Entering my Grandmother’s home in the early morning hours as the sunlight crept through the kitchen windows and blessed the depression-era glass seemed almost magical.
As a child, I never thought to question as to where these curious colored glasswares were from, but only to enjoy the carousal of colors illuminating from my Grandmother’s china cabinets. Flash forward to the spring before my wedding, I knew that the something old would be a pink depression glass cake plate, perfectly fitting for my romantic blush and gold wedding theme.
On the hunt for pink depression glass to serve as vintage wedding decor in the quiet corner of Connecticut, my future husband and I set off to the sleepy town of Chepachet, Rhode Island, a treasure trove for antique enthusiasts. It’s there that I’ve discovered more depression glass that I’ve ever seen, immediately transporting me back to the early mornings in my Grandmother’s kitchen, an instant feeling of comforting nostalgia.
In my pursuit of vintage and romantic wedding decor, it led to my discovery of depression glass being highly unique in that the molded glassware comes in several beautiful patterns and colors to suit every taste. I was eager to learn more about collecting depression glass, and how these many vibrant pieces came to be.
Depression Glass: Color Through Dark Times
Depression glass was mass-produced glassware during the fatiguing and weary events of the great depression of the late 1920s through the early 1940s. The colorless times were shrouded in economic despair and relentless feelings of hopelessness, a similar state of shock we collectively face today. Yet, there was still light in a world surrounded in darkness, brightened by cheerful American-manufactured glassware, transparent with colorful hues.
A lazy Sunday stroll through your local flea market or a quick glance on eBay and you’ll quickly see that the most popular colors of depression glass include a vibrant variety of pink, amber, green, pale blue, crystal clear, canary yellow, ruby red, and or jadeite (opaque pale green) glass.
Depression glass was made in or around Ohio River Valley, where resources were inexpensive to mass produce this type of product at the given time, in fast-paced rates. Around 20 companies joined forces to produce more than 100 different patterns for production. It was common for entire dinner sets to be manufactured in one particular pattern. The most sought out patterns include the Macbeth Evans Glass Company’s american sweetheart pattern, the Hazel Atlas Glass Company’s royal lace pattern and Hocking Glass Company’s cameo, princess, and Mayfair patterns.
Although the glassware was not particularly considered high quality, with bubbling, molding flaws, or coloring inconsistencies, depression glass served as a special gift for the American people during the economic depression and a way to entice them to continue to shop.
The cheery glassware could be found at every corner! You could find depression glass in cereal boxes, movie theater giveaways, gas stations, even as a reward gift when buying a kitchen appliance. Depression glass was always ready to brighten American’s homes and kitchens. Because after all, the kitchen is the heart of the home, the place to start America’s healing.
Where To Buy Depression Glass Today
Collecting depression glass has been a highly desirable hobby since the 1960s, with its rich history and uniquely beautiful design. Due to the ever-growing popularity of this sought-out vintage glassware, it’s not uncommon to find reproductions listed with online retailers, even at your local flea market. Asian-produced reproductions of depression glass often have a greasy-like texture and have less-detailed patterns. To further your knowledge of depression glass patterns and colors, visit the National Depression Glass Association for more information.
With old-school hobbies becoming trendy with younger generations, purchasing depression glass has never been easier in modern times. Coupled with good old fashioned antiquing stores, online retailers such as eBay and Etsy have a wealth of colorful depression glass right at your fingertips, ready to order!
A stunning vintage amber depression glassware set from UrbanNomadNYC is just in time for the season, as it’s perfect for fall decor and a festive Thanksgiving Dinner. Featuring one of Indiana Glass Company’s most beloved patterns, the daisy pattern will surely dazzle both your friends and family alike.
Deck your home coffee bar with a set of these strikingly gorgeous vintage red depression glass coffee cups. Each coffee mug from rwiggins is beautifully ribbed and shaded in a bewitching jewel-toned ruby red for a truly unique accent for your home decor.
Straight out of the 1930s come these whimsy bread and butter plates with Jeannette floral and poinsettia patterns from WhippoorwillGlass. Those loving the natural feelings of growth and harmony from the soothing shades of green will love combining some retro vibes into their nature-inspired decor.
Grab yourself a romantic collection of antique pink depression sherbert glasses from lizfinestcollection embellished in the extremely sought-after cherry blossom pattern made by Jeannette Glass. These small pink depression glasses are ideal for use as a tumbler, goblet, or sherbet stem or part of your shabby chic decor. Pink shades of depression glass are considered one of the most valuable ranging from a few dollars to hundreds, with blue and green shades following at a close second.
Bring a vintage twist of the 1940s to your breakfast bar with this darling cobalt blue depression glass pitcher made by Hazel Atlas Glass Company. Your Dalgona coffee will splash with joy when paired with creamy milk from this lovely beauty. The Hazel Atlas Cobalt blue glass pitcher from VintageGlassFindsCo comes complete with the classic embossed design on each side of the glass pitcher.
Yellow (Canary Yellow)
This vintage yellow depression glass footed pitcher by Hazel Atlas Glass Company is a stylish way to serve refreshing drinks during any celebration. The yellow depression glass pitcher from JVCollectiblesVT is decorated in a charming florentine poppy pattern.
Considered as one of the more unusual shades of depression glass amethyst is especially beautiful with its deep royal tones. This amethyst depression glass bowl is perfect as a decorative serving bowl on your table or a showy centerpiece during the holidays. However, you chose to showcase this purple-hued glassware this purple depression glass from BunkyFoss will surely delight.
Modern Day Depression-Inspired Glass
As the popularity of depression glass has continued to steadily rise since the 1960s, it’s not surprising that some collections and patterns may be more difficult than others to locate. If that’s the case for you, it may be easier to purchase new.
There are modern designs with a vintage nod to the past for those that are simply inspired by the old-school vibes with the tremendous embrace of color.
I’m truly loving the 1920s old Hollywood glam feel with these Lucy Coupe Glasses from Anthropologie, a classy throwback with a sophisticated touch that would fool anyone into thinking their antique. Grab these beautiful old souls for only $68 for a set of two or with four interest-free installments of $17.00 by After-Pay.
Enjoy a classic whiskey highball in a stunning Macerio Highball Glass from Anthropologie, inspired after colorful glass of the past. Bring six highball glasses home for $64 or with four interest-free installments of $16.00 by Afterpay.