Keep Rollin' Along


Set of Five Tall Iced Tea Glasses with "Showboat" Graphics (LEO Design)


Edna Ferber spent months researching the lives and stories of people who lived and worked on the showboats which once plied the rivers of the American South.  She even spent a week on one of the boats, though, by this time, these floating theatres were quickly disappearing.  Her 1926 novel, Showboat, was a great success and was quickly adapted into a musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II (produced by Florenz Ziegfeld). Ferber was initially surprised that anyone would want to musicalize her serious novel, though she eventually consented when she realized the commitment displayed by the high-calibre production team.  Clocking-in at 4.5 hours long, the show was trimmed to just over three hours when it opened on Broadway in 1927.  The production marked a turning point for the musical theatre, for it addressed serious issues (like racist prejudice, intermarriage and tragic love)‚ a departure from the more frivolous music hall entertainments which were common at the time.  The production also created work for a lot of African American performers in featured and chorus roles.  Showboat was considered, by some, to be a "musical play" rather than a "musical comedy."  Revivals have been numerous and an MGM film was made in 1951.

These elegantly tall Iced Tea Glasses were made in the 1950's, probably soon after the movie was released.  While the vibrant graphics are printed in red, black and white, all the peoples' faces are clear—neither black nor white.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248