In 1916, when Sunkist Growers wanted to encourage people to eat more oranges, they made glass reamers available and promoted them with their advertising slogan of “Drink an Orange”.
These reamers were manufactured in Los Angeles, CA, by Pacific Coast Glass Works. The first two Sunkist reamers were embossed
“Sunkist Oranges and Lemons”
“Sunkist – California Fruit Growers Exchange.”
The colour was transparent green and they were sold in variety and grocery stores for 10 cents apiece.
Current Prices for Mckee Jadeite Sunkist Reamers
The reamers were also available through mail order for a cost of 16 cents in the USA, and 24 cents in Canada.
On November 17, 1925, a fellow by the name of William Bristol was issued a patent for his fruit juice extractor. Very soon this design became the most produced reamer in the USA.
Sunkist quickly become a household word. The reamers could be seen in Good Housekeeping magazine, and in 1925, they were shown being manufactured by the Sunset Glass Company in Citrograph Magazine (Citrograph is the citrus industry magazine published quarterly by the Citrus Research Board).
As a way to promote the reamers, Sunkist created a few different premiums. The premiums were either sold separately or offered as a free gift with the purchase of a reamer. Some of the incentives were:
- monthly cookbooks
- hostess dishes
- serving sets
- juice dispensers
- and tableware
There was even sterling flatware available in the pattern called Orange Blossom. Sunkist designed and manufactured the flatware, but they did not sell it in sets. They only made it available to be collected one piece at a time.
1926: Mckee Takes Over Production of the Sunkist Reamer
By mid-1926, the McKee Glass Company of Jeanette, Pennsylvania, replaced Sunset Glass Works to become the exclusive manufacturer of the Sunkist reamer.
Once McKee took over, the company improved quality control and increased production by making mold modifications. New colours were produced such as:
- White milk glass
- Transparent green
- Pink, custard
- Fry opal
- Dark jade
- Blue milk glass
- Crown tuscan
- Green fry
- Teal blue
- and Butterscotch
Some of the reamers had manufacturer defects and variations which makes them highly collectable.
McKee continued production of the Sunkist reamer until 1951, which was when the company was sold to the Thatcher Glass Company.
Thatcher ceased production of all colours except white milk glass, so any Sunkist reamers from 1951 on were only made in white.
The company also added “Thatcher Glass Mfg. Co., Elmira, N.Y. Licensed Sunkist Mfg” to its reamer mold.
Sunkist Growers Inc., placed its final reamer order in 1956, but Thatcher continued production of the reamer, and so did the Jeanette Glass Company when they purchased Thatcher Glass in 1961. Production of the reamer may have continued, but it always was with Sunkist maintaining control of the patent.
Finally, in 1965, Jeanette brought the production of the Sunkist reamer to an end.
Do you have a Sunkist reamer you use in your kitchen? Let us know below!