Answered By: Regan Brumagen Last Updated: Mar 17, 2017 Views: 1020
I haven't found any law, policy, or any other indication that hollow stemmed champagne glasses were discontinued in a systematic way. Can you give me the source for your information? That might lead me in the right direction in searching! I'm at a dead end at the moment, so new information may help me find your answer! I definitely see European manufacturers still producing hollow-stems in their champagne glasses. I also found several references to pros and cons of serving Champagne in hollow-stems. One source states that the long stem allows the bubbles to rise to the top visibly, creating an aesthetically appealing look. Another says that having the champagne in the stem transfers too much warmth from the hand to the liquid in the glass, causing the champagne to warm up too much.
Historically, it appears the reason hollow-stemware was first produced in England was to compensate for a tax on glassware production that was determined by the weight of the raw materials used. Thus, hollow stemmed glasses were made more cheaply than solid ones. They also tended to break more easily, which means they are quite a bit more rare to find from the 19th century! This doesn't relate to the U.S. production, I realize, where it was simply a design choice for tableware manufacturers. If you can direct me to where you found a reference to hollow-stemware being discontinued in a wholesale fashion, I will keep exploring the possibilities here. What is the deadline you are facing for your article? Also, I have seen references to the difficulty in adequately cleaning these hollow stemmed glasses! They are also likely to be more fragile... I'm attaching the article on rare hollow stems from the 18th century, as well as our bibliography on champagne glasses, in case you want to do more research. I wonder if it would be worth contacting The Glass Manufacturing Industry Council to see if they have any information about hollow stemware... http://www.gmic.org/contact.asp RB