Depression Glass

A sample of Depression Glass pieces in the Morrison County Historical Society collections. This photo was taken of a past display at the Weyerhaeuser Museum, copyright 2003, Morrison County Historical Society.

A sample of Depression Glass pieces in the Morrison County Historical Society collections. This photo was taken of a past display at the Weyerhaeuser Museum, copyright 2003, Morrison County Historical Society.

One of the hottest items in today’s antique collector’s market is Depression Glass. This inexpensive machine-made glassware was manufactured during a period extending from the early 1920s through the end of World War II. Available in a wide variety of patterns and colors, Depression Glass was “…stylish, highly popular, pretty and plentiful” (Marian Klamkin, The Collector’s Guide to Depression Glass, Hawthorn Books Inc., 1973).

Depression Glass was often used as a promotional item. The pieces on display at the museum may have been given away in a soap or cereal box or at a local movie house or gas station. Cheaper than cheap, Depression Glass was usually priced by the barrel or by the dozen. According to the National Depression Glass Association, prices of 14 cents each or $1.72 a dozen were common (http://www.ndga.net/whatisdg.htm).

Of the many patterns that were produced, some of the more popular include Adam, Windsor, English Hobnail and Radiance. Many of the pattern names are delightfully descriptive. Raindrops, Cube and Pretzel, for example, give a good idea of how these styles look. Other names, such as Cherry Blossom and Daisy or Coronation and Queen Mary, refer to the natural world or were intended to promote a regal image. Many of the designs reflect the influence of art deco, a decorative style that was prevalent in America and Europe during the 1920s and 30s. Art Deco motifs were applied to a wide range of media, including furnishings such as Depression Glass.

by Ann Marie Johnson
Copyright 2003, Morrison County Historical Society

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