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The Forest Green glassware shown at right was recently donated by a Pleasant Prairie family. These are two of 78 donated pieces of Depression glass originally produced by the Anchor Hocking Company. The Hocking Glass Company, founded in 1905 by Isaac Jacob Collins, was located in Lancaster, Ohio and named for the Hocking River. The company merged with Anchor Cap and Closure Corporation in 1937. The glassware was collected over the past 30 years and was primarily found at rummage and estate sales in and around the community. The glassware had been displayed by the family in a dining room curio cabinet and was taken out and used each Thanksgiving.
Glass companies produced the bulk of Depression glass during the height of the Great Depression, giving the glassware its name. Depression glass is typically clear or colored translucent glassware that was machine-pressed. It was typically sold in five and dime stores at extremely low prices or given away promotionaly around the time of the Great Depression. The Quaker Oats Company and others often put a piece of glassware in a box of food as an incentive to purchase their product. Other businesses would give a piece away to encourgae customers to enter their store.
Most Depression glassware was manufactured in the central or mid-west United States where low cost raw materials and power made manufacturing inexpensive. More than twenty manufacturers created more than 100 patterns. Although of marginal quality, since the 1960ís, Depression glass has been becoming more desirealbe to collect as pieces become more scarce. If you have additional information related to these items, the society would love to learn more.
The Historical Society is always looking for members who have an interest in researching historical topics. If you would like to become a member of the Historical Society, please contact us at HistoricalSociety@plprairie.org or (262) 947-3600.