During the 1920s, 19th-century pattern-glass manufacturers such as McKee, Heisey, and Fostoria struggled as the real thing from Waterford and Baccarat, among other European manufacturers, became relatively inexpensive and plentiful in the United States. But when the Great Depression hit, Americans once again turned to pattern glass, which we know today as Depression glass, for entertaining and everyday use.
One of the biggest names in Depression glass was Hocking, which became Anchor Hocking in 1937. During the 1930s, Hocking was able to produce 90 pieces of glassware per minute, which meant it could sell a pair of Depression glass tumblers for only a nickel.
Contemporary collectors look for Depression-era Hocking in rare color-pattern combinations, or for limited-run pieces. For example, Hocking’s Cameo pattern was quiet common when it came to dinnerware, but a Cameo sandwich server in green or a covered butter dish in yellow is considered a prize. Similarly, Hocking made a lot of cups and saucers in Mayfair, but finding a footed console bowl in pink is difficult.
Hazel-Atlas was known for a subtle, ring pattern called Moderntone, which was mostly produced in cobalt and amethyst but can also be found in pink. Indiana Glass made bowls, plates, and tumblers in crystal and amber, but rare blue pieces occasionally turn up. Jeannette was known for its iridescent Floragold and translucent Floral patterns, the rarest of which are the footed, Floral compotes in pink or green.
Finally, before it became a part of Corning in 1936, Macbeth-Evans made a lot of Dogwood tableware in pink (“Wild Rose”) and green (“Apple Blossom”). Pink pitchers in the American Sweetheart style are especially sought-after.
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- National Depression Glass Association
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