Pint Glass Numbers
Why do many pint glasses bear the numbers
303 or
562?
I asked this question on my Open Questions
page, following a conversation in a pub with Huw Davies.
To my surprise, Colin Batchelor responded by conducting a detailed
study of the numbers appearing on glasses in pubs mostly in
and around Oxford. To my horror, Kate Pugh responded by sending in
even more numbers. Before we list the results, indexed
chronologically by glass number, here are some thoughts from Colin.
Colin Batchelor ``Bedroom'' writes:
For some reason the knobbly glasses you get beer in score higher than the
straight-sided ones you get cider in. These things have been noted
separately.
But it did give me an idea for a game to play on pubcrawls. Everyone
tots up the numbers on their successive beer glasses, takes the average,
and the winner gets bought a drink by everyone else. This was very late
in the evening's entertainment though.
Andy H writes:
Like you my housemates and I have become fascinated by the numbers on
pint glasses.
We initially believed 562 to be a pint in millilitres but after
finding a 2043 realised that this is not the case. Since then we have
found many different numbers, with no discernible pattern in either
shape or logo (if present).
My housemate was researching the subject on the internet and found
your website. Of particular intest was Colin's research, which on the
whole we agree with. However we have five things to add:
I was reading the list of numbers and attempting to find one which
had that he didn't when I noticed that the glass I was using at the
time (from our cupboard and therefore used many many times) was a 1345
which neither us nor Colin had seen before.
Secondly, we belive 2043 to be the next most common after 562.
Colin believes it to be 303 but we have only ever seen a dozen or so,
and most of them have been half pint or wine glasses.
All of the two-pint pitchers we have seen have been 562s.
We have noticed that 2043 glasses have a fancy design of crown,
whereas all others (except ``no numbers'') have a much plainer crown,
the same as that on a 562.
Lastly, we have a 1207 in the kitchen, the only one we have ever
seen. This is also the only glass spotted where the crown and number
are on the same side as the ``half pint to line'' line. The number and
crown (562-style) are also much smaller on this glass.
We have done much research by drinking much beer and talking to many
beer drinkers and landlords in pubs and beer festivals in an attempt
to find out what they mean. I also emailed Arcoroc (whom we beleive
make most of the glasses, although for some reason they go by the name
of Villagekitchen on the internet) to ask them. Included below is the
answer which they sent me. It seems that not even they know...
Aaron Bate (Consumer E-mail Service Representative at villagekitchen.com) writes to Andy H:
I'm not sure either but they tend to relate to the product's number.
For example, one of our smaller our working glasses have numbers on
them so customers can be sure they are getting the exact same item
rather than one that looks similiar, but is slightly different. The
bigger ones have a different number on them also. It could also relate
to which factory it came out of. If you want a better answer I would
recommend contacting Arc Int'l directly. I'm afraid but I don't have
an contact number for the general public on hand.
Steve Kelly writes:
I was in Canada [in August 2002] and they also routinely serve up
pints. The glasses were made by Arcoroc France and looked just like
a UK glass, but with no number or crown.
I tend to think the number represents the place where the crown was
applied. A bit like hallmarks on precious metals.
Andy H writes:
I don't know if you read The Times. If you don't, I will explain.
They have a question and answer column, where anyone can write in with
a question about anything. Last week [August 2002] I asked what the
numbers on pint glasses meant. This is the answer.
(I am still a bit puzzled though. It seems that the 1245, 414, etc,
etc people are rather lazy, whilst 562 and 2043 work their socks off!)
Clive Howard-Luck (Hastings, East Sussex)
responds to Andy H's question
``What do the numbers on pint glasses mean?''
The number found on a glass measure identifies the inspector of weights and
measures (trading standards officer) who tested the measure for accuracy and
passed it as fit for trade use. The number is to be found below the mark
of a crown and together they form the verification stamp prescribed under
weights and measures law.
The Department of Trade and Industry issues each local authority
administering
weights and measures legislation with a series of stamp numbers and that
authority allocates one of these numbers to an individual trading standards
officer, thus maintaining the chain of accountability.
Mark Enderby writes:
The number refers to the Weights & Measures Authority in the area where
the glass was stamped/manufactured.
