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


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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