Always Classic, Always New… Depression Glass
A POTPOURRI OF DEPRESSION GLASS
I have wanted to do a Randolph Street Market blog post on Depression Glass forever…when I started my research for this piece, I found I had fallen down the proverbial rabbit hole! So much information and so many different terms…what exactly did I want to focus on….Vaseline Glass, Uranium Glass or what I think of as actual Depression Glass?! I have chosen Depression Glass (Depression Glass is glassware made in the period 1929–1939, often clear or colored translucent machine-made glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around the time of the Great Depression) to discuss because that is what I have collected and what is more available and still reasonably priced. Some of my pieces are marked on the bottom with a shield with an F in the center the trademark of Federal Glass Company, Columbus, Ohio (1900-1979). I, most certainly, don’t profess to be an expert on the subject…fortunately there are so many sources available and dealers who want to share their knowledge with you as well as a zillion reference books for you to peruse.
Vaseline glass is a specific type of uranium glass. It glows under black light. It got its name from its distinctive yellowish color, which looks like petroleum jelly. It is also sometimes referred to as canary glass because of its yellow color. Examples of Uranium Glass seen with ultraviolet light.
Above a few examples of Depression Glass
A couple of examples from my small collection….which I use on a daily basis.
One of my plates, Anchor Hocking spiral pattern
The companies who made Depression Glass included Anchor-Hocking, Jeanette, Federal, and Hazel Atlas, and the most common colours were amber, blue, black, crystal, green, pink, red, yellow and white. Depression Glass was often given away as promotional gifts with other purchases often at the movies or in boxes of cereal, soap, etc.
And then there was “Dish Night At The Movies”! A quote from Kathy Fuller-Seeley from a post from the International Museum of Dinnerware Design and the Michigan Theater…. “We look fondly back on Dish Night as a quintessential Depression-era movie theater event. The giveaway promotions of inexpensive dinnerware were one of the most successful solutions that small town and neighborhood movie theater managers found to bring movie patrons back to empty theaters during the hard times of the Great Depression. The “one free to each lady” china and glassware campaigns filled movie theaters of the 1930s with as much drama, elation, desire, disappointment and anguish as anything that was shown on their silver screens.”
An example of a piece given to the ladies attending movies during the Great Depression…..I’ll have to do another post on the china given during that time, some very interesting patterns. Each week was a different piece for your collection…great marketing!!
I found this photo, below, on Pinterest, to illustrate the cobalt blue glasses of my childhood. I think I have mentioned my parents were Mid-Century Modern furniture, dishes, flatware, everything…enthusiasts. These glasses were used with our grey Russell Wright dinnerware….Ruthy (my mother) adored anything blue, I’m a green girl.
I try to include our RSM vendors whenever possible in my blog posts and I asked Forrest Poston of Gin-For’s Odditiques for a quote on his collections…
“When I got addicted to auctions, we were living in southeastern Ohio, right in the middle of the glass-rich areas of West Virginia and Ohio, so Depression Glass was one of the first things to learn. The range of style and quality still fascinate me, everything from the sturdy items from Anchor Hocking and others to the elegance of Heisey and Cambridge. There could be some beauty at the table even when the days were harsh.”
“I don’t collect or sell. Depression Glass as a specialty, my specialty is actually West German art pottery. I’ve dealt with Depression Glass some along the way, of course, along with the controversy over Vaseline Glass vs. uranium glass and whether or not green Depression Glass that glows counts as special.”
Thank you, Forrest, for giving us some insight into this vast subject. Be sure to stop by his booth at the May 27th and 28th kick off to the 20th Anniversary of Randolph Street Market.
To learn about the history of Anchor Hocking go to https://vimeo.com/697396516
They also produced Fire King (Jadeite!)
Here are some table settings using Depression Glass…all photos found on Pinterest photo credits unknown…
Combined with Jadeite, something else I collect and will discuss in a future blog posting…
A couple of display ideas…
Some books to consider and remember to check Matt Meyer’s This Old Book location at RSM or on his website www.thisoldbook.com he may not have any of these books but you will definitely find other treasures…I always do! For an example I found a huge collection of Agatha Christie…and I immediately scooped it up…a lesson in buy what you like when you see it…don’t hesitate or someone else will take advantage of the treasures!
All photos found on Pinterest photo credits unknown unless otherwise noted.
EXCLUSIVE FOR THE RANDOLPH STREET MARKET BY NENA IVON, Nena’s Notes