PNG images: Coffee Mug
A mug is a type of cup typically used for drinking hot beverages, such as coffee, hot chocolate, soup, or tea. Mugs usually have handles and hold a larger amount of fluid than other types of cup. Usually a mug holds approximately 12 US fluid ounces (350 ml) of liquid; double a tea cup. A mug is a less formal style of drink container and is not usually used in formal place settings, where a teacup or coffee cup is preferred. Shaving mugs are used to assist in wet shaving.
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Ancient mugs were usually carved in wood or bone, or shaped of clay, while most modern ones are made of ceramic materials such as bone china, earthenware, porcelain, or stoneware. Some are made from strengthened glass, such as Pyrex. Other materials, including enameled metal, plastic, or steel are preferred, when reduced weight or resistance to breakage is at a premium, such as for camping. A travel mug is insulated and has a cover with a small sipping opening to prevent spills. Techniques such as silk screen printing or decals are used to apply decorations such as logos or images, which are fired onto the mug to ensure permanence.
Wooden mugs were produced probably from the oldest time, but most of them have not survived intact.
The first pottery was shaped by hand and was later facilitated by invention of the potter's wheel (date unknown, between 6,500 and 3000 BCE). It was relatively easy to add a handle to a cup in the process thus producing a mug. For example, a rather advanced, decorated clay mug from 4000–5000 BCE was found in Greece.
The biggest disadvantage of those clay mugs was thick walls unfit for the mouth. The walls were thinned with development of metalworking techniques. Metal mugs were produced from bronze,silver, gold, and even lead, starting from roughly 2000 BCE, but were hard to use with hot drinks.
The invention of porcelain around 600 CE in China brought a new era of thin-walled mugs suitable both for cold and hot liquids, which are enjoyed today.
A shaving scuttle and shaving mug were developed around the 19th century; the first patent for a shaving mug is dated 1867. As hot water was not common in many households, one way to provide hot lather was to use a scuttle or mug. A traditional scuttle resembles a teapot with a wide spout where hot water is poured in; this is where it differs from a shaving mug, which has no spout. Both shaving scuttles and mugs usually have a handle, but some have none. Shaving mugs often look like a standard mug, however, some also have a built in brush rest, so the brush does not sit in lather. Modern versions of the scuttle are in limited production, usually by independent potters working in small volumes.
At the top of the scuttle or mug is a soap holder. Traditionally, it was used with a hard block of shaving soap (rather than soft soap or cream) and therefore had drain holes at the bottom. Later scuttles and mugs do not include the holes, and thus can be used with creams and soft soaps. Some scuttles and mugs have concentric circles on the bottom, which retain some water thus helping to build lather.
In use, the shaving brush is dunked into the wide spout, allowing it to soak into the water and heat up. The soap is placed in the soap holder. When needed, one can take the brush and brush it against the soap, bringing up a layer of lather; excess water is drained back. This allows conservation of water and soap, whilst retaining enough heat to ensure a long shave.