Nostalgia, Vintage Aluminum Tumblers, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

It’s tall, it’s cold, and it once held my pink lemonade flavored kool-aid. It’s an  aluminum tumbler from the 1960s, in close-up.

Vintage Aluminum Tumbler. 1960s

I filled it with ice water just to get that familiar hot-summer/cold-glass/water-beading feeling.

I found two in the back of the cupboard, a red one and a gold one. Here’s why I went looking for them — I saw this set at the Smithsonian Museum of American History last week. Oh joy. Just like my mother used to have…

1960s Aluminum Tumblers - Smithsonian Collection

Nostalgia at the Smithsonian. *Want* — Too bad I don’t have the sleeves or the pitcher.

I think I missed my calling. Clearly I was born to be a museum curator.

Our tumblers held our tea, our ice water, our lemonade — all summer, at the kitchen table, on the front porch, or sitting outdoors on a quilt in the yard. Sometimes they even made it to the table at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Now I’m giving my two to Sam (aka Mr Mid-Century Modern) who remembers a set from his childhood too. I only regret that my tumblers are not as bright and pristine as the Smithsonian’s. I’m still hoping I find at least a couple more.

Here are mine, in clips from my father’s home movies… ready for their close up.

Aluminum Tumblers at Christmas Past

Tales of Christmas past…

Aluminum tumblers at Christmas Past

That ghostly highlight is the sun coming in on my cousin’s shoulder. (now if I could just find that blue tumbler)

Aluminum tumblers at Christmas Past

These tables are laden with my mother’s and my Aunt Betty’s home cooking. Food like that just doesn’t exist any more.

So here’s my glass. Right now it’s way over half-full. How’s yours? Red Aluminum glass - its over half full




For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up



15 thoughts on “Nostalgia, Vintage Aluminum Tumblers, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

  1. Pingback: Napoli unplugged | litadoolan

  2. Certainly been a while since I’ve seen these sorts of aluminum tumblers. I vaguely remember using them for a short while living in Malaysia. The ones you have look like cups? Do they have lids? These days many modern metal tumblers come with caps and lids…I think.

    I think you would make a great museum curator. It suits your personality. Never too late to become one 🙂

    • No lids on my tumblers, but that would be a nice innovation. I haven’t seen any like that, but then I don’t get out to the stores much lately. I wonder now if being museum curators is built into our DNA — we’re all a little bit like that at heart (curating our own spaces) don’t you think?

      • So agree with you there. So many of us find it hard to throw away things and keep them tucked away. Things to look at on a rainy day. Oh, and what about our closets – curating our clothes. Never a dull moment.

      • Oh yes! It’s past time for me to do a some severe closet-curating — starting soon. I tend to get bogged down with “Oh, I could still wear ‘x’, and what do you know, it matches ‘y’ perfectly… I’ll keep it long enough to wear them together a couple of times.” Then more time passes.

  3. Love the photos of vintage tumblers and pitcher. Gee, you had the colored ones. We had the gray ones. Your photos reminded me of Sunday dinners with REAL mashed potatoes and butter. Thanks!

    • Well, too cold can feel pretty good on a hot summer day. We must have used them in the winter too, but it’s summer that seems ‘burned’ into my memory, perhaps because we didn’t have much in the way of air conditioning.

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