In the late 1920s, new technology allowed manufacturers to produce appealing glassware with little expense and with no handwork. In fact, this glassware, known as Depression glass, was so cheap and easy-to-make that in the '30s it was given away as a promotional item with almost any purchase, from oatmeal to gasoline. This was fortunate timing, as most Americans were suffering in the Depression and unable to afford fine glassware or real china dinnerware.

However, despite the blow to the economy, a few glass companies continued producing high-quality glassware, usually made with some handwork by skilled craftspeople. This glassware, known as elegant glass, was still expensive, sold in high-end stores, and treasured by its owners.

Like vintage Depression glassware, most elegant glass featured intricate, pretty designs on its surfaces, usually of flowers or tree branches. The distinction between the two is in how they were made. Patterns on elegant glass were usually etched, meaning the design was recessed. The glass was coated with wax, and a design was drawn into the wax. Then the glass got an acid treatment, which ate away the surface of the glass not covered in wax. Depression glass, however, was mass-produced using molds, which were etched with acid themselves. This means the pattern was raised rather than inset, what's known as "mold etched."

Vintage elegant glass, also called "good glass," is often hand-pressed, hand-molded, or hand-blown, and frequently features hand-finished bases. Elegant glass is made of high-quality glass, has fewer visible seams, and lacks the little bobbles and wrinkles found in pieces of Depression glass. Extra steps made the difference. For example, after a piece was shaped, it was inserted back into a "glory hole" for fire polishing, which gave it a high gloss. Most elegant glass was clear, a.k.a. crystal, but some of it was pastel colored and translucent.

Top elegant-glass companies of the era included the Cambridge Class Company, A.H. Heisey & Company, Fostoria Glass Company, and Imperial Glass Corporation. In 1936, Imperial created its most successful elegant-glass line, Candlewick, which was inspired by a Colonial needlework technique known as candlewicking. The design featured little clear glass beads around the top of each crystal piece.

While Candlewick was a hugely popular dinnerware pattern, it faced serious competition from Cambridge's Rosepoint and Fostoria's American line. That geometric pattern, resembling a series of protruding cubes, was first produced in 1915 and had one of the longest runs in U.S. glassmaking history.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Cambridge Royal Blue 12" Bowl With Japonica DecorationVintage Cambridge Rose Point Covered Urn "excellent Condition"Rare Cambridge Custard Glass Nude Figural BookendsC1920 Tiffin Glass Figural Fruit Basket Lamp~~good As It Gets & No Reserve!Imperial Candlewick "birthday Candle" Cake Plate - 13"Signed Heisey Old Sandwich Cobalt Tumbler / Soda Glass 16 OzRarest Vintage Viking Vaseline Uranium Glass Owl Fairy Lamp Candle Light Fostoria American Whiskey Decanter- Excellent- OsFostoria American Ruby Stain Top SpoonerHeisey Glass Crystal Elegant Orchid Etch # 2520 2-1/2 Oz Bar Shot WhiskeyImperial Glass Oil Lamp Vaseline Zipper Loop Abco 2 BurnerRare Cambridge Glass Caprice Dolphin Footed Cigarette Box In Windsor Blue Exc!Alig Heisey By Imperial Antique Blue With Bubbles Large Horse Clydesdale 1984Unusual Antique Ruby Cut To Greenish-yellow VaseFostoria American Bitters Bottle With Tube - Orange Cut On Label PortionArt Deco Viking Blue Squared Glass Bullseye Club Candle HlderHeisey Warwick Cobalt / Stiegel Blue Double Light CandleholdersBeautiful Versace Medusa Lumiere 7" Crystal Bowl By Rosenthal Antique Dakota Tiffin Thumbprint Clear Glass Apothecary Jar 3 Mold Lines 12" 1950s Elegant Heisey Glass Sea Horse Waverly 3 Toed Seahorse Bowl Signed Ec NrLarge Candlewick Glass Serving Dish NiceRare Fostoria American Angostura Bitters Bottle With Tube..5 34" Tall,4 1/2ozPair Of 6in. Baccarat Massena Candlesticks Excellent Condition9 Tiffin Minton Pink Gold Encrusted Glass Water Or Parfait Stems Goblets RareImperial Candlewick Deviled Egg Plate Center Heart HandleDuncan Miller Ruby Glass Cordial DecanterCambridge Arms Table Centerpiece With Glass / Farberware Deco-style BowlsPair Vintage Imperial Candlewick Cruets 6-3/4 And 5-3/4Fostoria American Vintage Round Cake Stand Plate W/ Rum WellVintage Westmoreland Milk Glass "paneled Grape" Punch Bowl & 8 Cups - MintyImperial Glass Candlewick 9" Pitcher With Underplate/restHeisey Glass Set Of 4 Spanish Stem Water Goblets Diamond Floral Style CuttingVintage Fairy Lamp Westmoreland Waterford Purple Stained Flash Glass & StickerFostoria American Flat Footed Two Handled Sugar Bowl2 Vintage Art Deco Crystal Glass Boudoir Lamps W/ Shades Candlewick Bedroom Nice11 Tiffin Gold Encrusted Glass Bread & Butter PlatesFostoria American Crystal 10" Square Cake Stand Or Salver Pedestal Footed, With Cambridge Yellow Apple Blososm Etch Ball Jug Water Pitcher -great ConditionLarge Vintage Fostoria American Elegant Glass Centerpiece Bowl Punch BaseVintage Westmoreland Milk Glass "paneled Grape" Punch Bowl Ladle - Mint Vintage Cranberry Pink Optic Crystal Wine Goblets W/clear Bulb Stem Set Of 8Rare Duncan & Miller Crackle Glass 3 Lite Candleholder On Legs Prototype & Box4 Vintage 60's Imperial Glass Shoji 24k Gold Trellis 14 Oz Tumbler Hollywood BarFostoria Heirloom Green Opalescent 19 3/4" Swung VaseGlastonbury Lotus Punch Bowl Set Georgian Gold Encrusted 10 Cups & Ladle Nr YqzFostoria Blue "june" Oil Cruet W/stopperAntique Silverplate Pitcher Uss Houston Wwii Navy Military Battleship MarkedHeisey Glass Cut Block #1200 Open Salt, Dip, Cellar Ca 1896 - 1899 Hard To FindHeisey Spanish Cobalt Champagne GlassCambridge Rose Point Clear Divided Mayo Bowl With Underplate & 2 Ladles9 Tiffin Gold Encrusted Glass Footed Finger Or Dessert BowlsAzure Blue Fostoria Versailles 5-1/2 Inch WineMetal Drainer For Any 1930s Fostoria Handled Ice BucketImperial Glass 72 Candle Tradition Birthday Cake Plate- C. 1930's - Mint4 Pcs Vintage Blue Viking Glass Pieces , Platter , Dish, Lidded Dish, PitcherFostoria American Ketchup Bottle With Stopper Fostoria Navarre Large Footed Vase 9 1/2" Excellent Condition10 Tiffin Minton Pink Gold Encrusted Glass Liquor Cocktail Stems Goblets Rare9 Beautiful Tiffin Gold Encrusted Glass 9 Oz. Footed Water Or Parfait StemsHeisey Ivorina Verde Custard 7 Piece Lot Circa1898-1904