Glass Knives from the Depression
For cutting and slicing
acid fruits This glass knife is specially made For oranges,
lemons, grape-fruit or limes- And no stain will show
on its blade.
From the mid-1920's through
to the 1940's glass knives were part and parcel of most
complete kitchens. It was an era in which most everything
imaginable was made out of glass -- from mail boxes
to tableware to floor lamps to serving trays to dresses!
Ranging in size from about 7-1/2 to 9-1/2" these
glass knives were most commonly made in crystal [the
Depression Glass collector term for transparent uncoloured
glass], but were also available in amber, blue, green,
pink, and white. Now, why would one ever want a knife
made out of glass you may ask? The best answer comes
from an original advertisement for the `DUR-X GLASS
FRUIT and CAKE KNIFE' a gadget designed and patented
by a certain John Didio of Buffalo, New York in November
Important -- Please Read Carefully
I am made of glass,
and will not stain or discolor; therefore I am clean,
stainless, sanitary and odourless.
Please take special
care of me and I will give you many years of service.
I am as keen as
a razor, ideal for slicing tomatoes, oranges, lemons,
grapefruit, and especially constructed for separating
the meaty parts of grapefruit from its rind.
I will not punch
a hole through the rind. It is important that I only
be used on a soft wooden board, avoid metal or porcelain;
after all I am only made of glass. When I am not in
use put me back in the box or keep me away from you
silverware... IDEAL FOR CAKE, PIES MERINGUE I will make
an ideal bridge prize and I am sure your dear friends
or neighbors will be delighted with my services.
If you would like
my twin the price is very reasonable.
The ads for the
`STEEL-ITE GLASS KNIFE', marketed by Johnson Products
Company of San Francisco, California, detailed the wonderful
uses of their glass knife:
can be cut very thin with your glass knife and they
will taste much better because they do not have that
`tinny' taste that comes from acid in contact with steel.
when cut with the glass knife do not discolor so quickly
as do the ones cut with steel - use the glass knife
when cutting all fruits for your salads, etc.
If you wish your
APPLES and AVOCADOS to look nice and not to discolor,
use your glass knife. This knife originated in England
where it was first used as a GRAPEFRUIT KNIFE -
It is the finest
thing in the world to use for sectionizing your grapefruit
and preparing it for service. By peeling the grapefruit
first you can then cut each section out in its entirety.
All bitter skin can be avoided. Do not cut the fruit
in half if you wish to sectionize.
For slicing cakes,
cutting pies, especially meringue pies, and hot candies
it is ideal.
As an added bonus, many
suppliers of glass knives offered to regrind a new edge
on one's knife should it become damaged or chipped through
accident. The cost was a quite nominal 25 cents which
also covered the return postage. Additional decoration
would also be sometimes added to the handles or blades
of these little sparkling knives. Hand-painted fruit
or floral designs can be found on the handles of many
knives. Since glass knives were also used as give-aways
at carnivals and fairs, and sold as souvenirs, people
or place-names can sometimes be found engraved on the
blades of these knives.
The more common crystal glass knives may still be very
reasonably bought for around $17-25. If the original
box is with the knife and in excellent condition another
$5-10 may be added to the price. Frequently found coloured
glass knives may fetch around $35 to $75. Some of the
scarcer knives, such as the white Stonex knife, may
command a couple of hundred dollars. Of course, chips
and nicks to the blade significantly diminish a glass
Although this `wonderful'
invention of the second quarter of the 20th century
is no longer in vogue, many collectors have found that
these sparkling, clear little gems make for a splendid
display in a cabinet or in a kitchen display.
No metal to tarnish
When cutting your fruit,
And so it is certain,
This glass knife will suit!