Sunday, April 19, 2009


In today’s world of letters for words…LOL…OMG…KWIM…the antique world has EAPG…nothing cute about the letters…although I am pondering…but it is actually stands for Early American Pressed Glass…in a way, the Cinderella to the Cut Glass sisters…pressed glass was popular in from 1850 to 1910.

Pattern Glass is also a name for pressed, and the number of patterns made range from 1000 to 3000…truly an identification nightmare. The guides try to illustrate patterns, and there are some common ones, but, for the most part…take a guess, or as I say, like it, buy it, use it, enjoy it...who cares what its official name is.

Although we have romantic notions about the Victorian women,
the average housewife lived through the Civil War, Reconstruction, the infamous Westward Ho!, and did not have modern conveniences such as running water and electricity. The wealthy as usual celebrated life with blown glass and imported china, not to mention servants, but the average housewife could afford the pressed or pattern glass and have sets that might include 20 to 30 different pieces, from glasses to spooners, and cake stands to comports...she too could have the look...and isn't that what it is still about today?

From the experts on EAPG, some interesting points about using and caring for pressed glass. Like most antique glass and china, do not put in the microwave. The dishwasher can cause the glass to get cloudy…or sick as the glass collectors call it…over time.

Do not store alcohol in the decanters for more than a few hours, or it can cloud the glass also. Spooners, goblets, and celeries can be used but only for a few hours.

Do not display in a window for more than short periods of time. In the winter, a piece in a south exposure can crack and shatter as the temperature plunges at night. Exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause a purple cast, and the collectors feel these pieces are worthless despite the fascination with the purple glass.

This is a muffineer.
They were used in the Victorian era for sprinkling powdered sugar on muffins, scones. and breakfast goodies. It was totally caked with powder, and that brings me to cleaning these antique glass finds. Victorian lye soap was very harsh on pattern glass, but there are ways to clean it. A scoop of dishwasher powder and a couple tablespoons of salt can soak the remnants off. Use a toothbrush to clean out the crevices, and, if that does not totally work, toothpaste on that toothbrush can help also. Sometimes a pot with some denture tablets can do wonders also.

So, the next time you see a simple piece of clear glass with a design on it, remember its may not be a fine blown piece of glass or a cut Waterford crystal vase, but its history is humble and simple...and isn't that rewarding in itself?


Mountain Home Store Vintage said...


Love the glassware and I can never identify any of it unless it has a mark on it!

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Hi Susan,

Love the glassware. I agree with you on the old letters. I just can't get enough of them. . although I almost feel like I am spying on someone or reading their diary. lol Enjoy your week!

Anonymous said...

Great information on Pressed Glass.Wonderful pictures, and as usual, just plain entertaining. Keep up the good work.

Marie said...

Hi Susan,
I really enjoyed reading your blog, but that is always the case. Your posts always bring back memories. Some of those patterns look familiar. I think my mother may have had some pressed glass, but I have no idea what happened to it. Thanks Susan

gail said...

Hi Susan,, how are you? I really enjoyed this weeks lesson. :) I do like the pressed glass. I have gotten quite abit over the years. I know I have a couple pieces very old, but most are alot newer. I hope you are enjoyng the spring! (())gail

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

I can't pass up a good buy on a piece myself. Thanks for the tips on how to clean it, a couple of them I did not know.


Patricia said...

I have quite a bit of pressed glass. I have always like glass and the pressed glass caught my fancy years ago. Don't know that any of mine is valuable but it is loved. Thanks for the lessons. I would be really upset if mine shattered from cooling at night, I've just been lucky so far!
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings

Unknown said...

Hi Susan,

What amazing glassware! I have a small collection of glassware and love it. Thank you for the wonderful information you always provide on products. I enjoy it very much. And did I mention how much I wish I could go shopping and buy all those pretty things you have posted on your blog? lol
What a treat. Hope you have a very happy week.
Janets Creative Pillows

Kimberly said...

I didn't know all of that about the glass, you're always so informative!

Just a bed of roses said...

did not know that shaker was called a muffinier...I sell them with fine glass glitter now. wow, thats neat they were used for powdered sugar.

Malinda Tamlyn said...

Beautiful pictures. You are so right, there are so many patterns in EAPG. Some even have more than one name, to make it even harder a pattern could be made by different companies over the years.
to see some examples.