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The Federal Glass Company
1900 to 1979
The Federal Glass Company first opened their doors in 1900 in Columbus, Ohio. Their specialty was handmade press glass. They offered tumblers, kitchenware, luncheon sets and dinnerware at very low prices. They undersold all their competitors and they thrived.
Always looking towards the future, the management of Federal Glass had the foresight to switch to automation by the 1920ís. They anticipated the publicís need for large quantities of low priced glassware. Federal Glass was one of the first producers of machine made tumblers and jugs. During the 1930's Federal Glass was one of the leaders in the production of machine pressed, colored glassware patterns in amber, pink, purple, blue and iridescent. Two of the more popular patterns introduced in the 1930ís were the Madrid pattern and the Normandie pattern.
Madrid candleholder in Marigold.
Madrid - (1932-1939) (Amber, Blue, Crystal, Green, Pink and Iridescent,) - Madrid was one of the most popular Depression Glass pattern ever produced. Unfortunately, not much was made in the iridescent marigold. It can be tough to find but worth looking for.
Madrid was reissued in amber in 1976 by the Federal Glass Company. These later pieces are marked with the date hidden in the pattern. This New Madrid was reissued to celebrate the American Bicentennial.
Normandie or Bouquet and Lattice Grill Plate - 1933 to 1939.
Normandie or Bouquet and Lattice - Cup and Saucer- 1933 to 1939.
Normandie or Bouquet and Lattice Sherbet - 1933 to 1939.
Normandie - (1933-1940) (Amber, Crystal, Pink and Iridescent) Originally called Normandie, this pattern is also called Bouquet and Lattice by collectors. Iridescent pieces were made towards the end of the Normandie production period. The marigold finish was fired on over crystal. Unfortunately the iridescent Normandie did not include a pitcher and tumbler set. It did include dinner plates, cups and saucers, and various sizes of bowls and plates. There were quite a few serving dishes as well.
Fruit Lustre Tumbler- Depression Era.
Mixing Bowl - Federal Glass - Depression Era.
Federal Glass Toothpick holder or shot glass - 1930's.
Also produced in the 1930ís were Lustre Fruit Tumblers, Mixing Bowls, reamers and the small shot glass / toothpick holders. All were part of the iridescent glassware offered by Federal Glass.
In the 1940's the firm expanded into the food service industry. They made glassware for restaurants, hospitals, hotels and the military during World War II. Federal Glass remained one of the largest glass manufacturers in the US until the 1960s, when American dinnerware tastes turned to plastics such as Melmac.
Iridescent patterns made in the 1960ís included Moon Glow, Georgetown, Yorktown, Windsor and Milk Glass Steins.
Irisized Milk Glass - Moonglow Cup and Saucer - 1960's
Georgetown Deviled Egg Server - 1960s.
Yorktown Snack Set - 1960s.
Windsor Relish Tray in smoke - 1960's.
Milk Glass Steins - 1960's.
Iridescent patterns made in the 1970ís included Petal, Pioneer, and Celestial.
Petal Bowl - 1970s.
Pioneer Chop Plate in smoke - 1970s
Celestial Bowl - 1970s.
In the 1970's, the Federal Glass Company was floundering. Their designs were good but the overseas competition was too overbearing. Federal Glass made one final attempt to stay afloat by reintroducing the pattern that made them a household name in the 1930's. They reintroduced the Madrid pattern in 1976. To celebrate the American Bicentennial, Federal Glass created new molds. Lunch dishes featured stars and stripes and images of George Washington and Paul Revere's famous ride. None were successful and in 1979, Federal Glass closed its doors ending 79 years of glass making.
Donna Adler - May 2012
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