A couple months ago while on vacation to upstate New York, we checked out a local thrift store and found an Old Spice shaving mug on sale for $4. I knew nothing about the history at the time, but based solely on it looking old and seemingly like it would make a good blog post we picked it up.
Turns out it’s what’s called an Early Mug 01. Why that? Because it’s the first glass mug Old Spice ever produced. A lot of good info on the history can be found here, but this is the short version.
Before 1948 Old Spice bottle and mugs were made by a pottery company. But due to inconsistencies in pottery it wasn’t ideal for mass production, so they switched to glass. The Early Mug 01 was the first mug to come off the line after the change.
There’s a few ways you can tell what it is, but the easiest is to look at the Old Spice lettering. In the early 1950s the logo changed to much smoother “S,” rather than a sharp line cursive, and a more decorative “O” (a comparison can be found on the site linked above). This mug was produced sometime between 1948 and 1950, after that they switched to the Early Mug 02 which was nearly identical, but which featured a ridged bottom to help get the soap up out of the water.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of using it. The sides are steep and the edges sharp enough that when I try to lather with it I tend to bang my fingers on it and the brush makes a lot of knocking noises. My $1 Wal-Mart bowl is a lot easier to use. But it’s a heck of a collection piece, and maybe using it will grow on me some day.
I definitely got my money’s worth.