The motto — Eat it up, Wear it out, Make it do Or do without — became prevalent in during the Great Depression (1929 until the start of WWII). Economic times were tough all over the world. We did have a few treasures come from this devastating time and one of them was Depression Glass. So, here’s a few depression glass facts for you…
History of Depression Glass
The Great Depression saw unemployment at an all time high, record numbers of citizens defaulting on loans, banks and businesses failing and people hoarding every dime just to make ends meet.
Businesses had to become crafty in convincing the public to buy there products. One of the ways this was accomplished was by giving away freebies for buying a certain product. The Quaker Oats company, along with other food distributors and manufacturers, began to place a dish in their packages — kinda like the prize in the Cracker Jacks box. You would buy a box of dried oatmeal and be rewarded with a dish you could use at home.
This was a two-for-the-price-of-one deal as far as the public was concerned and worked well for sales. This incentive type marketing became popular and soon theatres and other businesses began offering a piece of glassware for purchasing a ticket or coming in the door. Some companies also sold their glassware at the Five & Dime stores so customers could eventually get a full set.
Depression Glass Facts
Depression glass is actually not a high quality glass. It was produced primarily by Midwest manufacturers that had access to the raw materials and power needs used in the manufacturing process. Here are some of the common facts about Depression Glass:
- Translucent glass colors it was produced in included: clear, pink, green, pale blue and amber.
- Less common translucent colors included: canary yellow, ruby, ultra marine, amethyst and cobalt blue
- Some Depression Glass was made in opaque colors such as milk glass (white), black, jadite, delphite and some monax.
- Depression Glass was machine made, mass produced glass mostly as a give-away to use for everyday dishes. Thus, the quality is poor. Air bubbles, mold marks, straw marks and other imperfections are apparent.
- These imperfections don’t make the glass less collectible. Depression Glass isn’t about perfection.
- Depression Glass has been collectible since about the 1960′s but the term “Depression Glass” became widely used in the 1970′s.
- It is becoming harder to find on the open, secondary market. Particular patters can be very valuable.
Depression Glass Patterns
- Jeannette Glass Company patterns
- Cherry Blossom
- Liberty Works patterns
- American Pioneer
- MacBeth-Evans Glass Company patterns
- American Sweetheart
- Dogwood or Apple Blossom
- Hazel Atlas Glass Company patterns
- Florentine No. 1
- Florentine No. 2
- Indiana Glass Company patterns
- Christmas Candy
- Indiana Custard or Flower and Leaf Band
- Anchor-Anchor Hocking Glass Company patterns
- Bubble, Bullseye, Provencial
- Block optic
- Federal Glass Company patterns
- Colonial Fluted or “Rope”