During the time of the Depression, a special kind of glassware was made and sold cheaply at five-and-ten-cent stores, and often given away at banks and gas stations. This glassware has since become a collector's item around the country. Pieces that used to sell for five cents are now worth hundreds of dollars. Many varieties of this glass were created, all under the current label of "Depression Glass." Although not all styles are still available, a vast array of glassware was created by a small number of glass companies and original pieces can still be found.
Popular Patterns Still in Use
A glance through online auction sites gives evidence that some patterns are still heavily used, collected and traded. Among those Depression glass patterns are the following: Cherry Blossom (probably the most popular), Petal Swirl, Avocado, Cambridge Florentine and Open Rose.
Early Depression Sets
Among the earliest created Depression glass is that fashioned in Midwestern glass companies like Indiana Glass, whose patterns include Sandwich Glass, Avocado, #612 Horseshoe and Indiana Custard. Other early companies include Fostoria, Heisley, Anchor Hocking, the Jeanette Glass Company and the Morgantown Glass Company. A complete list of all patterns created by these companies numbers in the hundreds, and can be found in the sources below. Pay close attention as you look at patterns to see exact dates. Some patterns listed as Depression glass were created as late as 1970.
Additional Companies and Patterns
There are literally hundreds of dinnerware patterns created in Depression glass. These range from clear glass patterns such as American Pioneer from Liberty Works, to the Green Circle pattern from Hocking Glass. The Suzie Max Depression Glass website includes thumbnail pictures of each pattern, along with an identification of the glass company that created it. If you are looking to buy or check the validity of a pattern, this is an excellent resource.
True Depression glass appeared in the early 1920s. Depression glass really only encompasses the period between 1920 and 1950. Copies of popular patterns are still being made, and often sold online. It is difficult to tell whether you are buying a copy or an original, so checking patterns in antique books and with experts is a wise idea.
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