American Cut Glass

Just about everyone has at least one piece of American Cut Glass in their home, but usually it was a piece passed down through the family. The original pieces of cut glass were expensive because it took a great deal of skill to produce such a product. Over the years new methods came along to mimic cut glass, so all pieces are those original expensive pieces.

During the 1800s having pieces of nice cut glass was what every household wanted. The best pieces were from European nations. American glassware by the early and mid-1800s was improving and now desired by families. It was during the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, PA that lovely cut glass specimens were on display from 8 different American glass-makers. Everyone was impressed with the lovely designs and colors added. With products made in American, they could be shipped by the railroad system with less damaged than those coming from Europe. Glass-makers were using electrical machines which could make the special effects in the glass. The glittering designs had such sparkle. The best American work was between 1876 and 1910.

Changes in 1910s for glass were that they were molded and then cut. But by the 1930s the process of molded glass was very popular. It did not have the sparkle of true cut glass but it was affordable. During the 1930s (Great Depression) it was known as ‘depression glass’ or ‘carnival glass.’

The look of cut glass is still found in glassware of today but it is the pressed glass. Collectors like to look for the original cut-glass pieces of the late and 1800s and early 1900s. Check to see what your family may have.

Photo: True cut-glass small serving dish with handle from about 1898.

Related Blogs:

Carnival Glass Heirlooms

Glass Slippers

Camphor Glass

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