About Beach Glass

ABOUT BEACH GLASS & LAKE ERIE:

It’s not just the piece that is so interesting, it’s where it may have come from that catches your attention every time!

Was it a bottle of beer thrown into the water 10 years ago or an old medicine bottle or goblet from 100+ years ago?  Some colors and shapes you can date and some you can’t, that’s what is so interesting about beach glass and pottery!

Below is some interesting information about beach glass, please take a moment to read about them!

LAKE ERIE FACTS & HISTORY:

Since 95% of the glass & pottery I use is from Lake Erie, I feel it’s important to give you a little back ground of Lake Erie.

Lake Erie is the tenth largest lake on earth and, of the five great lakes of North America, is the fourth largest by surface area, southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume.  It is bound on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.  It has a surface area of 9,940 square miles with a length of 241 miles and breadth of 57 miles at its widest points.  Lake Erie has an average depth of 62 feet and a maximum depth of 210 feet.

In 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie was fought near the island of Put-In-Bay with Oliver Hazard Perry in charge.

At his request during the War of 1812 he was given command of U.S. Naval forces on Lake Erie.  He supervised the building of a small fleet at what is now Erie, PA. On September 10, 1813 Perry’s fleet defended against an attacking British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie. During the battle, Perry’s flagship, the Lawrence was destroyed and Perry rowed a half-mile through heavy gunfire to transfer command to the Niagara, carrying his battle flag which read “DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP” , the famous final words of Captain James Lawrence.  His battle report after victory is famous: “We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop”.

The U.S. Brig Niagara has been refurbished and is docked at the foot of State Street in Erie, PA.  She still sails Lake Erie today and is quite a sight to see with her sails high on her masts!

Ship Wrecks in Lake Erie:

I could not begin to tell you exactly how many there are, but I do know there are hundreds upon hundreds!

So when you wonder if you should believe if a piece of glass or pottery might have come from a ship wreck in Lake Erie, think about the hundreds of ship wrecks that have taken place over the centuries in Lake Erie!

COLORS, RARENESS & WHERE THEY MAY HAVE COME FROM!

Clear, Kelly green, white and brown are the most common colors.  These typically come from bottles used for beer, juices, soft drinks, etc.

Less common colors of glass are amber brown (whiskey, medicine or old bleach bottles, some can date back to the late 1800’s), soft blue (soda bottles, ink bottles, medicine bottles late 19th and 20th century fruit jars) and lime green (from soda bottles during the 60’s).

Soft green glass is more uncommon, typically this glass was used for Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and RC Cola bottles in the early to mid-1900’s.  Softer green glass were used for baking soda, fruit jars and ink wells.

Rare glass colors include Purple, opaque white, citron, cobalt & cornflower blue (early Milk of Magnesia bottles, artwork, Vicks Vapor Rub and poison bottles) and aqua & seafoam (typically from old Mason jars, 19th century bottles and electric insulators)

The most rare glass colors include black (very thick, one of the first type of glass ever made), gray, pink (depression-era plates), yellow (depression glass, art glass, old glass insulators and 30’s Vaseline containers), lavender (pre-WW I vintage canning jars and glass containing manganese, a de-colorizer, these could date back to as early as 1820’s to late 1930’s), red (nautical lights, car tail lights, dinnerware), turquoise (old electric glass insulators, vintage seltzer water bottles, decorative glass and stained glass panes) and orange (auto warning lights, vintage Avon glassware and art glass).

Pottery has  a lot of history as well!  Most pottery is from dish ware that was either tossed overboard or from a ship wreck ages ago or even a house that fell into the lake from erosion.  I love the thrill of finding a good piece of pottery!

As time goes on and more and more items are made of plastic, beach glass of course becomes more rare, a true treasure to the “treasure hunter”!  The most precious part of each piece is the potential history you hold in your hand; the wonder of where it may have come from in time.

Treasure Chest Keepers:

Pieces that are so unique and maintain their original shape; such as marbles, bottle stoppers, ink wells, etc.