I think they are some kind of container to put a bulb or sweet potato or something on the top to root. You'd put the bulb on top and fill the bottom with water and the roots would hang in the water...just a guess.
Oh, yeah...maybe that is what it was...I am not a flower person at all. But, I do remember it being to force bulbs and doing like you said. We kept them in the back of the basement (cool/dark) untill they were about an inch tall.
I saw your thread title and thought of the sugar candy that comes in the long paper straw! It looks like a bulb forcer to me also. The dollar store once had some pretty blown glass variations that I kick myself for not buying.
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