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Calling all Tiki Archaeologists
TikiTacky
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Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-22 11:34 pm   Permalink

There seems to be a dearth of information on the early tiki mugs in terms of when they were produced. A check on Ooga Mooga shows that almost none of the early mugs list production dates. I'm thinking by looking at early menus and other historical items, we might be able to pin some of these down, at least a bit.

Let's take Mr. Bali Hai for example. I found a menu on eBay dating from "the 60s" that says you'll get to take the Mr. Bali Hai mug home with you, so we know it's been around at least since then. Anything more definitive? What about the Tiki Bob mug? What about the Don the Beachcomber coconuts? Etc!

Post the earliest items you have that show mugs, and let's work our way backwards.

Edit: At bigbrotiki's request, this includes Polynesian Pop mugs, not just mugs in tiki form.

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTacky 2013-06-23 08:47 ]


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
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Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 5964
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2013-06-22 11:57 pm   Permalink

Just look at the old Tiki cocktail menus for depictions of the old mugs
and date for a start.


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4265
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-06-23 06:46 am   Permalink

For further discussion, see here


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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 07:48 am   Permalink

Thanks for the link, very good info!

"I have a number of pieces that were made for and used exclusively at Trader Vic's. I've been able to date the pieces between 1940-1944 utilizing a 1941's original photo of a young Victor Bergeron standing behind a souvenir counter at his original establishment in Oakland. In the background, one can clearly see a Vernon Kilnís Scorpion bowl as well as the earliest version of a Samoa fogcutter. Another source of information is a September 4, 1944 Life magazine article which displays several early mugs and bowls (PB2Y Gremelin bowl, Samoa fogcutter, skull mug, Kava bowl, Scorpion bowl) used at Trader Vicís. Iíve narrowed down the manufacturer of these early pieces to either Tepco or Vernon Kilns based upon Bergeron's historic record of utilizing both companies for his drink ware. (The skull mug was at some point also manufactured by Red Wing.) "

We'd need to see the photo to know about which versions are dated to 1944, but most of these appear to be in Ooga Mooga already. Let's see more. Anyone have any vintage menus they can scan in and post?

Also, as bigbrotiki mentioned in that post, patents are also a good place to look. Can you do a free patent search online going back this far?

Edit: I realize there's some disagreement as to what makes a tiki mug. For this instance, I'm talking about any shaped ceramic mugs from the Polynesian-themed restaurants.

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTacky 2013-06-23 07:50 ]


 
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 08:03 am   Permalink

Here's an undated Bali Hai menu which looks like 50s to me: http://bit.ly/11Um8JG

Note that while the use a few mugs (including a a tiki image mug for the Zombie!), Mr. Bali Hai is not on the menu. Without a date, though, it's somewhat useless. Still, prices can help when we get others to compare to.


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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4265
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-06-23 08:14 am   Permalink

For even more info and photos on this subject, see here

DC


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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-06-23 08:33 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-06-23 07:48, TikiTacky wrote:
Edit: I realize there's some disagreement as to what makes a tiki mug. For this instance, I'm talking about any shaped ceramic mugs from the Polynesian-themed restaurants.



Well then your request should be for information about the early POLYNESIAN POP mugs - and you have the main info regarding that in the form of the Trader Vic's line of 1940s non-Tiki mugs. Asking for info on the earliest TIKI mug means asking for when the first cocktail vessel in the shape of a Tiki appeared and who made it (see the Spurlin info in the other link DC provided)

That Bali Hai menu offered by Mimi is not from the San Diego Bali Hai.


 
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TikiTacky
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Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 08:45 am   Permalink

Also some interesting information (with photos), but mostly a discussion about which was the first mug (and no agreement there either!). Even the much vaunted Tiki Bob mug, one of the most discussed tiki mugs here, has no origin date on Ooga Mooga. Best guess seems to be 1958.

 
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 08:54 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-06-23 08:33, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:

On 2013-06-23 07:48, TikiTacky wrote:
Edit: I realize there's some disagreement as to what makes a tiki mug. For this instance, I'm talking about any shaped ceramic mugs from the Polynesian-themed restaurants.



