Tankards and the King's Shilling
Pewter Tankards with Glass Bottoms
Pewter and silver tankards are traditional gifts to celebrate milestones and special occasions but why do some metal tankards have glass bottoms?
The King's Shilling
One story is that the British Military could conscript men from the English Civil War and through the 18th and 19th centuries by slipping the 'King's Shilling' into an unsuspecting Navy or Army recruit's ale. Tankards with glass bottoms meant that unwilling recruits could check their drinks first so they couldn't be accused of having taken the King's Shilling and joined up!
Swipes and Swigs
Another tale told is that glass bottoms were developed so public house drinkers could see past the tankard... just in case someone was going to take a sneaky swipe at them while they were taking a swig!
Tankards That Last
The third theory is that an all glass tankard was too expensive and fragile, so metal tankards with glass bottoms were made to allow the drinker to still see the clarity and quality of the drink in a mainly metal drinking vessel.
Today, a metal tankard means that a keep-forever keepsake can be hand-engraved with a name, date or special occasion, and the glass bottom will be a talking point and an object of speculation for years to come.
Were you, or someone in your family given a tankard as a keepsake? Do you still have it? Do you still use it? We'd love to hear the story!