Sunday 17 February 2002

Thick coffee mugs

Coffee cupThis is the kind of thick white coffee mug that so greatly distresses Victor. I suspect that he would find Dave’s coffee mug perfectly acceptable (Dave’s mug is made of thinner, whiter china than mine).

I’ve had this mug for more than twelve years and would be terribly upset if I accidentally broke it. Each time I travel to the US, I tell myself that I should buy a spare or two but I never seem to get around to it.

I just tried to find a supplier via Google and all I could turn up was the Jack Rabbit Coffee Cup (“A great thick coffee cup with the Jack Rabbit Trading Post Logo on the cup.”). One wonders where they could put a logo other than on the cup.

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There is a deep irony in this. As true aficianados of American diner culture are aware, the thick coffee mug so casually denigrated by Victor is, in fact, a classic of American design created by a company that began by making insulator caps for telephone poles and switched to mug manufacture in the 1940s when that phone technology changed. The comapny was called Victor, and the classic mug in question is known as "the Victor mug." Cheap Chinese imitations eventually drove the company out of business, and countless imitations are still being sold (see Krispy Kreme's Victor knock-off, for example) but the true Victor is unmistakable. To be sure, turn the (empty!) mug over: the name "Victor" is incised on the bottom. Once common, these are becoming much sought after by those who know that this is the mug that made American diners great. Contra this benighted Briton, coffee always tastes hot and satisfying to me when served in this satisfyingly hefty example of functional retaurantware design.

No cup of coffee could be more bitter than the irony that one of the first links a search for "Victor" and "mug" turns up on Google is the remark by this man named Victor counseling Americans to abandon the "thick" coffee mug whose long-lived original shares his name.

Posted by Patrick Leary on 30 April 2002 (Comment Permalink)

I bought some great thick coffee mugas baout 10 years ago at a wonderful little coffe mug place in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. I have since broken all of them or lost som, can you tell me the name of that coffee mug shop?

Posted by Kelly James on 10 February 2003 (Comment Permalink)

I have three Victor mugs in very good condition and am wondering how old they are and what they are worth. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Posted by Teresa on 24 April 2003 (Comment Permalink)

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2007 Jonathon Delacour