"New Era" rye bottle


A.H. Heisey & Company ( American, 1896 - 1957 )


Rodney C. Irwin

designed 1934
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General Description

During the Great Depression, the approval of the Twenty-first Amendment repealing Prohibition prompted many fashion-conscious Americans to want new glassware for the variety of liquors and spirits they could now legally enjoy. This new demand gave glass manufacturers much-needed relief from the continuing economic crisis. Heisey & Co. capitalized on this new niche in the market and created a variety of containers, including the rye bottle seen here. With its square base and geometric decoration, this rye bottle reflects the fashionable trend of alternatives to traditional round forms. Earlier versions in earthenware by Jean Luce (2001.143.5.1) and Clarice Cliff (1996.187.1) no doubt influenced Irwin's design for Heisey. The rye bottle was manufactured in colorless and cobalt blue glass and could be engraved with a large number of designs. Originally named Modern Line, New Era was the perfect glassware complement to an art deco tabletop or bar.

Adapted from

  • Charles L. Venable, Ellen P. Denker, Katherine C. Grier, Stephen G. Harrison, China and Glass in America, 1880-1980: From Tabletop to TV Tray (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000), 424.

  • DMA unpublished material, Label text [1996.23], transcribed 2017.