From the late 1920's through early 1940's, depression glass was made to be sold to the average person who could not afford to purchase much finer glassware. Machine made, rather than handmade, depression glass was made in large quantities and numerous colors. You can find depression glass in pink, green, amber, yellow, pale blue, clear, ruby and cobalt blue. By far, green is the most popular color among collectors. Cobalt blue and ruby are among the more difficult colors to find.
This glassware was priced reasonably and small pieces were also included in purchases of other products, either in the package itself or handed out at check-out. Many women collected sets of glassware through weekly dish nights at the local movie theaters, which gave away a new piece each week. Popular "refrigerator boxes" for storage were given away by Westinghouse with the purchase of a new refrigerator. Today, depression era glass is one of the most popular collectible items.
Depression glass was made by a number of companies such as Hocking, Jeannette, Hazel-Atlas and Federal. Collectors each have their own style of collecting depression glass, either by pattern and manufacturer, type of piece such as candy dishes, or by color. Due to its popularity as a collectible, depression glass is gradually becoming more scarce.
There have been a lot of reproductions of depression glass, so buyers need to educate themselves. Has the item of interest been reproduced? What are the signs of a reproduction? There are many books available on this subject.
If you are interested in collecting depression era glass, I recommend you consider looking into membership in the National Depression Glass Association. They have a wealth of information available on their website, as well as a newsletter by members.
In the next blog posting, look for "This Week's Antique Expedition."