Milk glass has been around since the 16th century, but the term itself was coined in the 20th century to describe the opaque white, pink, and the ever popular green color.
France was the first place milk glass came into vogue, and 19th-century French milk glass is highly collectible today. By the early 1900's, milk glass was a symbol of the style and taste of American households enjoying the fruits of the Gilded Age. These privileged individuals filled their homes with milk glass produced by 19th-century U.S. glass manufacturers.
Milk glass has been in constant production for so long that collectors have many items to choose from. One of the largest producers in the twentieth century was Westmoreland Glass of Grapeville, Pennsylvania; its factory closed in 1985. Only a handful of companies still manufacture milk glass, including the well-known Fenton Art Glass Company of Williamstown, West Virginia.
Prices can range from just a few dollars to several thousand. However, because few American manufacturers marked their glass, it can be difficult to tell when, where, or by whom a piece was made. An old, rare piece of milk glass can fetch several thousand dollars, while a charming hobnailed butter dish can be bought for $10. Some older milk glass contains quantities of lead and will ring like a bell when tapped, and may also display brilliant colors around its edges when held up to the light. But newer milk glass certainly has its selling points: it's plentiful, undervalued, and so sturdy that you can put it in the dishwasher.
At Wishful Living we have reproduction green milk glass available, ranging in price from $10 to $28. Stop in and see our selection! We're open Monday through Saturday in historic downtown Berthoud, Colorado.