I enjoy shopping at antique shops and antique malls where you may find so many items from the past. One of my favorites is Depression glass. Manufactured in the United States between 1920 and the 1940’s Depression glass was affordable or perhaps even a gift with a purchase. The Depression glass was mass-produced molded glassware made from colorful glass. The inferior quality of the Depression glass was overshadowed by its appeal and usefulness.
I remember seeing pieces of Depression glass in almost every cupboard when I was young. Oftentimes a piece of “Depression glass would be displayed on a curio cabinet or side table. I was drawn to the color, design and shapes of the glassware. I remember wondering why it was called Depression glass. It was so colorful.
I grew to understand the meaning of the Great Depression. I understood how this Depression glass must have been a bit of joy during those times. Finding a piece of colorful glassware in a box of laundry detergent had to brighten the day a bit.
Depression glass became popular with collectors in the late 1960’s most likely for several reasons. One reason is, I’m fairly sure, just because of the memories of the glassware in the homes of parents and grandparents. Another reason is the beauty of the glassware. Then there is the search for pieces to complete sets of inherited Depression glassware. The glassware remains a popular collector item today.
Over the years many companies began to produce reproduction Depression glass. Some of the reproductions are of inferior quality. However some companies which previously produced Depression glass during the 1920-1940 years are again producing glass from the same molds they used during those years. By doing some research you may discover which companies and glassware are reputable. One source I would recommend is www.indianaglass.com they have lots of information for your questions.
My mother-in-law gave me a set of Manhattan dishes with many, many serving pieces when I was first married. The glass is clear and there are many pieces with bubbles. A few pieces have small chips but are still useable. I enjoyed using the glassware for many years and then gave the set to our oldest daughter for her to use with her family. Being able to pass such treasures from one generation to the next is a wonderful gift.
Now I enjoy shopping for unusual pieces to display in my home. Or some days I just enjoy seeing the many pieces on display and spotting a piece or two that I remember seeing at my grandmother’s home.
I know there are many collectors and historians that study the different companies that produced Depression glass and other more valuable collectable glass ware. They study the molds and the methods of production. They can tell you where a piece of Depression glass was made and during the years that it was produced. I am content to discover the beauty of an unusual piece of glass, new color that I had not seen before or even to see a piece that I have in my home as I stroll through an antique shop. I marvel today as I’m sure the original recipients did at the very beauty of the Depression glass when it was new.