These pottery mugs were made by the A. E. Hull Pottery Company in Crooksville, Ohio between 1938 and the early 1950s.  They were embossed on the bottom with one of two different markings although the markings can be very faint or almost illegible.   (To take these photos I first smoked the mug bottom with a burning candle then gently wiped away excess soot with my finger.  You can try this to help identify your mugs!)  The bottom image at left is from the earliest Hull Mugs (01 & 02).  Within a rope circle are the words "Old Spice,"  "Shaving Soap," and "USA."  The image at right is from the later Hull mug (03);  "Old Spice" is incised across the middle of the rope ring and "Made in USA" is in an outer ring.

Hull bottom early   Hull bottom late

The original mugs came in a box with a thin wood veneer that is lithographed with 5 different ships.  The Ship Grand Turk adorns the top, while the Ship Mt. Vernon, Brig. Experiment, Ship Friendship, and Ship Recovery appear on the four sides.  These boxes were only produced from 1938 until around 1941.  Although the veneer is as thin as paper, one can clearly see the pores and grain with a magnifier.  The bottom of the box bore an oval label that read:  Early American Old Spice. Fashioned with the charm and sterling quality of an Early American product. A reflection of a period unsurpassed in gracious living.  These boxes are rather hard to find. The wood veneer was lithographed in Japan and sent to the Shulton plant where it was glued to the cardboard boxes. 

  old spice mug wood box b

After World War II started, the  veneer was no longer available, and a cardboard box was introduced. 

 cardboard b    cardboard box a

Hull Pottery Mug 01 - 1938 to 1941

Hull 01a hull 01 b

The original Hull Mug was sold from 1938 until 1944.  It showed the Ship Grand Turk opposite the handle; the bottom is incised with Old Spice Shaving Soap" as noted above.  Dimensions are approximately 3" H by 4.75" handle to rim.  This mug came with 5.5 ounces of soap.

Hull Pottery Mug 02 - 1941 to 1944

hull 02 a  Hull 02 b

Hull Pottery Mug 02 is identical to Pottery Mug 01 in all respects except for the ship.  This mug shows the Ship Friendship and originally came with 5.5 ounces of soap.  In 1948, the soap cake was reduced to 5.0 ounces.

Hull Pottery Mug 03 - 1944 to early 1950s

Pottery Mug 03 looks exactly like Pottery Mug 02 except for the incising on the bottom noted earlier.  Since Mug 03 was in production much longer than Mug 02, if the bottom is illegible, even after candle smoking, it is likely the mug is an "03."