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As my collection grows, I have been forced to think about the definition that Pickvet introduced in his first book (1990), and how it does not include many of the glasses in my collection. When he formulated the definition, the "Tall" or "Shooter" popularized by The Hard Rock Cafe was either not in use or at least not popular (I did not get my first Tall glass until 1992). According to Pickvet's description, these are not shotglasses.
One type of glass that Pickvet specifically excludes from shotglasses are glasses with handles. I am not sure why he decided to exclude miniature mugs from the world of shotglasses, but I know that at least two of the largest manufacturers of shotglasses, Federal and Libbey, include at least one glass with a handle among their shotglass offerings. It may be true that not all miniature mugs are shotglasses, but that does not mean that there are no shotglasses that have handles.
Another type of glass that Pickvet excluded in his definition are ones made from metal. Metal has been used for many years, and there are two new styles of stainless steel that have been introduced in recent years. While it may be true that some old metal glasses would fall into the category of "dram glasses" there is no denying that these new metal glasses are shotglasses.
Another type of glass that Pickvet excludes are "boot glasses." The rationale that he uses to exclude them is that only tumblers qualify as a shotglass, and that tumblers have convex or flat bases. I disagree with the assertion that all tumblers have flat or convex bases (bases that curve outward) -- there are many classic shotglasses that have bases that are concave (curve inward) or have a combination of inward and outward curves.
Many of the glasses that are excluded appear to be excluded because they do not fit the description of what Americans were using as shotglasses during the 1940s or '50s. The definition ignores the possibility that someone other than Americans might use shotglasses, and that they might have different tastes or live under different circumstances than Americans. The definition is also overly restrictive in that it ignores the fact that changes might occur in the beverage and glassware industries. A recent addition to the shotglass world is a miniature hurricane, which although it has both a foot and a short stem, it is a shotglass intended to appeal to a different type of consumer.
I am not sure how to incorporate these ideas into a new definition, but I think that an updated definition is needed.
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