By Richard Young
Many Custard Glass collectors only collect the major patterns of glassware that are non -souvenired.  I must admit the more elegant table sets and water or lemonade sets certainly are a beautiful item to behold.  And even more so when they were originally used as actual table items by the housewife trying to dress a mundane table up with a little elegance. ( At a bargain price, no less).  However, there are many Custard Glass items that were souvenired which have real historical significance, and as such, certainly deserve to be considered for your collection.
Many of the items with souvenir decoration were the small mugs, goblets, toothpick holders, match holders, napkin rings, shot glasses etc.  However, there were also some table sets and berry sets which received souvenir decoration.
Of the smaller items mentioned, some of the more historically significant items commemorate memorable events and locations.  You may have wondered about a toothpick with Enid, IT written on it.  Or Enid, OT. These are highly collectible items representing Enid, Oklahoma, When it was Indian Territory or Oklahoma Territory.  These items are very scarce and bring high prices relative to other similar items from more common places.  Coney Island items are also highly sought after, as well as other regional vacation or natural resource theme pieces.  Political items with transfer decorations are so
highly prized, they seldom come on the market as they also find willing
collectors in the field of political items.  Many items were made which
commemorated a special event, I have one such toothpick depicting an oil well blowing oil out the top of a derrick in Kansas.  I remember bidding on (and losing) one beautiful transfer decorated item from the Dakota's depicting a sod hut and family.  I still wish I had bid higher.  And my wife still fusses at me for not bidding high enough for a beautiful mug from Idaho with a large deck of logs at an Idaho sawmill.
Among the table sets that received a souvenir treatment, Gettysburg
Battlefield Commemoration was a favorite.  Ebay recently had a Diamond Peg Berry Bowl set with Gettysbug decoration.  I was fortunate enough to acquire a Jefferson Optic Spooner and Covered Sugar with transfer decoration of the Alamo recently.  These items of historical interest are worthy of collecting along with the non-souvenir items.
And, of course, who among us has not searched for that illusive piece
representing our place of birth? This is all the more difficult due to the
fact that many towns were never represented by such items.  If the shops or stores did not order them, they were not produced.  But for those so fortunate, it is a real thrill to find a piece from your city of birth.  I will never forget the day at a Houston Glass Show when I spotted a Punty Band Mug with Black River Falls, Wis. On it!  Eureka!  I had found my Holy Grail! But I cannot rest on my laurels.  Our past Secretary, Bridget  Meadows, has been looking for a souvenired item from Abilene, Texas, her birth place for a long time.  I don't recall ever seeing one, but every where I go now, I'm on a quest for an Abilene item for Bridget!  Let her know if you spot one!
And finally, there are some items which are almost never found without the souvenir decoration .  I'm specifically referring to the napkin rings or napkin holders.  If they were ever produced without souvenir decoration, I have never seen one, though I would not bet they were not made.