Home > Uncategorized > Shatter-day


Well, it’s finally happened. A few years ago, I made a post called “Murphy’s Law of glassware,” talking about how every set of drinking glasses I bought tended to suffer breakage until there was only one glass left, which then continued to survive indefinitely. I talked about how the oldest tumbler in the set, a black-tinted one with a narrow base, had lasted just about forever, since well before I moved out on my own. It was part of a set that I also have a few smaller glasses from, but it was the only tumbler-sized one. I had my morning orange juice in it every day as a matter of long habit, and I was rather attached to it for its sheer longevity. I knew it would probably break eventually, though, so I took a picture of it for reference in case I ever figured out how to search for a replacement online somewhere:


(A much blurrier picture than I realized…)

Anyway, after lunch today, I was rinsing out an empty pickle jar, and it slipped out of my hands and caused a chain reaction that led to this:



(A much, err, sharper picture.)

Now I have nothing left but the picture. All these years together, and one clumsy moment cost me my most stalwart and loyal beverage receptacle. And now I’m sad.

Sure, it was just a drinking glass. And I still have a few of its smaller siblings. But I take comfort in familiarity and habit, and this is the loss of something that’s been with me nearly every morning for as long as I can remember. It was my favorite glass and now it’s gone. (Though at least this time I was wearing shoes when a glass broke on the floor.)

I’d be glad to track down some replacements of the same design if I could. I like the design. It’s simple yet distinctive, it’s got a nice dark hue, and the thick bases provide a lot of stability. But I have no idea how to search for replacements. Unlike the teacup I broke a while back, these glasses don’t have any label printed on them, so I don’t know the name of the design or the manufacturer. And the set is so old that I don’t know if they’re still being made. I tried an image search for similar glasses some time back, but had no luck. If there’s a way to refine or narrow the search, I don’t know how to do it. That’s part of why I’m posting this — I’m hoping someone will recognize the design or be able to point me in the right direction.

Glass is so frustrating. It’s such a marvelous material in so many ways — strong, stable, versatile, clear — and yet it’s so fragile at the same time. I wish someone would invent a way to modify its molecular structure so that it would briefly turn soft and flexible upon impact — sort of the opposite of those non-Newtonian fluids that turn semi-solid when struck. If glass would only bounce when dropped or struck rather than shattering, but remain just as strong and rigid the rest of the time, it would be perfect.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 11, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Hi, Christopher – I can empathize with breaking something that’s irreplaceable. I broke a glass bread basket my wife and I were given as a wedding gift less than a year into our marriage. I never could find the exact same thing. Twenty years later, I think she has forgotten all about it, but I still remember feeling about two inches high as I drove around the greater Princeton area looking for this thing…

    Anyway, as for your drinkware: This is not exactly the same thing, but it looks kind of similar to me, and maybe using some of the terminology of “footed tumblers” would help?


    You might also try asking the folks at Replacements.com, to see if they can help – http://patternid.replacements.com/. (It’s a form when you know nothing about manufacturer or pattern name… I don’t know if these were “fine glass” or not, but couldn’t hurt to ask.)

    Best of luck!

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