6 | Birmingham |
76 | Manchester |
116 | Buckinghamshire |
234 | Lancashire |
236 | Gwent |
303 | West Yorkshire |
366 | Hereford & Worcestershire |
371 | Sandwell |
414 | Derbyshire |
478 | St Helens |
562 | Bury |
883 | West Sussex |
1110 | Kingston-on-Thames |
1207 | Sheffield |
1535 | Waltham Forest |
1545 | Warwickshire |
I believe 2037 and 2043 are in a series allocated to
``trusted'' glass
suppliers who are given their own numbers. The allocation can be found on
an official web
site. [Thanks to Steve Kelly for the address.]
Paul Townson pretty much clears things up with:
I have been carrying out research into the Numbers on the side of pint
glasses and I think I can put this question to rest now. I purchased an
old pint glass on the market in Skipton (Yorkshire) a few years back. It
was one of the handled ones with straight sides dating from George VI. I
can't remeber the number on the side but I do have it at home where it is
only bought out on special occassions. I bought it (along with another
one, that later became victim to a clumsy girlfriend, needless to say now
an ex-girlfriend!) for I think two pounds. Anyway to cut a long story
short, it has followed me around the UK and now resides with me in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil. I am also a researcher for Google Answers
(search it for THX1138 - that's me!) and so thought this puzzle of the
numbers can't be beyond me and, hey presto, here is your answer:
STAMP IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS
DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (PRESCRIBED STAMP) REGULATIONS 1968
LIST
OF IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS
Last modified: Sun Aug 3 09:58:38 BST 2003
Sightings
No number
- The George (Morrells), West Way, Botley (23.ii.98)
- 1 (out of 1) standard pint glass
6
- The Fair Rosamund (Marstons), Botley (10.ii.98)
- 1 (out of 2) ordinary pint glasses
- The Plough (Courage), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
- 1 (out of 2) normal pinters
16
- Comedy Club, Reading (10.ii.2003)
- 1 (out of 1) straight sides, Carling logo (spotted by Andy H's
housemate Pete)
23
- RiRa's Irish Pub, Raleigh, NC, USA
- 1 (out of 1) Arcoroc glass, branded Harp Lager with the
number 23 stamped in the middle of the round and bubbly Arcoroc France
logo on the very bottom. (Spotted by Chris Hohman.)
74
- Rivermead Leisure Centre bar, Reading (vii.2003)
- Plastic pinters (spotted by Steve Kelly)
- Walkabout, Reading (6.iii.2003)
- 6 (out of 6) plastic, with little ridge two thirds of the way up
(spotted by Andy H)
76
- The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott on Otmoor (31.i.98)
- 1 (out of 2) half-pint panelled handled steiner
116
- The Machine Man Inn (Free House), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
- 1 (out of 6) straight half-pinter
- The Churchill Arms (ABC), Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire (9.v.1998)
- 1 (out of 1) vertical straight half-pinters
- Cricketers Arms (Morland), Iffley Road (16.v.1998)
- 1 (out of 2) straight-sided half-pinter
234
- The Swan Inn (Morrells), Islip
- 1 (out of 2) smooth half-pinters with handles
236
- The Swan Inn (Morrells), Islip
- 1 (out of 2) smooth half-pinters with handles
366
- The Bottle and Glass, Gibraltar, Bucks (24.iii.1999)
- 1 (out of 1) nonic
371
- The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (26.iii.1998)
- 2 (out of 3) plastic pinters
- Victoria Arms (Wadworth), Old Marston (17.v.1998)
- 1 (out of 1) plastic "pint glass"
414
- The Eagle Tavern (Free House), Magdalen Road (17.i.98)
- 1 (out of 4) straight half pint
- The Folly Bridge Inn (Wadworth), Abingdon Road (29.i.98)
- 1 (out of 2) standard half pint
- The Perch (Allied Domecq), Binsey (15.ii.98)
- 1 (out of 1) standard pint glass
- The Queens Arms (Courage), Littlemore (20.ii.98)
- 1 (out of 2) straight-sided half pint, 1 (out of 1) standard pinter
- The Pub (9.v.1998)
- 3 (out of 3) pint glasses
- 1 (out of 1) straight half pint
