Many antique glasses are usually not recycled and are sometimes kept as collectibles.
Milk glass is one type that is valued for its aesthetics and historical worth.
Milk glass popped up around the 16th century in Venice, Italy and was popularly made into vases, cups, dishes and other items.
During the mid 1800’s, arsenic was added to the manufacturing regimen to give the glass a thick, white cloudy appearance. Many types around this time and after were made with flint glass which contained lead. Tin oxide was also sometimes used in the process, which turned the glass white due to a reaction with the compounds.
In the 19th century it was an item of valued possession, mainly reserved for the wealthy, and was more commonly referred to as opaque glass. It had a different appearance than the milky white, smooth types that are more familiar today. The glass back then was made in various colors, like blue, yellow, brown, black and pink. Types made around the 1930’s became subject to the harsh economic times and was produced differently, resulting in a glass that was not as sturdy.
Milk glass is made with fluoride, which gives a fluorescent hue. It was used in milk glass until around the 1960’s when it was discovered that its byproduct was leaking into waterways. Fluoride also oxidizes the molds in which they are made, therefore increasing their collectible value since the molds have to be replaced.
Milk glass was definitely not produced with environmental outcomes in mind. It is harder to find newly made authentic pieces, as most are replicas.
Some retail products have been made with milk glass or designed to have a similar look.
Milk glass containers can be reused to hold other items for an immediate display upgrade. Get organized and affix some labels for a clean presentation.
Homemade jewelry is a good way to use up any broken fragments.
Also, milk glass pieces can be interestingly showcased.
A unique find or a neat way to reuse and upcycle objects, milk glass designs bring a little vintage to the present.
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