In my travels I recently picked up this beautiful divided dish. I love the shell handles and lovely ribbed design.
It went into the Vintage Eve’s Etsy shop today, but before I could do that, I needed to find out who manufactured it since it was unmarked. Turns out it was the Hazel-Atlas company. I have a few pieces in the shop by Hazel-Atlas like this jelly jar.
At one time in America, Hazel-Atlas was one of the largest glass manufacturers in the world. According to Collectors Weekly the company started out as Hazel Glass Company in 1885 and were making opal glass liners for Mason jar zinc caps.
Then in 1902 the company name was changed to Hazel-Atlas when they merged with the Atlas Glass Company of Washington, Pennsylvania. By this point, the company was a leader in making fruit jars, oil bottles and commercial glass containers for everything you can think of. Pickle jars, check. Vaseline jars, check. Need a snuff bottle, Hazel-Atlas was probably making it.
They also made a number of these containers in colors. Amber, blue, crystal, yellow. This is in part what led to their production of dinnerware and glassware, many of it known as Depression Glass today. Their first line of dinnerware was known as Ovide.
It was made in a transparent green or an opaque black, the black is above. Collectors Weekly says that another early pattern was called Ribbon. Moderntone was introduced in 1934 in cobalt and amethyst.
Then in 1936, Hazel-Atlas came out with Platonite, a sort of semi-opaque glass that is often mistaken for milk glass. Platonite could come in any color but are more often than not found in white with colored concentric rings that have been fired onto the white.
During the post-WWII years, they became popular for their fired-on patterns. Many of these were created by the Gay Fad Decorating Company. Collectors Weekly lists designs such as dancing sailors, hats, windmills, maple leaves, daisies, musical instruments and flying geese as all popular motifs. There are many more designs that can be checked out at Collectors Weekly.
The mark to look for is a large H with a small A under the “H’s” bar. This mark was used starting around 1923 (GlassBottleMarks.com).
Although this mark is found on many of their bottles, most of their Depression Glass bears no mark. It’s on the bottom of my jelly jar, but not the dish at the top of this post. Another line that Hazel-Atlas put out was kiddie ware that consisted of bowls, mugs and plates for children.
The company did well with the kiddie ware but they really did well with their kitchenware. They made mixing bowls, butter dishes, juicers (or reamers), among other things. They also made refrigerator dishes and Platonite stacking storage containers. They also made shakers.
I have been trying to track down what actually happened to the company. At this writing, I haven’t been able to do that. They were producing stuff that people were buying but in 1956, running 13 plants, the Continental Can Company purchased the firm. According to Archiving Wheeling the sale was contested and it took from 1956 to 1964 for the sale to be completed. After that, most of the factories were sold off and the Hazel-Atlas company ceased to exist.
So that is the story of the Hazel-Atlas Company. What once was is no more, however, they have produced some enduring pieces that are beautiful and functional. Such a great company and one that gave people work through the Great Depression. If you have a favorite Hazel-Atlas piece, let me know. I would love to hear about it. Also, check out the link parties on the right where I will be sharing my blog with other great bloggers this week. As always, have a great week!!