Did you ever drink out of a Welch's jelly jar glass?

You could find jelly jars with cartoon favorites, dinosaurs, and even the muppets!

Mason jars have become synonymous with trendy, pinterest-worthy drinks. Over the past several years, it has become more and more commonplace to see hip restaurants serving everything from cocktails to dessert in these canning staples. Party and wedding inspiration pages online will suggest long lists of how to make the cutest mason jar centerpieces, drinks, and decorations.

But long before the mason jar craze, we were drinking out of an entirely different kind of jar: a jelly jar.

In the early 1950s, the Welch's Company, known for their juices and fruit spreads, sponsored The Howdy Doody Show. A few years later, Welch's had a new idea — they'd print familiar Howdy Doody characters on their glass jelly jars! Kids would beg their parents to buy the brand with their favorite show on it, and penny-saving parents could keep and reuse the jar as a drinking glass. The first glasses even came with a character's face on the bottom, presumably to encourage kids to finish their glass.

Through the '50s, '60s, and '70s, we got a slew of different glass designs, usually featuring familiar cartoon faces. Collections included The Flintones, characters from Archie comics, and Warner Bros. cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, and more. There were usually 6-8 designs in each collection, and some people made goals of collecting the entire series. 

However, after 1978, the colorful printed glasses suddenly vanished.

"What happened," said Dan Dillon, vice president for marketing at Welch's, in a 1989 article, "was a change in glass technology. The old mode of making glass, called full-press technology, became too expensive and was replaced by a new process, called press-and-blow technology. This new process produces a thinner glass."

This new, thinner glass led to chipping when the old-style lids were taken off. So Welch's transferred to the screw-top lids that we're still using today. Unfortunately, the new tops of glasses that went with these lids was not very appealing as a drinking glass, so the jelly jar glass faded away.

Until 1988.

Welch's, Dillon said, knew that the drinking jar glasses were special, and kept searching for a way to bring them back. After a decade of work, the company came up with a unique "type of plastic and metal lid that both vacuum seals the jelly and pops off with no danger of chipping the glass."

The company made a return to jelly jar drinking glasses with a line of realistic dinosaur designs, but soon went back to their cartoon roots. Through the Nineties, kids could find Welch's jelly glasses with Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Dr. Suess, The Muppets, and the Lion King, among others. By the 2000s you could even find Pokémon and Peanuts!

Post-2002 jelly jar glasses are hard to find information on. For whatever reason, the popularity waned again. Maybe the availability of plastic jelly containers made the glass jars less appealing. 

However, there is still a vibrant community of collectors and jelly jar glass afficionados. Museum exhibits dedicated to the collection of these glasses have even been opened.

So, do you remember these unique drinking glasses? Which ones did you have?

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84 Comments

glimpshire 11 days ago
I still have and use these Jelly Glasses. In face I purchased a set off E-Bay when 1 of mine got broken.
I have Disney, PokeMon, Flintstones & many more.
WilliamJorns 11 days ago
We had Flintstones jelly-jar glasses. I distinctly remember drinking my breakfast juice out of them back in the 60's.
Jimtypes 11 days ago
My mom bought the sets in the 80's although her kids were all grown and the grandkids used the drinking glasses. It was a fine way to nod to her kids hours of watching Loony Toons and Jetsons.
JeffPaul76 12 days ago
I don't know if I, or we, my siblings, did or not. My memory isn't clear on that.
Hollie 12 days ago
yes i did and flinstones glasses pizza had a promo for them in early 80s still have 1 i also had a plastic cereal bowl it looked like half a wooden log split open in the middle , it was something u could send in for with so many box tops in the 60s it was from the woody wood pecker cartoon had my breakfast in that during elementary days time goes so fast
BorisK 13 days ago
We had these, along with the Kool Aid pitcher, Frito Banditos erasers -- all the good ol toys.
TomRune 13 days ago
1964 and beyond So treasured they disappeared like pirates stole them
TheFanFromUNCLE 14 days ago
Yes. I did. I enjoyed every glass of iced tea and Kool-Aid looking at that "wascawy wabbit" staring back!
RachelPatt 14 days ago
Well I love bugs bunny and I do eventually, can you play Bugs Bunny Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny, like aunt Doc can you play Bugs Bunny in rabbits seasoning?
Runeshaper 14 days ago
I think I did drink out of a Welch's jelly jar glass! Props to Welch's for the brilliant idea.
JHP 15 days ago
I remember having pirates on one of those glasses
KJExpress 15 days ago
I remember having both Flintstones and Loony Toons glasses.
Sway 15 days ago
I remember we had Flintstone glasses.
WordsmithWorks 16 days ago
We had a Flintstones set in the 1970's.
We had all the Flintstones and most of the Looney Tunes . Someone had The complete set of Flintstones (14 Jars)on ebay for 44.00 + shipping , I waited to long to think about buying and some beat me to them 🫤
mojomoonjo 25 months ago
I still have some of these somewhere.......older ones of mine and some newer ones from my kids (now in their mid & late 20's)
Chrislongski 30 months ago
Was just thinking about the handy old jelly jar glasses a few days ago. Seems like a great idea to bring back in these Eco times...
BugsBunny1 31 months ago
I found 2 1991 Tom and Jerry Welch's glasses tom and Jerry playing soccer and Jerry is on a kite from the thrift store this month I put a Christmas drink egg nog in the glass since egg nog came out early this month
nurbles 32 months ago
I drank my morning OJ from one this morning! I still have two - but mine are less than 20 years old, not the originals from my childhood in the '60s & '70s.
Madalyn 32 months ago
I'd have to look through my kitchen cabinets, but I'm sure I could find a couple Welch's jelly jar glasses! they were pretty sturdy, though the paint (used to display the cartoon characters) faded in the dishwasher. This would be a good time to bring them back, what with recycling/reusing glass items.
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