Well then your request should be for information about the early POLYNESIAN POP mugs - and you have the main info regarding that in the form of the Trader Vic's line of 1940s non-Tiki mugs. Asking for info on the earliest TIKI mug means asking for when the first cocktail vessel in the shape of a Tiki appeared and who made it (see the Spurlin info in the other link DC provided)

That Bali Hai menu offered by Mimi is not from the San Diego Bali Hai.



Thanks, I clarified the original post. Also, please note that I'm not trying to establish what the first mugs were, just trying to get dates for some of the more common mugs.


 
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TikiTacky
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Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 09:24 am   Permalink

Well, so far we have a dated photo of a Tiki Bob mug from 1959. Although there is reason to believe it's been around longer, without anything more definitive it's a good starting point.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-06-23 12:45 pm   Permalink

A big key to this would be to find any relatives or surviving US agents for Otagiri Mercantile, and see if there are any records on the manufacture of their Tiki mugs.

http://www.pastwares.com/otagiri-collectibles.html

But back then, nobody cared about these promotional restaurant items. Otagiri did not even show them in their catalog, only as a photo with an order sheet:



This one is from 1969, so it has little value as to the innovative phase of early mug design in the late 50s/early 60s. There also is no information about how the ordering and choosing of specific logo mugs happened.

I am not a collector in the sense of being a completist in need of dates and values, but I do care about the context and creative process that lead to the creation of certain mugs.


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TikiTacky
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Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 1:13 pm   Permalink

Here's some information I found:

"The first corporate records belong to Otagiri Mercantile Company, Inc., a California Corporation with offices in San Francisco. According to information available, OMC filed with the trademark in December 1977. The trademark was "Otagiri." The trademark was registered February, 1980. A trademark for "Hand Crafted Otagiri Original" label was registered in February 1979. Trademark information indicates this was first used in 1970. On August 26, 1980 OMC registered its gold OMC label. The patent information indicates the trademark was first used in 1961. " Source:
http://www.pastwares.com/otagiri-collectibles.html

The trademark search I did showed 1947 as the first use, so that's not terribly helpful. I'm not sure how to patent search going back to the 60s, so I came up short there as well.


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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 1:32 pm   Permalink

Thanks to some previous work done by pappythesailor we have a 1939 patent date for the handled skull mug by none other than Vic Bergeron: http://www.telechron.net/temp/skullmug.jpg

We also have a 1959 date for the Suffering Bastard: http://www.telechron.net/temp/bastard.jpg

1963 for the Vic Samoan Fogcutter mug: http://www.google.com/patents?id=JQ5yAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

But these were already listed in Ooga Mooga.


[ This Message was edited by: TikiTacky 2013-06-23 13:37 ]


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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-06-23 2:52 pm   Permalink

OK, so I went through all of the menus on Arkiva Tropika (phew!). I only used the ones that were definitely dated, but here's a list of what I came up with:

Port Light Glass - 1966 - Dobb's House Luau
Starboard Light Glass - 1966 - Dobb's House Luau
Big Shot Glass Green - 1966 - Dobb's House Luau
Rum Barrel Mug - 1958 - Mai Kai (not sure which one?)
Bisque Crossed Arms Mug - 1968 Luau Hut
Mai Kai Coffee Mug - 1959 - Mai Kai
Voodoo Grog Glass - 1959 - Trader Vic
Coffee Grog Mug - 1959 - Trader Vic
Treasure Craft Maui Mug - 1961 - Hukilau, Captain's Inn
Paul Marshall Peanut Mug - 1961 - Hukilau, Captain's Inn

I realize some of the mugs existed before these dates, but so far this is the earliest definitive date I've been able to find.


 
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1301
Posted: 2013-07-04 6:31 pm   Permalink

So according to this 1988 catalog from Orchids of Hawaii, all of these mugs date to no earlier than 1969.




Can this be right? Many of these same mugs appear in the 1969 Otagiri price sheet above. I know there's a lot of debate about whether these were all being manufactured by the same factory for different companies (OMC, Orchids, Dynasty).

Has anyone seen evidence of an Orchids mug prior to 1969?

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTacky 2013-07-04 19:12 ]

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTacky 2013-07-04 19:17 ]


 
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