By: Jonathan Fuhrman
Having only been a collector of depression glass for 15 years, the internet has always been a part of my hunt for patterns. I can’t imagine trying to piece together a set without shopping sites like eBay! But there was a time when finding your patterns were limited to a few sources like….
- Attending a depression glass show in your area. That is why clubs like the Michigan Depression Glass Society started hosting an annual show – nowhere else could you find such a vast quantity of glassware in one place. And 40+ years later, that still holds true. There is nothing like it!
- Shopping antique malls, flea markets, garage sales, auctions, etc. While more time consuming and less productive than hitting up a glass show, “the hunt” is always an adventure, and finding a piece or two in a day is still quite the thrill.
- Monthly publications like the Depression Glass Daze. When I first joined MDGS, a long-time member gave me their collection of a decade or more of these papers. It was a monthly newspaper that not only featured lists of patterns and pieces for sale from dealers, but included informative articles on particular patterns and glass companies.
With the birth of the websites like eBay and Etsy, collectors had a whole new way of connecting with dealers throughout the nation. But the advent of the internet not only created new virtual storefronts for shopping, more importantly, it developed online communities of collectors – making it even easier to obtain information, identify patterns, and share stories. I am part of several Facebook glass collecting groups devoted to specific companies like Fenton Art Glass and the Cambridge Glass Company. These forums allow fellow collectors to share the excitement of recent finds, let people know about particular items they are looking for, and share resources like historic catalogs and even photographs from factories.
I would encourage everyone to not just use the internet as a place to shop, but to interact with others across the country. Here are a few sources for you to start your online exploration:
The Michigan Depression Glass Society Facebook page – www.facebook.com/midepressionglass
Chat About DG – http://chataboutdg.com/
Depression Glass Group (Facebook) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/2262682160/
Fenton Art Glass Fans (Facebook) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/50715846967/
Depression & Vintage Glass ID (Facebook) - https://www.facebook.com/groups/593130804045059/
Of course, there’s nothing like face-to-face meeting with collectors. If you live in southeastern Michigan, be sure to attend one of our monthly meetings!
Happy hunting – both of the glass itself, as well as the history behind it!