In our country’s history, right before the Great Depression Era, a machine for mass producing glass was invented. It was the greatest improvement in making glass for 400 years and changed the history of glass production forever.
Depression Era glass was the first mass-manufactured glass made by machine. It was made in the 1920s and 1930s. At least 100 companies were producing this very cheap glass in greater quantities than could be made by hand. It was marketed in grocery and "dime" stores. Some of it was given away as promotional items in soap, cereal, flour, etc., or with the purchase of gas or movie tickets. Some pieces were used as prizes at carnivals. Much of the glass made in the Depression Era was available in a rainbow of colors. However, color itself does not denote Depression Era glassware. Manufacturers created a myriad of their own specific patterns and designs.
Glass collectors today also collect "elegant" glassware (quality hand-finished glass) from the same time period that was sold in department and jewelry stores, as well as pieces produced in the 1940s through the 1960s. Kitchenware from these time periods is sought after, including Pyrex, jadite, and milk glass.
While many books are available on glassware collecting, joining a club is the best way to learn and see actual pieces of glass. Club collectors are knowledgeable and eager to share their information with newcomers.
What is Depression Glass?