Welcome to The Wonderful World of Depression Glass!
Depression glass is clear or colored translucent glassware. It was distributed in Canada and the United States during the time of the Great Depression. Some food manufacturers and distributors wanted to put up an incentive to boost their sales, so they came up with the idea of including a piece of glassware in food boxes. Notable among this company was one of the leading donors of Depression Glass. Movie theaters and businesses also hand out a piece of depression on entering into their offices.
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The glass name was derived from the period of time it was manufactured and handed out. It was around the time of the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a period when the world economy hit the lowest low. Most of the businesses run bankrupt and majority of company fold up. It was a time when there is little economic activity and many people are very poor and without any jobs to sustain them and their families.
Depression glass was made in the early period of the nineteen century precisely between 1920s and 1930s. The precious glass was produced for the use of masses during the period of depression. It was made affordable so that everyone can afford it. These glasses were also made very cheaply. The standard and quality of the product was very low.
Depression Glass – Recession
Another name that is used synonymous with Depression is recession. There was economic decline in the country of US, Canada, UK and most parts of the world. As a result of economic decline, trade and industrial activity was reduced to the barest minimum. Many people were unemployed. This had enormous impact on other aspects of economic, food, tourism, theater, etc.
In order to boost business and create an incentive for people to purchase item and do business, some companies came up with the incentives of using attractive and useful glass items as token of appreciation for patronizing them. Since this glass was being shared free around depression or recession period, the glassware attracted the name Depression Glass. Most of these glasses were manufactured in the central and mid west USA. There were access to raw materials and power. This made manufacture of the glassware to be less expensive in the first half of the nineteen century.
Depression Glass Patterns
More than 100 patterns were made by about 20 manufacturers. Some of the patterns consist of entire dinner sets. Depression glass was manufactured in various colors. Some are crystal clear colored glass like pink, pale blue, green and amber. Colors like jadeite (opaque pale green), white (milk glass), ultra marine, red (royal and ruby), yellow (canary), delphite (opaque pale blue), black and amethyst monax, also exist.
Since it was manufactured in large quantities, Depression Glass was of marginal quality. Nevertheless, it has been a highly collectible since the 1960s. It has become popular as a collectible and is fast becoming extremely scarce these days especially in the open market. Some rare pieces of these depression glasses may sell for hundreds of dollars. Beyond the period of the Depression, some manufacturers continued to manufacture popular patterns after the World War II. They also introduced similar patterns. All these are now in high demand as collectibles. Popular and very expensive patterns have been reproduced. The reproduction of these depression glasses are still ongoing today.
There were so many factory flaws associated with its production mainly because it was manufactured in large quantities. Depression glass was also made to meet immediate needs and was not expected to be durable. It was not even intended for collections years later. The glass wares have become expensive because they have become collectibles over the years. This has made them to become a very scarce item on the market.
If Depression Glass was to be produced today, it would likely not be acceptable in the market due to a range of flaws associated with it. However those flaws are the characteristics used by collectors to identify original glass wares that were produced in the depression era.
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