Shotglasses are as American as the cowboy is. Any good Western will show a thirsty trail rider siding up to the bar and ordering "a shot of whiskey". Europeans seem to be a bit more refined and sip out of cordial glasses.
Shotglasses come in all shapes and even sizes. The smallest holds just a "thimble full", while some jiggers boast up to 12 ounces. The larger ones are strictly novelty and not really a shotglass by definition, but still fun. The large ones often have marked lines for an amount of alcohol by who drinks that much. Traditionally they should not have a handle, foot, or stem, but there are shotglasses in the shape of mugs, boots, and so on. The vintage clear glass mug shot that has the Federal stamp (an "F" in a shield) sells for between $6 and $10 on eBay.
The types of shotglasses to collect are numerous. Themes are popular to collect. States are popular and any tourist souvenir shop will carry them. Distillers and distributors promote their brands by giving away advertising shotglasses. Restaurants and clubs are also popular. Hard Rock Cafe is a good example of these types.
One of our favorite types of theme glasses to collect are the silly ones. These seemed to come in sets in the 50's and 60's. Most of these were screen printed with pictures or sayings that were just a bit off color. Screen printed on the outside and an eye painted on the inside, some glasses had a fish or a face on them giving the illusion of an eye looking at you wherever you were. The appropriate toast would be "Here's looking at you"!
One of the nice things about collecting shotglasses is their cost. They are very inexpensive. You can find them everywhere. Garage sales seem to be the cheapest place to pick them up if you aren't particular about how you acquired your glasses, which is sometimes half the fun of collecting them.
If you're into collecting shot glasses, consider picking up some personalized custom shot glasses. They'll be about as rare as they come. Customized shot glasses with your own personalized designs will be uniquely yours and make a great addition to your collection!