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So named for its creation during the days of the Great Depression, Depression glass is one of the most consistently collected classes of early 20th century glassware. Developed out of a need for inexpensive and efficient pieces, Depression glass over time has only increased in demand as a memento of beauty overcoming burden.
The era of the Great Depression was a traumatic one, leaving many destitute and in financial ruin. Such hardship sent a monumental ripple through companies who specialized in elegant art glass, as their wares were considered too much of a luxury for the American family still recovering economically. Such an environment resulted in the rise of innovative glassmakers at the end of the '20s who responded to conditions with low-cost lines of glassware. Producers from Anchor Hocking and Belmont Tumbler to Padent City and Westmoreland Glass Company all created efficient yet beautiful patterns in vibrant colors.
These cheery pieces continued to be produced in large number into the '40s, but the original producers most likely never would have imagined that the pieces would still be in demand today on the auction market. While collectors clamor for some of the more popular colors including pink, amber, and translucent white, truly any Depression glass piece in mint condition is a treasure.
Many businesses, from food distributors to movie theaters, would hand out pieces of Depression glass to patrons of their services
The elegance of Depression glass designs was in part to mollify the hard times of the era. This effort was echoed in the names for chief glass patterns, which featured names such as American Sweetheart, Holiday, Princess, and Royal Lace
It is not uncommon to find flaws in Depression glass pieces, as the low quality of production often resulted in air bubbles or flashovers, a small and relatively sharp protruding edge on a plate or a piece's foot that occurred when hasty creation caused the glass to slip in the mold