First Class Glass
ABOUT DEPRESSION GLASS
Welcome to First Class Glass. For those of you unfamiliar with or unsure of the term Depression Glass, it simply refers to any glass, except Pattern Glass which is pressed glass and generally much heavier, which was made during the depression era. Technically the depression began with the Stock Market crash in 1929 and ended with the entry of the U.S. in WWII. However, the lines have been somewhat relaxed and now most collectors will accept glass made anywhere form the mid 1920's to the mid 1940's as depression glass.
There were dozens of companies producing this lovely glass in the U.S., most of them located in the mid-west, particularly Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, etc. Some of the more well-known companies were Heisey, Fostoria, Cambridge, Tiffin, Morgantown, Paden City, Westmoreland, U.S. Glass, Hazel-Atlas, Hocking (later Anchor Hocking), McKee, Lancaster and Jeannette. However, there were many other lesser known companies (or whose names may not be as familiar) such as Bryce, Bartlett-Collins, Standard, Monongah and Louis. These companies produced a myriad of glass in many different colors from plates and bowls to goblets and butter dishes and candlesticks. Rarely was the glass marked with the manufacturer's name or mark except for kitchen glass which is often marked.
Remember, this was cheap glass. It was often given away at movie theatres, in grocery stores with a bag of sugar or flour, in department stores with a purchase of furniture, etc. It was generally sold in the five and dime stores. Sometimes the quality of the glass was less than perfect. Often there were mold flaws. A mold flaw is an imperfection that occurs during the manufacturing process. Sometimes the mold into which the glass was poured didn't fill out completely. Sometimes the straw on which the hot glass was set to cool would leave and indentation, called a "straw mark" in the glass. Most collectors understand mold flaws and realize that unless the flaw is major they don't affect the value or beauty of the glass and still consider the glass to be perfect.
There are two major categories of Depression Glass. The first is simply referred to as Depression Glass and the second is called Elegant Glass. (More on Elegant Glass below.) We divide the category of Depression Glass itself into two sub-categories. The first is "known" patterns, i.e. those patterns and/or shapes that are recognized by collectors and were given names by the manufacturers or the collectors. The second group is what we call "generic glass". Generic glass is often hard to identify because there were so many hundreds of pieces of glass produced in different patterns and designs and many of them didn't have names. Known patterns can be seen in in The Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass by Gene Florence. Generic glass, as well as known patterns, can be found in Colored Glassware of the Depression Era Book 2, by Hazel Marie Weatherman. As for Elegant Glass it is generally fancier, looks more delicate and is often etched. A good reference book for is Elegant Glassware of the Depression Era also by Gene Florence
In addition to depression and elegant glass there was glassware produced during the depression era for use in the kitchen, such as canisters, reamers (orange juice squeezers), syrups, butter dishes, shakers, mixing bowls, etc; glass for use in the bedroom and bathroom, such as towel bars, powder jars, lamps, nite sets (pitcher or carafe and glass), clocks, perfumes, vanity sets, etc; and children's glass dishes. Children's glass is exactly that, glass dishes made for children for playtime. It was generally made in sets which included cups/saucers, plates, creamer and sugar. Some later sets even included the teapot.
At First Class Glass we specialize in the known patterns of Depression Glass along with Elegant Glass, Kitchen Glass, Bedroom and Bathroom Glass and Children's Glass as well as Generic Glass. We have lots to choose from and we're always adding more to our inventory. We also have a multi-dealer antiques and collectibles shop in Wells, Maine where we have many many pieces of generic glass along with hundreds of other antiques and collectibles.
Thank you for visiting our website. We hope you enjoy yourselves.
First Class Glass