How to Identify Depression Glass

United States of America and Canada went through a period of Great Depression, a time characterised by economic woes for both the countries. It was during this time that a number of glass makers started to manufacture Depression glass, characterised by beautiful colours and patterns, as well as flaws and imperfections. This glass was distributed at little or no cost.

Ever since the 1960, Depression glass has become highly collectible and therefore is getting scarcer in the open market.

If you have gotten interested in collecting Depression glass, you need to know how to identify one from another type of glass.


  • 1

    The first and most important thing that you need to do in order to identify Depression glass is to get your hands on a Depression glass reference book. It has become an essential tool for any serious collect who wants considerable help in recognising authentic glassware. There are a number of reference books available in the market, though some of the most popular ones include “Colored Glassware of the Depression Era” by Hazel Maria Weatherman and “The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Depression Glass” by Gene Florence.

  • 2

    You can identify Depression glass by closely examining them for little bubbles. Since the glass was made in a time when America and Europe were going through the Great Depression period, the main focus was on affordability instead of quality. This lead to a very prominent characteristic in the Depression glass, little bubbles. Even though the glass is famous because of its beautiful colours and patterns, the air bubbles and imperfections have also become an integral part of the identity of the glass.

  • 3

    Since the Depression glass pieces are machine-made, they are not perfectly finished and therefore can be identified by marks left by the mould. Look for the distinctive line running through the middle of the Depression glass. If you are unable to view the marks left by the mould, then the glass that you are looking at is not Depression glass at all. If it a widely known and accepted fact that Depression glass has flaws and it is what define them. Talking to any avid Depression glass collector and they will tell you the same thing.

  • 4

    You need to become familiar with the most renowned Depression glass makers, the colours they typically used and the particular designs they carved and embedded on the glass. You will have to do a lot of research to familiarise yourself with the famous Depression glass manufacturers.

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