Identifying Depression glass patterns involves comparing an item to known pattern images and characteristics including colors and identifying marks. Reproductions and re-issues complicate the identification process. Pieces with features that do not match all information for an established pattern are typically not authentic.
Several websites provide directories of Depression glass patterns, including About.com and KejabaTreasures.com. Others, such as JustGlassMall.com, list new and re-issued glass items for sale that can help in identifying reproductions.
About.com provides an image gallery of 21 pattern types. Entries include a photograph along with identifying features and, in some cases, links to additional information. For example, Aurora is represented by the photo of a plate edge. The site identifies the Hazel Atlas Glass company as the pattern's maker, the late 1930s as its issue period and cobalt blue as its predominant color. The site includes a link for more information.
KejabaTreasures.com offers a search feature to hone in on patterns with available information. Search options include colors, makers, etched or non-etched glass, and up to two possible attributes. The site offers a help page for attributes, which include items such as scalloped edges, geometric lines, rays and birds. Selecting the color blue and the rays attribute finds the English Hobnail, Miss America and Radiance patterns.