- Depression glass was made in the Great Depression, about 1929 to 1940.
- Depression glass was made in the US, although Canadian (and other) companies made a few patterns in the 1930s that are sought after today.
- It came in patterns. Much like dinnerware today, you could get plates, cups, bowls, serving pieces all in the same design.
- Most of the depression glass patterns came in dinner sets or lunch sets. A few companies made mostly decorative or accessory pieces (like the yellow two handled plate shown below) but when we think "depression glass" we mean the patterns with pieces for table use.
- Glass companies mass produced this ware. It was pressed, even pieces with fancy looking designs, and had virtually no hand work.
- It was cheap. Back in the 1930s most patterns had a few pieces that were very inexpensive. In fact it was often a premium or give away. Just like today you can get a set of dishes or towels at the grocery store with each week offering one piece at a discount, back then you could collect a whole set at the movie theater or grocery store. Of course not every piece was cheap or a give away, and housewives could send away for the other pieces if they wanted and could afford it. (Remember $5 a day was a generous wage back then. So even if a set of dishes was only a couple dollars it was often too pricey for many to buy.)
- The quality is not super high. Most pieces have small flaws. The yellow plate shown has a big bubble and little wrinkles.
- Companies usually made the glass in more than one color, often green, pink, yellow, amber or blue. They often made the same patterns in clear glass too.
Chris P asked a question on Facebook about depression glass and elegant glass that reminded me we haven't had a post about the basics of this wonderful glass for too long. Let's start with depression glass. Depression Glass Basic Facts