Depression Glass PatternsWritten by Murray Hughes
Collectors of Depression Glass find not only its beautiful colors fascinating, but its patterns, as well. With many glass producers making this type of glass, as you can imagine, many patterns resulted, creating a wide array of pretty, practical, and inexpensive glassware affordable to every American household in that lean era of history and making Depression Glass one of most collectible items today.
Of many glass manufacturers that produced Depression Glass, seven of them became major players in field, creating a total of 92 designs. Below you’ll find some history, some trivia, some folklore, and some interesting characteristics about several of these designs.
This Depression Glass design, sometimes referred to as Ballerina or Dancing Girl, gets its name from tiny dancer found on all its pieces. Some claim Hocking Glass Company that manufactured Cameo glass created pattern to honor legendary modern dancer of 1920s, Isadora Duncan, who tragically died when her long trailing scarf, of which she’d made her personal trademark, choked her to death when it wrapped around wheel of her moving Bugatti roadster.
Duncan died in 1927, and Cameo pattern came into being in 1930, continuing to be produced until 1934, so story could very well be true. Regardless of inspiration for this pattern of Depression Glass, it continues as a much sought-after design. Hocking made most Cameo glass in green, but pink, yellow, and – more rarely – crystal, which can occasionally still be found.
First produced in 1923, Avocado or “Sweet Pear” pattern claims its fame for being very first 'true' Depression Glass design. Made by Indiana Glass Company, Avocado pieces in form of pitchers prove to be most difficult to find, possibly because of this pattern’s age. Indiana continued manufacturing Avocado for 10 years, until company retired this Art Nouveau-type design in 1933.
Adam to Windsor – What’s that?Written by Murray Hughes
In Depression Glass parlance, “from Adam to Windsor” refers to alphabetical order in which collector’s guides typically list all patterns of seven largest glass companies that produced this now-collectible glassware. Some of these companies made lucky (or smart) decision to re-tool with machinery necessary to produce this new, mass-produced glassware before stock market crash of 1929, which enabled them not only to survive Great Depression, but also to continue onward to perfecting and expanding their product lines.
Hazel-Atlas, Hocking, Indiana, Federal, U.S. Glass, MacBeth-Evans, and Jeanette made up these seven glass companies, and between them all, 92 designs came about to brighten lives of people living just before, during, and just after grim days of Great Depression.
U.S. Glass was actually a combination of companies that rallied together to survive economic downturn.
For sake of brevity, following information touches upon only first and last of these 92 designs. Hopefully, reader will go on to research remaining designs to further expand their knowledge of these brilliant designs that came from minds of artists in those days – without use of computer-aided technology!
As one might assume, first of these patterns (alphabetically, not chronologically) turned out to be Adam, produced by Jeanette Glass Company for three years, beginning in 1932. Jeanette’s Adam pattern embraced Art Deco movement of time period with its geometrical squares and conical shapes that beautifully complemented flower-and-leaf floral motifs. Produced in green, pink, yellow, dark green, and crystal (clear), Jeanette manufactured utilized Adam design in 37 pieces, and many reproductions of this design find their way into marketplace – notably, a yellow butter dish notorious among knowledgeable dealers and collectors as a fake.