Depression glass is called so because it was glass that was made during the Great Depression Era. All Depression Glass was made in the United States from the late 1920s to the early 1940s. Federal Glass, Hocking Glass, and MacBeth-Evans were just three of the companies that tried to help lift people’s spirits in what little ways they could by mass producing cheap colorful glassware that could be sold equally cheaply, often for as little as the price of a loaf of bread.
The most popular colors with collectors today are pink, blue, and green. In fact, pink is so popular that to many people the term “depression glass” is synonymous with “pink depression glass.” Aside from pink, however, it was also made in amber, opaque white, blue, green, and several other colors. Some of the most popular patterns buyers seek today are Cameo, Mayfair, American Sweetheart, Princess and Royal Lace.
Aside from the beautiful colors and designs that were supposed to hopefully lift the spirits of a nation during one of the most difficult times in American history. Even the pattern names were supposed to refer to better times and a longing for the glamorous lifestyles of the 1920s.
Depression glass was popular and affordable when it was new. The dime store was a common source for this type of glass, which could be bought for somewhere between a nickel and a dime. This made this type of glass affordable even during the most difficult of times.
Depression glass also made its way into American homes through the “premiums” that were issued via “premiums.” Sellers or manufacturers would offer a free gift with the purchase of a certain dollar amount of goods or a specific product, and housewives in hard times took advantage.
Glass was plucked from an oatmeal box one week and from a detergent box the next. Sometimes gas stations would throw in a punch bowl and cups with an oil change, or a movie theater would offer a piece of glass with a ticket to a Saturday matinee. This colorful glass remains a popular antique collectible item now, and a reminder of a hard past.