About Glass Kitchen Knives

Glass Knives from the Depression Era

Pink Block HandleBlue VitexGreen Depression Glass Knike Clear Glass Knife

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 1938.

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:

TOMATOES 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.

BANANAS 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 knife's value.

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!

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