Like most Derby traditions, the commemorative glass tradition came about rather inauspiciously. In 1938, Churchill Downs produced water glasses that could be found at certain parts of the track. When officials found that guests were taking the glasses home, a tradition was born. The 1939 glass is noted as the first official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep glass. In 1940, both an aluminum tumbler and a glass were made. This 1940 glass is probably the most sought after among collectors.
Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum to learn more about the tradition, history, hospitality and pride of the Kentucky Derby.