Aluminum Tumblers (9)

By the late 1950s, American manufacturers and retailers were promoting new tools, clothes, furniture, and serving ware to go along with grilled meals on the patio. The set of serving ware, including an anodized aluminum tray, 9 tumblers, and pitcher, and 4 wicker holders, was a common fixture of the 1960s backyard or patio culture established in the U.S. in the 1950s. These “glasses” were among the most common and ubiquitous of the specialized tools for the new life in the outdoors. Many were giveaways given along with or filled with a desirable foodstuff or awarded for coupons in grocery store giveaways.
Anodized aluminum tumblers were commonly used for serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at backyard cookouts. The anodizing process increased the thickness of the oxide layer on metallic parts, making the popular serving ware unbreakable, rust-resistant, and colorful—perfect for outdoor gatherings.
Physical Description
aluminum (overall material)
overall: 5 1/4 in x 3 1/4 in; 13.335 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Food Culture
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


My mother had a set of Sunburst tumblers when we were kids. I've no idea where they came from. I remember my younger brother and the neighborhood boys playing baseball all day in our backyard. When the boys took a break they would come into the garage and our mother would give those sweaty little boys Kool-Aid from the fridge in the tall colorful aluminum tumblers. Every boy remembered his color for the second break. We took them on picnics at the lake and on road trips to visit relatives. They finally got dented and scratched to the point the metal affected the taste of the beverage. Nobody wanted to use one. And one by one they disappeared.
Yes!! I remember these. We got ours from the Hood Milk man delivering to our home, they were filled with cottage cheese. My mother collected every color so each of us kids got their own color and there was no fighting over who's cup was who's. :D
OMG. I So Remember these cups in my home when i was raising up in the 60's. My mom had them all till I was a grown up always they never mess up and dear god forbid if we even bent them. But they were so good and addicting because you can actually stick them in freezer freeze your drink and it would keep cold and also you can keep them in heat with your coffee and it would hold the heat with coffee so well ....loved them then and love them now...wish i had some ...
I remember having these drinking glasses but not sure how we got them. It seems we got ours one at a time from the milkman possibly filled with cottage cheese. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I'm 71 but know we acquired them when I was about 8 or 9.
Yes, ours came with cottage cheese in them.
The article was quite interesting. I would have liked to know the manufacturer of the aluminum tumbler set too.Thank You for your excellent work!Michael
Was doing research on my set of "Sunburst" aluminum tumblers. Remember my dad saying they came from the milkman. They are stamped on bottom "sunburst"; available on ebay. I'm keeping mine.
Me too because my great grandmother left me the whole set when she passed away. I never thought I'd see them on this site.
My grandma had them too. Just found a set in a thrift store. The brand is Sunburst

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