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Early American Pressed Glass


Early American Pressed Glass, or EAPG, began in 1821 with the patent to produce a glass doorknob by P. Bakewell. Soon many companies followed, such as Bryce Brothers, Imperial Glass, Indiana Glass and Duncan and Miller, to name a few. Previously blown glass was only available and was too expensive for most. With that patent, pressed glass tableware soon followed. When William Leighton Sr. developed a soda-lime formula, the need for lead in glass making was eliminated. Glass could now be easily pressed and molded into fine detailing. Within a decade, hundreds of patterns and dozens of shapes were being produced in many new plants around the natural gas supply of West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Indiana and western Pennsylvania.

Bryce Brothers Three Dolphins Toothpick Holder

By the end of the 1920s,  with a national depression threatening, the quality of glass began to decline. Depression glass and fully machine molded glassware replaced the need for hand pressed items, and sixty years of EAPG were over.

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