The History of Depression Glass

Machine made, mass produced colored glassware was first introduced to the public in 1925 at the Pittsburgh, PA glass exhibit. Until this time, the majority of glass produced had been in crystal. 

A Variety of Depression Glass Pieces

A Variety of Depression Glass Pieces

Depression Glass, made primarily during the 1930s Depression Era, comes in an array of colors ranging from deep purple, black, cobalt, red, pink, yellow, green, amber and blue. The inexpensive colored glass was crude compared to the handmade crystal glass that was expensive to own. 
Depression Glass was often packed in cereal boxes, flour sacks or given away as gifts at the local movie theaters, gasoline stations and grocery stores. Depression Glass helped bring families together at meal times and added a bright spot of color through that blackest of times.

For many families, getting a set of glassware then was like collecting a set now. It was the first time such glassware was both widely available in large dinner services and inexpensive enough to obtain.

Depression Glass was not always a sought after collectable.  At the end of the Depression Era, families began to pack away the colorful glass they once so enjoyed to purchase china with the money they had saved.  Their Depression Glass stayed packed away, while their newer china graced the tables.  Whenever Depression Glass was offered on the secondary market, most folks turned away and didn’t purchase it.  The glass reminded them of hard times the Depression Era caused and that was part of their life that they wanted to leave behind.

Depression Glass gained back popularity in late 1960s early 1970s.  From then until now, it has been recognized as one of the most popular collectables of the times.

Today, many families continue to collect Depression Glass. Both men and women enjoy spending time together searching for unique pieces and patterns to complement their growing collections. It’s not limited to being a baby boom hobby as younger generations begin to collect and reminisce about how they grew up surrounded by Depression Glass.  

Collecting Depression Glass is very much a family affair.  It’s amazing that the mass produced colored glass that brought families together during the 1930s continues to bring families together today.

Visit the Sanlando Depression Glass Show to start your own unique collection or to learn more about Depression Glass.