How Do You Identify Depression Glass?


Quick Answer

Depression glass is mass-molded, low-quality glassware that was manufactured between the late 1920s and early 1940s. According to About.com, identifying features of depression glass include heavy mold marks and presence of air bubbles in the glass. Depression glass was made in many colors, but the most popular colors among collectors are pink, cobalt blue and green.

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Full Answer

Several manufacturers made depression glass in those three decades, with pieces from Federal Glass, Macbeth-Evans and Hooking Glass especially common. Because depression glass was made quickly and cheaply, it received little to no hand finishing once it was removed from the mold. The National Depression Glass Association contrasts this practice with that of making "elegant glass," the other common type of glass from this era.

Elegant glass was much higher priced and finished by hand after being removed from the mold. Collectors identify a piece as either depression glass or elegant glass by examining the extent of the finishing. According to About.com, the average price of a piece of depression glass in the 1920s was about a nickel, which was the same as the cost of a loaf of bread. Depression glass was also given away by manufacturers with the purchase of certain goods.

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