Back in the 50s, when
you shopped for cereal, you could choose
the one that gave you a free coffee mug.
Packed in rolled oats (therefore well
protected against breakage) was a mug that
could be put to use to replace that
cracked one you'd been using for so long.
Threshing crews often
drank their coffee from enamel (usually
white trimmed with black or red) mugs. At
the other end of the spectrum was the
mustache cup with the ledge inside to help
keep a gentleman's mustache dry.
The heavy pottery mugs
made at Medalta Potteries in Medicine Hat,
most often used in restaurants, might also
be found in the home. A fine china teacup
with saucer was meant for special
occasions only and, for some very lucky
young girls, was a highly prized Christmas
or birthday present.
In the 50s there was a
huge breakthrough in dinnerware –
unbreakable dishes. Melmac was the first
one and many a family now had the brightly
coloured "square" cups and saucers,
plates, etc. No more chipped or broken
Of course commemorative
cups and saucers and mugs have always been
popular, whether it was a coronation of
Edward VIII or the wedding of Charles and
Royalty commemorative mugs & cups