Milk Glass has a long history. It was originally made during the 1700's in England. It was named milk glass because of its milky white coloration. The name "milk glass" is the current name for it. Originally, it was called "Opal Ware" by glassmakers. It was meant to be an imitation of china and porcelain when it was first produced in England. It was not highly successful commercially until the mid 1800's. Milk glass produced during the late 1800's - early 1900's is highly prized by collectors.
Milk glass not only comes in the well-known opaque white, but it also comes in pink, blue, yellow, caramel, green and black. The black is really a dark amethyst. When held up to light, purple can be seen around the edges. The pink pieces are very popular today and highly sought after.
The most popular pattern in milk glass is the paneled grape pattern by the Westmoreland Glass Co. Westmoreland was in business from 1889 - 1985. It is thought to be one of the most collected of the patterns in milk glass. Another popular type and most expensive of milk glass are the figurals and animals. They were originally used as packaging containers for mustard, ketchup, vinegar, and preserves. These containers were used by manufacturers as enticements for people to buy their product. They were made from the 1890's and early 1900's. Two of the most collectibles manufacturers are McKee and Flaccus. They had the oldest figure containers and most were unsigned since they were considered giveaways. Other well-known manufacturers are Anchor Hocking, Fostoria, and Indiana Glass.
Milk glass comes in many patterns. Some of which include the most well-known:
Hen on nest