Souvenir is a French word for memory or remembrance. People buy souvenir objects and take them home to remember a certain place, trip, activity or event that has special meaning to them. In the late 1800's and continuing into the 1900's glass items were a popular souvenir purchase. Mementos could be bought from a World's Fair Exposition to a local county fair, and these souvenir glass items could be engraved, stamped or painted with the date and event or your name or a loved one's name.
Maybe you went to Atlantic City and walked along the boardwalk. Several shops along your way would be advertising souvenir ruby stained glass. You might browse the shelves and pick out a pretty pattern in a small pitcher, mug, punch cup, toothpick holder or salt shaker and then have it engraved. It was difficult to decide what to have engraved on the glass, maybe just the words Atlantic City would be enough, adding the date was important, and your name just to prove that you were really there. Sometimes there was so much engraving on the glass that the entire object was covered.
Maybe the next time you are out and about on your travels, you'll decide to bring home a memento to remember that special time or place or you could decide to collect antique souvenir glass that has a special meaning to you. Reuzeit Emporium has a nice selection of antique souvenir glass to help you get started.