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Sunday, August 30, 2009

The History of Milk Glass

The origin of Milk Glass dates back to the 1700's in England. It was originally called "Opal Ware" by the glassmakers, but due to the milky white coloration of the pieces, it became known by the more popular name of "milk glass". It was meant to be an imitation of china and porcelain when it was first produced in England. The milk glass products did not become really popular until the mid 1800's when it realized a great deal of success commercially. Milk glass produced during the late 1800's - early 1900's is highly prized by collectors.

Milk glass not only comes in the well-known opaque white, but it also comes in pink, blue, yellow, caramel, green and black. The black milk glass is really a dark amethyst that when held up to the light, purple can be seen around the edges. The pink milk glass is one of the more popular colors and these pieces are some of the most highly sought after today.

The most popular pattern in milk glass is the paneled grape pattern by the Westmoreland Glass Co. Westmoreland was in business from 1889 - 1985. It is thought to be one of the most collected of the patterns in milk glass. Another popular type and most expensive of milk glass are the figurals and animals. They were originally used as packaging containers for mustard, ketchup, vinegar, and preserves. These containers were used by manufacturers as enticements for people to buy their product. They were made from the 1890's and early 1900's. Two of the most sought after and collectible manufacturers of milk glass are McKee and Flaccus. Their pieces are the oldest figural containers that were made and most were unsigned since they were considered giveaways. Other well-known manufacturers of "Milk Glass" products are Anchor Hocking, Fostoria, and Indiana Glass.


Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

The milk glass are so beautiful and exquisite. They are truly a treasure. Thanks for introducing them!

Pei Li

gail said...

Hi Carol,, welcome to show and tell monday! What an interesting post on milk glass. I love the pink milk glass.
I hope you have a really great week,,, gail

Lynette Larson - Campbell said...

That was really interesting! I have always associated it with Fenton...My mom loved it and even had lamps in it. She enjoyed the hobnail type...Thank you for the info!

Carolee Crafts said...

I love this glassware and find the colours beautiful, my Father had a condiment pot years ago, unfortunately in the passage of time, long since disappeared.

Have a good week,

lisa said...


Welcome to Show & Tell!

I just love milk glass, it's classic and beautiful.


Patricia said...

I love milk glass and enjoyed reading the history of it. Thanks.
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings

Cottage Flair said...

Pretty pieces you have. Great, informative post.

SoCal Helene said...

Hi Carol,
What a wonderful post, truly enjoyed finding out more about Milk Glass.

Hugs, Helene

Sherry Williams said...

I just found your gorgeous website & blog! LOVE them both! I see a couple of things that I NEED to order!lol The information on milk glass is so great...I never knew.
Thanks so much for sharing!

Tedi said...

What a fabulous blog!!! I just love learning things I had no idea about. Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs, Tedi www.PetiteBookstore.com/blog

Janet L Christian said...

My daughter and I both love milk glass. we both have a great collection.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

I just love milk glass. I have several pieces that are treasures!
bunny hugs,

BrushedByAnAngel said...

I never knew that about milk glass. I just purchased a milk glass hurricane lamp for my vanity and it is so pretty. Thanks for sharing the info.


Hello, you have the most gorgeous site here and I had to leave this comment for you ! Your posts are lovely and you have interesting pictures. It's all perfect so thank you for sharing them all and best wishes....

Rebecca @ Belle Blog said...

Great post. I have been a lover of milk glass since I was a little girl. I have a small collection. No pink...a girl can still wish. Nice to know the history.
♥ Rebecca

Shirl said...

Hello in looking at Pink Saturdays I found my way to your blog and had to tell you how lovely I think your blog is! I enjoyed your little history on milk glass, a favorite of mine for years! I'd love to find some in the pink and blue shades!
Bless you, Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage

cindy-stitches-n-stuff.blogspot.com said...

I love milk glass, I've collected it for some time. I'm in Montreal Canada right this very minute trying to get to an antique store so I can buy a peace.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm also looking for some material.

Have a great day