Sweet Lily Lee Antiques and Shabby Chic Collectibles
Depression glass is clear or colored translucent glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States around the time of theGreat Depression. The Quaker Oats Company, and other food manufacturers and distributors, put a piece of glassware in boxes of food, as an incentive to purchase. Movie theaters and businesses would hand out a piece simply for coming in the door.Most of this glassware was made in the central and mid-west United States, where access to raw materials and power made manufacturing inexpensive in the first half of the twentieth century. More than twenty manufacturers made more than 100 patterns, and entire dinner sets were made in some patterns. Common colors are clear (crystal), pink, pale blue, green, and amber. Less common colors include yellow (canary), ultra marine, jadeite (opaque pale green), delphite (opaque pale blue), cobalt blue, red (ruby & royal ruby), black, amethyst, monax, and white (milk glass).

Although of marginal quality, Depression glass has been highly collectible since the 1960s. Due to its popularity as a collectible, Depression glass is becoming more scarce on the open market. Scarce pieces may sell for several hundred dollars. Some manufacturers continued to make popular patterns after World War II, or introduced similar patterns, which are also collectible. Popular and expensive patterns and pieces have been reproduced, and reproductions are still being made.

Blue Ridge is a type of American dishware manufactured by Southern Potteries Incorporated from the 1930s until 1957. Well-known in their day for their underglaze decoration and colorful patterns, Blue Ridge pieces are now popular items with collectors of antique dishware. The underglaze technique made the decorations more durable, and while basic patterns were reused consistently, the fact that each piece was hand-painted means that no two pieces are exactly alike.

Blue Ridge dishware is rooted in a pottery established in Erwin, Tennessee around 1916 at the behest of the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio Railroad and chartered as Southern Potteries Incorporated in 1920. During the late 1920s, under the guidance of Charles Foreman, Southern Potteries implemented its underglaze decoration technique, which it began stamping with "Blue Ridge Hand Painted Underglaze" and similar variations in the following decade. Blue Ridge's free-style decorations helped it stand out against competitors, most of whom used dull, decal-decorated dishes. Although Southern Potteries eventually employed over 1,000 workers and had gained a foothold in major markets across the United States, the company was unable to overcome the onset of plastic dinnerware in the 1950s. The rise of various collectors' organizations in the 1980s helped make Blue Ridge a popular collectible item.

The Fenton Art Glass Company was founded in 1905 by brothers Frank L. Fenton and John W. Fenton in an old glass factory in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Originally, they painted glass blanks from other glass makers, but started making their own glass when they were unable to buy the glass they needed. They moved across the Ohio river to Williamstown, West Virginia, and built a factory in 1906. The first year for glass production was 1907.

Frank Fenton was the designer and decorator. From 1905 to 1920, the designs made there were heavily influenced by two other glass companies: Tiffany and Steuben. But the many different colors were the work of Jacob Rosenthal, a famous glass chemist who is known for developing chocolate and golden agate glass. Towards the end of 1907, the Fenton brothers were the first to introduce carnival glass, which would later become a popular collector's item.

During the Great Depression and World War II, Fenton produced practical items (such as mixing bowls and tableware) due to shortages. At the same time, they continued creating new colors. Towards the end of the Great Depression they also produced perfume bottles for the Wrisley Company in 1938. The bottles were made in French Opalescent glass with the hobnail pattern.

In 1939, Fenton started selling Hobnail items in milk glass. Hobnail milk glass would become the top-selling line and allowed the Fenton company to expand.

In the late 1940s, the top three members of Fenton's management died. Frank Fenton and Wilmer C. "Bill" Fenton immediately stepped in and took over the positions of President and Vice President, respectively. Over the next thirty years, they continued to expand Fenton Art Glass, despite a large number of glass factories closing down.

In 1986, George W. Fenton, Frank's son, took over as President of the company.