Here’s one for the men. A couple of weeks ago the team at P+E were gathered in a pub and the subject of beer mugs came up: dimple or straight? It seems that even beer mugs qualify as period features and the dimpled type were invented in 1938 at the Ravenhead glassworks in St Helens, mainly just to show off the increasingly popular light ale. Before this many people drank their beer either from pewter tankards or, and this is a surprise to me, china mugs.
George Orwell liked his pint from this strawberry pink china one and was definitely going to only serve beer in this receptacle in his fantasy pub which he wrote about in “Moon Under Water” an essay he published in the Evening Standard in 1946.
Pink was perhaps a little unusual but pottery beer mugs were quite common. Here are a couple of men enjoying theirs in 1944.
People started to prefer a clear glass because they could see if there were nasty-looking dregs lurking at the bottom. The dimples mug was almost completely abandoned for the straight glass but I’m told they are having a come-back in the trendiest of London pubs. If you have a set at home they are selling well on Etsy – just saying.
For more, about what turns out to be a rather fascinating subject, take a look at this link http://zythophile.co.uk/2015/03/28/more-notes-towards-a-history-of-the-beer-mug/