My latest Instagram. I've rather accidentally begun a little collection of depression glass vases, with the biggest one in the picture being purchased on Friday from The Green Shed (a shop that sells wares taken to the local rubbish tips), where I also found the smaller two. Only very recently was I made aware of the existence of depression glass; glass that was manufactured very cheaply during the depression and is often full of flaws (eg, the biggest one is all uneven around the rim), but is now somewhat collectible (and is probably recognisable from many a Grandma's house). Apparently you could buy a piece for the price of a loaf of bread (from here):
At a time when a loaf of bread cost about a nickel, frugal shoppers could also buy a piece of Depression glass for around the same price ...I'll try to halt this particular collection at this point, as I find the notion of "collecting" anything a serious trap for materialism, but The Green Shed donates all proceeds to charities so I justify a little random something every now and then.
Depression glass also made its way into American homes through the issuance of premiums. Sellers or manufacturers would offer a free gift with the purchase of a certain dollar amount of goods or a specific product, and penny-pinching ladies took full advantage of these offerings.
Glass was plucked from an oatmeal box one week, from a detergent box the next. Sometimes gas stations would throw in a punch bowl and cups with an oil change. Movie theaters got in on the action offering a piece of glass with a ticket to a Saturday matinee.