The Great Depression began in 1929 with the stock market crash and lasted until the U.S. entered WWII in 1941. Although the Depression Era conjures up images of abject poverty and sadness, this exhibit focuses on the everyday items that Americans collected, made, or used to bring a little light into their lives – specifically, “Depression Glass.” Dozens of Depression Glass patterns, shapes, and colors are displayed in the Old State Capitol’s newest nostalgia-inducing exhibit open from Sept. 6-October 31. Glass companies across the U.S. needed a way to stay afloat during the economic slump, so they began to mass-produce glass for the first time. The colored glassware that made its debut in the late 1920s was sold as inexpensive, every day dinnerware in dime stores and by catalog companies like Sears Roebuck, or given away as premiums or prizes at fairs, theaters, or in boxes of dry goods. This glassware that families got for free or for practically nothing in the 1930s is now highly prized and collected. After the Depression, this glass was often stored or even thrown away as it reminded them of their years of struggle. As time progressed, collectors began to seek out the brightly colored glassware that they remembered their parents or grandparents using. Local collectors have lent their beloved pieces for the Old State Capitol’s exhibit.