Thursday, April 9, 2015

All-American Glass Show at SHS Sat. April 11th

Long since gone from daily use, glass of the Great Depression
remains a fascination for collectors and continues to provide a sense of history of the lean times of the era. On Saturday, April 11
th the Nutmeg Depression Glass Club of Connecticut hosts its All-American Glass Show and Sale at Southington H.S. from 9 am to 4 pm. Displayed collections of glass from the Depression Era, pressed glass of earlier times, pottery from the era and some glass jewelry will attract visitors from around the state and beyond. Vendors from our northeast states will proffer memorabilia and specialty items common in the average home almost a century ago. Free American glass and pottery identification to attendees. Visitors will include collectors looking for specific pieces for their collections or perhaps a gem of a new find, or those simply seeking to learn more about the art of glass making or the history of that period. A modest admission price of $7.00 makes one eligible for a drawing prize. Pay a dollar less with a copy of this article.

Nutmeg Depression Glass Club member, Bob Marotto, speaks knowledgeably of elegant quality of vintage glass, manufacturing techniques of the era and offers meticulous bits of club history. “In the 1920’s making glass was fairly labor intensive. Small groups made glass: a gatherer, a pressman and a third person tending the mold. Due to temperature sensitivity, timing was imperative. Cheaper depression glass came along, meeting the economic crisis of the 1930’s. Affordable to the masses, it became the most everyday glassware of homes throughout America. But after WWII and the returning of mass manufacturing to peacetime production, depression glass began to lose its appeal. People discarded the reminders of the pervasive poverty of the era, replacing them with material of better quality, new design and greater variety through new post war manufacturing methods. Later, in the 1960s, depression glass began to take on a new perceived value as collectors’ items. Mail order catalogs emerged appealing to new glass clubs. The Nutmeg Depression Glass Club of CT was established in 1975. Members were from Southington, Plainville and New Britain. Two other clubs formed: Charter Oak Club in Westbrook and Mt. Laurel Club in Newington.

Today, the Nutmeg group in Southington is the last remaining. Marotto recalled that meetings were initially held at Howard Johnson’s, later at the First Congregational Church and finally at the Masonic Lodge on the Town Green.  Glass shows were held at the Knights of Columbus home on Hobart Street for about 5 years, then for about 10 years at the Armory in Southington and since then at Southington H.S. Fran Zottoli and Nancy Schmidt became members after about ten years ago after attending a show at SHS. They found the show fascinating and appreciated the information it offered about glass. “We also come in contact with so many who have helped us learn to identify glass by maker, when it was made, patterns, the molds and the manufacturing methods.” Zottoli said.  Marotto said “We have our own show but there is also a national club. Glass collections have diminished for reasons including concerns about faux depression glass. But the keen interest of our statewide membership continues, notwithstanding their diminishing numbers, formerly about 100, now down to about forty.” 

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