Federal Glass made many glass patterns during the depression that collectors eagerly seek today but fewer people are aware of the Federal patterns made during the 1940s until the company's demise in 1977. Federal's later patterns include Heritage, Petal, Golden Glory, Park Avenue and Pioneer. Most of these are small patterns, either lunch sets or primarily serving pieces.
Heritage (below, left)is a lacy design that is Federal's answer to the Sandwich patterns. Heritage has a stippled background that is formed by a textured surface of small dots. The design has swirls and open flowers. The cup and saucer in the photo are Federal Heritage. You can see how this is reminiscent of Sandwich. Heritage was sold as a small luncheon set. It has 2 sizes of plates, a large serving bowl and smaller bowls plus cups and saucers. Heritage did not come with tumblers or a pitcher. The least common piece is a mid-sized serving bowl which is about 8 ½ inches across. You may find Federal's Heritage in blue and a light teal, although these are much less common than crystal.
Petal (shown at right) is a very pretty pattern that flowered during the 1960s and 70s. Its distinctive design is a series of arches radiating from the center with crosses at the tips of each arch. The shapes are all round circles with points. While there are relatively few shapes of Petal to hunt, it came in a rainbow of colors which makes it fun and challenging. You can find a beautiful teal color, a gold, which is called Sungold, amber, green, pink and yellow, orange. Pieces of crystal were also flashed with many colors, including orange, red, smoke carnival and pink. We've even found a few satinized bowls. Our daughter collects Petal and has an amazing array of colors. Petal makes a beautiful display as the pattern is very appealing and the colors are clear.
Petal came primarily in bowls, plates and hurricane-styled candles. The bowls and plates were combined to make tidbits or servers. The server in the upper right of the photo is a Petal jelly server. You may find single bowls with metal center holders that were marketed to hold nuts or candy. The tidbits would have two or three plates or bowls or combinations of both and were pretty ways to serve cookies or small sandwiches.
Federal Glass made mugs and cookware similar to Fire King. The mugs came in many colors and decorations and tend to be as wide across at the top as they are tall. Handles are usually simple D-shapes. If you find a mug with an F in a shield (shown at right) on the bottom, then you have a Federal Glass mug. Some of these have cute designs and make interesting additions to your retro mug collection.
You may find bakeware with the Federal mark too. This must not have been as successful as Fire King or Pyrex as fewer pieces are available. Most Federal bakeware was marked with the Federal F in a shield.
Occasionally people will mistake the Federal trademark for Fostoria. There is a fairly common, large white beer mug with a tavern scene (pictured at left) with the Federal mark. You may find this noted as Fostoria but please be aware it is Federal. Federal's glass was good everyday quality, not in the same league as Fostoria.
Federal made several dinnerware patterns that look much like Pyrex or early Corelle, with white, slightly translucent glass with decorated patterns. One of the better known is Golden Glory made in the 1950s, and pictured at right. Golden Glory has a pattern of bamboo leaves in gold on the white background that is quite attractive. If you like this you may want to avoid washing it in the dishwasher to maintain the gold in top condition.
Golden Glory had the usual dinnerware pieces including cups, saucers, bowls, plates, creamer and sugar. You may notice that patterns made after the 1950s tended to have fewer pieces, usually fewer sizes of bowls and perhaps fewer serving pieces. Golden Glory is a good example of this as it has only one size of bowl and omits the butter dish and gravy boat. It had no pieces that were purely decorative such as candy dishes. Another pattern in similar styles was Clover Blossom.
Park Avenue (shown at right) fits its name. It has a classy, deco feel with raised, rounded ribs and squared shapes. It was primarily made in crystal but you may find amber. Park Avenue was a limited pattern with several sizes of tumblers, from a tiny whiskey to an ice tea tumbler. Park Avenue included an 8 inch serving bowl, lunch plate, cup and saucer so it could be used for small lunches. The serving bowl is in the lower right of the composite photo. The most common pieces in our area are the tumblers and we use the 8 ounce size at home for our everyday drinking glasses.
The last major Federal pattern we'll show is Pioneer (at left). Pioneer is rugged looking with solid, rather thick, ruffled sides around an octagonal center section. Often the center has intaglio fruit designs. Intaglio is the term for designs that are deeply recessed; some intaglio is cut or sandblasted, but the designs can be molded as well. Federal's Pioneer intaglio is molded. The style has elements of the much older pressed pattern glass. Pioneer came in a small set, primarily serving pieces such as bowls. Federal made Pioneer mainly in crystal although you may find pieces in colors and flashed and iridized.
Webmaster's NOTE: The NDGA wishes to thank the author for permission to use this article. Kathy is a dealer from Midland, Michigan. Her web site is Cat Lady's Glass.