Size Markings: Contents

A good number of products were marked to indicate the contents that they held. Crocks and churns were often marked twice, once on the bottom with an impressed stamp and again on the side with an oxide numeral. In both instances, the number indicates the number of gallons that the piece would hold. You will also find numerals with and without the word “IMPERIAL” below them as Medalta changed from the American wine measure to the Imperial measure during the 1920s.

Other products marked with an oxide numeral on the side indicating the gallons held are the large 5-gallon pickle crock and the ice water jar found in 3, 5 and 8-gallon sizes. While chicken fountains themselves are not marked, their saucers sometimes have the 1/2 or 1-gallon size impressed in the bottom. The 1/2 seems to have been just a numeral while the other is expressed as “1gal”. The impressed numbers on acid pitchers also indicate gallons, but all other pitchers are measured in pints, ranging from 1/2 up to the 3-pint size. The markings on all Medalta’s different styles of pitchers have always been impressed ones, but they do vary in style. Sometimes they are just numbers, other times they are followed by Pt. In the case of the corrugated pitcher, they are followed by what is best described as quotation marks.

Medalta also marked its honey pot which came in “1 pt” and “1 qt” sizes. The pint marking has been noted in both embossed and impressed varieties while the quart has only been impressed so far. The numbers impressed into the bottom of bean pots are for the number of quarts held, and they range from 1 to 8 quarts in size. Small items such as the handled and unhandled creamers, when they are marked, are in ounces. Usually, it is just an impressed number but sometimes the number is followed by the oz. abbreviation.

A few items were marked in pounds. You can occasionally find a butter crock with just an impressed number, but usually, it is followed by “lb”. I have seen 3, 5 and 10 lb. crocks marked this way. The only mark I have seen on the 20-pound crock was the oxide numeral “2” on the side. In this case, it stood for 2 gallons which was the equivalent of 20 pounds, as indicated by a page from an undated Medalta catalogue in the Glenbow Archives. The other product marked in pounds was the pudding bowl. Typically the impression reads “5-2 lb” - the first number being the diameter of the bowl. So far I have recorded 1, 2, 4 and 7 1/2 lb. sizes for this style of pudding bowl.

Teapots were marked one of two ways, and sometimes both are found in combination with one another. Most commonly you find them marked in trade sizes which increased by multiples of six. They include 18, 24, 30, 36, 42 and 60. The number is usually by itself, but some have a small “s” raised above the number. The 60 was the smallest teapot or the individual size, and the 18 was the largest or 10 cup size. The second marking was by the cup such as “6 Cups”, a commonly found size. The two markings are related below:

trade size:    18     24     30     36     42     60  
cup size:      10      8    6      5       ?      ind.

One other product was marked in trade sizes - Medalta’s candy bowl. So far I have only seen sizes 30 and 42.

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