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Living With and Caring For Vintage Glassware

Updated on December 11, 2013

The Elegant Glass Period

When the 21st Amendment was passed in 1933 repealing prohibition, distilleries and breweries worked hard to meet the demand for legal alcoholic beverages fueled by the Great Depression. The glass manufacturers were adding stemware to their lines of cheap but fancy glassware in feel good colors which we refer to today as depression glass. In the 1940s the US became involved in the 2nd World War and companies like Heisey, Fostoria, Cambridge and many others began to produce glassware designed for a more upscale market and marked the beginning of the golden age of cocktails as documented from the movies of the era. This period lasted right up until the early 1960s. Collecting drinkware from that era and earlier can be enjoyable and provide for diverse entertaining.



Lovely Etched Crystal with Green Stems

Where to Find Vintage Glassware

Searching thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets and tag sales is the best way to collect these treasures. Very often they are so covered with dust and grease that they go unnoticed to the untrained eye. The delicate etching of some has been rendered invisible by the film covering it. Ebay and other online auction sites will produce many finds also but you will be competing against knowledgeable people for your purchase. Those sites are best used to build a set one at a time as singles will not command a high price like matched sets. The glassware pictured is all from sets of two or more purchased at local sales and thrift stores. Unfortunately the etched details are not visable in the picture.

These delicate glasses should always be washed by hand and never put in the dishwasher. When handwashing a solution of vinegar and water works well. Do them one at a time and keep a towel or some other padding in the bottom of the sink to prevent chipping. Air dry and store in a dust free cabinet.

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