How to Identify Federal Glass

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Depression glass was available in several colors and styles.
Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

The Federal Glass Company produced pressed glass, more commonly referred to as "Depression Glass" in Columbus Ohio. The company was founded in 1900, originally producing mouth-blown, etched glass, but converting to mass produced manufacturing in the 1920s. Mass production allowed companies like Federal to produce large quantities of inexpensive glass, which was very popular during the Depression.


Video of the Day

Raise Your Glass

Step 1

Identifying Federal Glass can be tricky because of the quantity of reproductions that have been made over the years. Familiarize yourself with the original patterns and colors of Federal Glass by doing your research first.


Step 2

Look for a maker's mark. The Federal Glass mark was the letter F inside a shield. Not all of the glass produced by Federal carried a mark, but some of it did.

Step 3

Look for a seam. Federal glass, like all Depression glass, was produced in a mold. When the halves were removed from the mold, a seam was created. The halves were then fused together, and thus, the seam is always visible. Current reproductions will not have a seam.


Step 4

Look for bubbles. Because Federal glass was poured into a mold, bubbles often formed from air getting into the mold. However, if a piece has numerous bubbles, it is probably a fake.

Step 5

Look for signs of wear. Federal Glass was made for every day use, and an authentic piece will show signs of wear and tear; rough edges or worn spots are very common in the authentic pieces.


references & resources