Depression Era Glass

Green depression glass cupWhen I was little, one of my favorite things about Grandma's house was getting to drink chocolate milk out of the big, green glasses she kept in her cupboard. When she passed on, my brothers, my sister and I each took one of these glasses as a memento. Along with the green glass, I got a beautiful pink candy dish and a couple of small crystal dishes. At the time, I didn't know these were collectible items. To me they were just precious pieces of my personal history.

Today, depression glass is a popular and highly desirable item. There are many reasons why people collect depression glass. Some collect it for nostalgic reasons. Others are on a mission to find complete sets. Because so many items were made from depression glass and because it comes in several colors, it is easy to fit it into almost any decor. A beautiful piece of depression era glass may very well be the finishing touch to a carefully decorated room.

A Little Depression Glass History

During the depression years, from the early 1920's until the 1940's, families were struggling to put food on their tables. This is a time when, out of necessity, people put aside the finer things in life. Out of these meager years emerged a colorful byproduct; depression era glass.

Pink depression glass tumbler During this time, several companies began producing items made from inexpensive glass. Most of these companies were located in the mid-west. Some examples are the Jeannette Glass Company, Liberty Works, U.S. Glass, Imperial Glass, Hocking Glass, Federal Glass, McKee Glass, Lancaster Glass Company, Paden City Glass Company, New Martinsville Glass Company, Economy Glass Company, MacBeth-Evans (a Division of Corning Glass Works), as well as others.

Today, collectors can find a myriad of different items made from depression glass, from plates and bowls to goblets and butter dishes and candlesticks. These pieces rarely carry a manufacturer's name or mark. They were often given away at movie theatres, in grocery stores with a bag of sugar or flour, or in department stores with a purchase of furniture. When not given away as a premium, depression glass was generally sold in the five and dime stores.

Often the quality of the glass was not perfect. Occasionally the pieces would have imperfections called "mold flaws." These flaws would occur during the manufacturing process when the mold into which the glass was poured didn't completely fill.
They also sometimes bear what are called "straw marks" that were created when the hot glass was placed on straw to cool. Rarely do these imperfections effect the value of the pieces because they are inherent to the manufacturing process.

Some of the most charming pieces of depression glass were manufactured for children. From tea sets to condiment sets, diminutive pieces were made for the children of the day. These "miniature" items are often copies of larger pieces. They hold the same beauty and charm, but because they were made children, they carry a certain tenderness about them.

Whatever your interest is, I hope you are able to find what you are looking for at Antique Depression Glass.

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