March 7, 2011
The story behind
glasses is relatively controversial. No one knows exactly who created
the first shot glass and when and what their initial purpose was. One thing
which is certain is that it dates to more than 200 years ago. A shot glass
is a small glass that is designed to measure and hold liquor. It can either
be drunk from the glass or it can be poured into a mixture of drinks. The
name "shot" means "small amount" but that's not the only reason they are
called "shot glasses". The idea is to down the drink in one single gulp and
then the slam the glass on the table making a shot-like sound, hence the
word "shot". The combination of these facts makes this word to be
unanimously accepted and somewhat intuitive.
Although they weren't initially called "shot glasses" their history dates
200 years back in Italy where they were used for serving grappa. The drink
was sipped from the glass and not downed in one single gulp.
Probably one of the most popular stories about their origin is referenced to
Old West where a cartridge was exchanged for a small amount of alcohol. But
this story does not hold true since even a small amount of whisky cost more
than one cartridge.
The term "shot glass" first appears in a document in the year 1940 in The
New York Times to establish a regulation for the size of liquor that was
being served. Most of these shots have been found in the US and glasses made
before 1940 are very rare.
Another reference to the term dates back to 1884 where three great German
scientists founded a glasswork company and theorized the name of "Schott
glass". In the US the name quickly changed to shot glass and the original
name was lost.
It seems that the origins of "shot glasses" are not very accurate although
it can be said that a few sources are responsible for the creation of this
product and because its name and usage is so intuitive it will probably
never lose its popularity.
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