Elegant glass is generally defined as good quality glass made in the USA from the 1920s through the 1950s. It comes in clear and many colors and most of it has designs etched on it. These different shapes and designs were given pattern names that collectors use when they decide which ones to collect. Elegant glass differs from depression glass in both quality and where it was sold. Elegant glass was handmade, either pressed or blown, by glass craftsmen using high quality ingredients. It was then sold in jewelry and better department stores. In contrast, depression glass was machine-made using less expensive ingredients, then sold in dime stores or given away as premiums. Most of the time, whenever a piece of elegant glass was blown or taken out of a mold, the bottom was polished off to a smooth finish . Depression glass still has the mold marks on it. This is a way that collectors often use to determine if a piece is elegant glass.
Most of the companies making elegant glass were located in the general area of the Ohio River Valley. The ingredients used in glass-making were more readily available there and the river made it easier to ship. Some of the companies that made elegant glass were:
Duncan & Miller
& Numerous other small ones
Highly collectible, depression glass was the dime store glass which came in many patterns and colors. It is not of the same quality of elegant glass but has high nostalgic value and is quite beautiful. Here is just a small sample of pink depression glass.