- Victoria Arms (Wadworth), Old Marston (17.v.1998)
- 3 (out of 3) standard pint glasses
- 2 (out of 2) standard half pinters
478
- The Abingdon Arms (Halls), Beckley (31.i.98)
- 2 (out of 2) straight half-pinters
- The Perch (Allied Domecq), Binsey (15.ii.98)
- 1 (out of 3) pint steiner
- The Duke of Monmouth (Marstons), Abingdon Road (13.iii.1998)
- 1 (out of 2) extra tall standard pinters
- The Prince of Wales (Wadworth), Iffley (23.iii.1998)
- Jamals (27.v.1998)
- 1 (out of 1) wider at the top but not diagonal glasses Lal Toofan colour
picture logo thing
483
- Comedy Club, Reading (12.ii.2003)
- 1 (out of 1) four pint jug, flat sides, not perfectly circular
(spotted by Andy H)
883
- The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (26.iii.1998)
- 1 (out of 3) plastic pinters
1110
- The Plough (Courage), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
- 1 (out of 1) stemmed half-pint
- A pie shop, Reading (21.xi.2002, 23.xi.2002)
- 2 (out of 2) about 5 inches high, the first inch being a base,
uniform width (spotted by Andy H)
1207
- The Chequers (Mr Q's), Beaumont Road, Headington Quarry (24.i.98)
- 1 (out of 1) standard half-pinter
- The Wharf House (Free House), Speedwell St (27.i.98)
- 2 (out of 2) standard half-pinters
- The Red Lion (Morrells), Islip (31.i.98)
- 1 (out of 2) straight half-pinters
- The Red Lion (Whitbread), Stratford-on-Avon (14.ii.98)
- 2 (out of 2) 125ml wine glasses
- The Plough (Courage), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
- 1 (out of 2) normal pinters
- The Vine (Morland), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
- 3 (out of 3) straight half-pinters
- The Machine Man Inn (Free House), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
- 3 (out of 6) straight half-pinters
- The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (26.iii.1998)
- 5 (out of 5) handled Hogshead pinters
- The Prince of Wales (Morland), Shippon, nr. Abingdon (4.iv.1998)
- 1 (out of 1) straight-sided half-pinter
- Eagle & Child (15.iv.1998)
- 1 out of 4 pint glasses
- Eagle & Child (15.iv.1998)
- 1 out of 5 half-pint glasses
- Jolly Farmers (?.iv.1998)
- 1 out of 3 pint glasses
- White Horse (7.v.1998)
- 1 (out of 3) standard pint glasses
- 1 (out of 1) standard half pint
- The Friar (Arkells), New Marston (15.v.1998)
- 1 (out of 1) standard pint glass
- Cricketers Arms (Morland), Iffley Road (16.v.1998)
- 2 (out of 2) standard pint glasses
- Royal Oak (27.v.1998)
- 2 (out of 2) half pints
- The Blenheim, St Ebbes (27.vi.98)
- 1 (out of 1) standard pint
1342
- Bar Med, Reading (2.xii.2002)
- Standard shape, plastic (spotted by Andy H)
1535
- George and Angel, Crowland (4.ii.1999)
- Straight pint glass (spotted by Paul Cherry)
1545
- The Eagle Tavern (Free House), Magdalen Road (17.i.98)
- 2 (out of 4) straight half-pints
- The Folly Bridge Inn (Wadworth), Abingdon Road (27.i.98)
- 1 (out of 2) standard half-pint
- The Red Lion (Greenalls), Islip (31.i.98)
- 1 (out of 2) straight half-pint
- The Kings Arms (Youngs), Holywell Street (7.ii.98)
- 2 (out of 3) standard pint glasses
- The Perch (Allied Domecq), Binsey (15.ii.98)
- 1 (out of 3) pint steiner
- The George (Morrells), West Way, Botley (23.ii.98)
- 1 (out of 1) tall top-heavy half pinter
- The Plough Inn (Courage), Clifton Hampden (14.iii.1998)
- 3 (out of 3) straight half-pinters
- The Prince of Wales (Wadworth), Iffley (23.iii.1998)
- 2 (out of 3) standard pinters
- Walter Mitty's (Morland), Osney Town (23.iv.1998)
- 1 (out of 1) standard pinters
- 2 (out of 2) standard half-pinters
- O.X.One (15.iv.1998)
- 3 out of 3 straight half-pint glasses
- Yates's Wine Lodge, George Street (27.vi.98)
- 2 (out of 2) standard pints
- 1 (out of 1) standard half-pints
2037
- The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (vi.2000)
2043
- (x.2000)
- (Spotted by Colin Batchelor ``Bedroom''. He forgets where. It
will come to him.)
- The Hadfield, Barber Road, Sheffield, S10 (i.2002)
- Pint glasses (spotted by Paul Berry)
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