10 Things You Didn’t Know About: Advertising Cookie Jars

Compiled by Antoinette Rahn

1 Cookie jars have been used to peddle everything from pancakes and green beans to soft drinks, cars and dog treats, among other things.

2 It’s said cookie jars (called biscuit barrels or jars) first came on the scene in England in the late 18th century. They became popular in the United States during the Great

Often believed to be McCoy-made, this popular Quaker Oats cookie jar, circa 1970, was actually made by Regal China. It’s valued at $500-$600 in Near Mint condition. (Photo courtesy Warman's Cookie Jars)

Often believed to be McCoy-made, this popular Quaker Oats cookie jar, circa 1970, was actually made by Regal China. It’s valued at $500-$600 in Near Mint condition. (Photo courtesy Warman’s Cookie Jars)

Depression, and the 1930s saw the Brush Pottery Company create the first ceramic cookie jar (prior to that they were mostly glass or tin). As early as the 1940s, companies started using cookie jars to bring their brands into the homes and minds of Americans.

3 Early on, American companies would fill cookie jars with their product and sell the entire

container. It was an easy and popular way to promote their brand and product.

4 Disney celebrated its family of characters and advertised its movies with cookie jars featuring Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast and Mickey Mouse, among others.

5 To avoid the multitude of reproduction cookie jars out there, measure the size of the jar and turn to a reputable cookie jar guide to check the dimensions listed for original jars – fakes are often smaller than originals. Also, check the bottom and the lip of cookie jars for scratches; over the years a truly vintage jar rarely remains free from even small scratches.

6 One of the earliest companies to use cookie jars in advertising was Aunt Jemima Pancake Flour. The jars were offered as a premium in the 1920s and 1930s (a popular practice during this era).

7 A popular site for cookie jar collectors to talk jars and learn more is Thecookiejar.net

8 Various outlets sell cookie jars, but Remember When Relics in Delavan, Wis., not only sells cookie jars, but is also home to an extensive cookie jar museum.

 

The Hamm’s Beer company made a smart call when it added its “Beer Bear” to its advertising campaign. This 1970s cookie jar, in the shape of the Hamm’s Bear “Sascha,” carries a value of $225-$250. (Photo courtesy Warman's Cookie Jars)

The Hamm’s Beer company made a smart call when it added its “Beer Bear” to its advertising campaign. This 1970s cookie jar, in the shape of the Hamm’s Bear “Sascha,” carries a value of $225-$250. (Photo courtesy Warman’s Cookie Jars)

9 The late Andy Warhol was a fan of cookie jars, amassing a collection of several hundred jars. The collection sold for nearly $250,000 in 1988.

10 Hollywood has turned to these timeless treat containers to help promote movies and starlets (Morphy Auctions’ Feb. 19, 2013, Toys & Advertising Auction features a Michael Jordan “Space Jam” cookie jar from 1996)

Sources: About.com Collectibles (Barbara Crews); The Old Cookie Jar Shop (the-old-cookie-jar-shop.com); Collector Cookie Jars (collectorcookiejars.com); The New York Times, “Warhol Cookie Jars Sell for $247,830” by Rita Reif; and www.MountainStatesCollector.com, “Cookie Jars that Advertised” by Robert Reed; Remember When Relics, www.remembewhenllc.com; “Warman’s Cookie Jars Identification and Price Guide.” Photos courtesy of Warman’s Cookie Jars Identification and Price Guide.

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