Depression Glass

jesse_2008February 22, 2010

How can one tell what to look for when looking for depression glass, is there a mark?

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No, there is no one mark Jesse, because the term Depression Glass refers to a type of glassware produced during the great depression. So, it was made by various manufacturers. It was not 'fine glassware', but usually cheaply made and cheaply sold, or even used as promotional free pieces inside other product boxes or as advertising gimmicks.

There was tons and tons of it made, and it makes you wonder why it's so collectable now doesn't it? But, it is. If you are considering dabbling in it, read up a little beforehand and try to get to some shops and look at actual pieces of it. I find it charming, and cheerful and I guess that is part of its lure.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:43AM
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It's an era that includes several companies many of which are from central Ohio. Most often this type of glass was colored but their are some clear glass such as Heisey and Fostoria.I would recommend a guide such as "Elegant Glassware of the Depression Era", by Gene Florence. Many of the companies such as Cambridge, Duncan & Miller, Tiffin, and the ones I have allready mentioned, have various marks on the bottom, but many do not. I have not seen any type of marking on the American style of Fostoria. Hope this answers your question in part. Others will jump in.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:57AM
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pretty much there are 2 kinds of depresson glass...
There is the stuff which came in sets and was given away at the movies......and there is the elegant glass of which Texred speaks.
The cheap stuff was not marked...some of the expensive stuff was....but not much.
In the depths of the depression people were not so much going for the lovely that is later like late 3o's...
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:02AM
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Right. There is some semantics involved. There was some fine glass produced in the depression era just like in any other era, and in that sense it could be referred to as depression glass. But, oftentimes the term depression glass refers to the not-so-fine common glass cranked out for people who really had little money. That is what people in my area refer to as Depression glass and it's still very collectible.

Much of it is bubbly, or very thin, most of it is not crystal clear. I have a delightful little pink desert set of Depression Glass. It is wafer thin and the design is cut into it. Because it was in everyday usage, and the quality was not always high, it wasn't cared for nor lasted like fine glass. That makes pieces of it, especially complete sets have some value.

It's a pretty good place for beginner glass collectors to get their toes wet. The pieces aren't exorbitantly price, are common enough to be found all over the country, and are often very pretty.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 4:15PM
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Does the older depression glass have a seam? I thought I read someplace that the newer glass has a seam, and the older doesn't~true or false? ;o)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:27PM
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The cheap "depression glass often shows a seam, as will all cheaply mass produced glass. It's molded and not finished well.
What is called "elegant Depression glass" often does not show a seam as it was finished better.
Examples of the "elegant depression glass" include Fostoria Fairfax in blue, amber and topaz....and an example of the cheaper "give away" depression glass would include "Cherry Blossom" and "Mayfair".
I never heard of anything called depression glass that was cut or particularly thin.
Many of the cheaper patterns have been reproduced....find and hold soem of the real stuff, and you will never be hoodwinked by a's very different.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:25PM
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"I never heard of anything called depression glass that was cut or particularly thin."

Well, you have now.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:13PM
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It was "cheap" glass in 20's & 30's but it sure does last. I have salad bowls & other serving pieces I use all the time, get compliments on & it still looks like new, I do hand wash it tho. Most often seen colors are clear, amber or canary yellow,a lt. pink, a few patterns have a light blue & a green which is a light green unless you are talking about "Forest Green" which is Christmas green & I think there is an entire book about it, in a lot of the patterns. Same with "Ruby Red". Got my mom a ruby red salad bowl few years back, sure looks lovely on table at Christmas dinner with a salad in it. A few pieces have added metal such as Horseshoe on the sandwich plate I think. American is lovely & red hard to come by, even had punch bowl. My Aunt had many beautiful dinners I got to be at with all of her Fostoria (expensive), it sets a lovely table. Water glasses & pitcher down to dessert dishes this was in 1950's. Go to library & look at book on early glass & depression glass. Lots of lovely patterns,Hazel-Atlas, McKee, Indiana,Federal, Jeannette, Anchor-Hocking are some of the glass companies.Imperial,Cambridge, Findlay were expensive DG companies. Westmoreland is 1 of my favorites but was fancy glass of the time. There is between 60-100 patterns & few of them still arn't known who made them.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 1:50AM
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My mother wrote of wanting to go to the movies on "dish night" because she was trying to complete a certain pattern for a wedding gift for a friend.! LOL!
And I remember drinking "Cambric tea" out of my grandmother's canary yellow tea cups....but I don't know what the pattern was.
My daughter has collected a set of Bubble in of the later patterns.
The friend i am visiting this week has Fostoria Fairfax in sets a lovely table.

Calliope, I am amazed at hearing about a delicate cut pink depression glass. Do you by anychance know of the pattern or who the manufacturer was?
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 10:31AM
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Linda, china was also given away at the grocery stores if you bought a certain amount of groceries~I worked at a Piggly Wiggly~does *that* reveal my age? LOL

When I married my first DH, many *many* years ago, he worked for Kroger and they were 'offering' Haliland's 'Blue Garland pattern. On the site, it's mentioned it was made between 1974-1990~I was getting mine in the early 1960's. I've recently started putting a set together for my oldest DD, as she remember me having a few pieces. Her father passed away when she was 6 and I thought this would be a good memory of him since he was starting the collection for me. I still have a few of the original pieces. ;o)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 7:09PM
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I remember mom was excited to get bowls in clothes soap & glasses in flour I think or maybe it was cereal boxes. Of course you could get a whole set of juice glasses if you bought Kraft's pimento cheese spread, it came in the glass up until recently, maybe still. I was given 1 & am afraid to open it & throw out contents so i can save the glass, given it in 2008 so maybe you can still get them. Used to get so many "free" items. pens with company name on them, pencils same way. Free things in sugar or flour,cereal had lot of small toys, stores gave kids suckers on safety loop stick so wouldn't get hurt. Hardware stores gave out key chains, lumber store gave away small tape measures in metal cases, I have a couple. Fabric shops gave away thimble with their name on it or little needle packet with buttons & thread & safety pins for a quick repair. Beauty shops gave free nail files or rain scarfs made of plastic that came in little holder. These things sound silly to some but were so appreciated by parents. Women didn't work much & these things appealed to them & toys to kids. Men enjoyed the pens & tape measures.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 8:17PM
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