In the “life-long learning” category, I recently learned about Platonite…a patented glass making process from Hazel Atlas Glass. Hazel Atlas was the first glass company in the United States to produce colored transparent dinnerware for “the common housewife” and everyday use. We call it “Depression Glass” nowadays. Platonite was patented in 1936 as a stronger more reliable process was developed, although it had been used as early as the 1920s.
Platonite is a semi-opaque white glass (which some incorrectly refer to as milkglass). Hazel Atlas again striving to set themselves apart from the crowd, formulated and produced a semi-opaque white glass reminiscent of the Victorian period milkglass produced some 50 years earlier by various glass houses. Hazel Atlas applied for and received in 1936 a US Patent for this glass known as Platonite, being the first and only company ever to receive a patent for a color of glass.History of Hazel Atlas Glass Company (1880-1956). Retrieved from hazelatlasglass.com/history.html
Platonite was more translucent than milkglass, and it could have colors fired on. It led to a popular competitor to Homer Loughlin’s Fiesta ware, and also came in a variety of bright colors.
This is the flat rim milk pitcher in Ribbon pattern, which came as part of the line of “breakfast sets.” Some designs had a narrow red line around the rim, some added a narrow black line at the base, and others added a floral stencil on the lip side. This pitcher belonged to my maternal grandmother and was among the items that ended up in Mother’s house when Mama could no longer manage in the home with my parents and needed long term care.
Researching this pitcher led to the discovery that the set of ‘milkglass’ grape goblets I have from Mama’s china cupboard are also likely Platonite rather than milkglass.