indian Glass cooler tumbler I knew I couldn’t leave it behind! Sometimes I see a vintage piece and just know it’s coming home with me. That’s how I felt when I saw this Indiana Glass tumbler. Its casual warmth was loaded with style in its cube pressed design, and what a perfect stand-in for a vase to show off these gorgeous orange ranunculus flowers.

Vintage Indiana Glass Amber Ice Tea Glass

Background History of the Indiana Glass Whitehall Pattern

As with so much collectible glassware, this piece comes with a mixed up history. You will see its pattern referred to as both Whitehall and American Whitehall, with the technical name for the piece itself being a ‘Cooler’. A cooler is another name for a larger sized tumbler. As mentioned, there are in fact two variations of this design. Whitehall was produced by Indiana Glass in the early 1960s to 1980s, while the other, American Whitehall, was reproduced by Lancaster Colony – formerly Fostoria, in the early 1980s onward. To add to the mish-mash of details, in 1957 Indiana Glass was purchased by Lancaster Colony but continued production under Indiana Glass. In 1963 the glassware packaging was changed to: Indiana Glass, a subsidiary of the Lancaster Colony Corporation. It’s no wonder there is so much confusion with collectible glassware! 

How to Identify an Original Indiana Glass Whitehall Piece

So, how can you tell an original Indiana Glass Whitehall from a Lancaster Colony reproduction? Well, it’s in the design details. Indiana Glass Whitehall has a wider band at its rim that is slightly flared.

Indiana Glass Water Glass in Amber

Lancaster’s American Whitehall has a narrower band and no flare, or in the case of their matching pitcher, no band at all with a jagged rim that follows the lines of each cube edge. Pretty and collectible, but not produced using the original Indiana Glass molds. Instead Lancaster’s design was produced from the Fostoria molds inherited with the purchase of Fostoria. Are you still with me?

These pieces were created using the pressed glass method. With pressed glass, also known as mold-pressed, the design is patterned only on the exterior surface while the inside is smooth, and that’s because the interior form is separate from the exterior and then fused. Mold-pressed glass is different than mold-blown glass in that the interior of mold-blown glass matches its outer form as there is no fusing between the two. And then there’s cut glass, but I think all I’ll say about this is molded glass has a softer surface shape than cut glass. It’s easy to see the difference because cut glass has sharp angles that sparkle and prism in the light, whereas molded glass has a more rounded surface with sparkle that is not quite as brilliant. And, if you look closely you can see hairline seams where the molded sections have been joined. You can just barely see the seams on the base of this piece.

Vintage Indiana Glass Amber Cooler Tumbler

Whitehall Pattern Colours

One last tidbit of information about this particular piece. Indiana Glass Whitehall is most commonly found in amber, olive green and clear – known as crystal. It was also produced in two hues of blue – light blue and teal, as well as crystal with a ruby stain, but these options are less common. Lancaster Colony produced their pieces in amber, crystal, blue and peach.

Who knew there was so much to collectible glassware, especially this cube-pressed design?

Do you have vintage Indian Glass in your collection? Any that match this piece? I’d love to hear how you incorporate and enjoy your collectibles in today’s modern lifestyle. Are you into mixing and matching, or do you prefer matching all-in?

Thanks for stopping by!

Audrey Would Vintage Home blog



Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home

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  • Reply Lora Bloomquist February 21, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Sheila, I just went and checked the 10 glass set I picked up last spring for basically nothing at a church sale, and think they’re original! Score! I won’t sell them though…just enjoy them;)

  • Reply Paula Thompson February 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I owned two sets in olive and later brown. They were very popular and reasonably priced back then. Only problem they lost their luster when repeatedly washed in dishwasher. My sister owned the Fostoria punch bowl in clear. It was beautiful! Passed down to daughter. Lucky girl! Lol

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