Ancient Egypt is believed to be the first place glass was produced. At first it was used as a glazing material, but was soon discovered that they could make beads and other stand alone pieces from the material. The first useful objects from glass date to Egypt's 18th Dynasty, about 1500 B.C. They would make glass bottles from molten glass. Goblets, small bowls, and glass cups soon followed.
Over the years, other parts of the world began glass production and refined the techniques. Especially in the 1800"s, glass technology improved rapidly. During the machine age, bottle machines enabled mass production.
Some Early American Glass Makers were Wistarberg, Stiegal, Sandwich (pressed glass), Amelung, Oneida, Mount Vernon Glass Co., Cleveland Glassworks, Peterboro Glassworks, Lancaster Glass, Saratoga Glass, Pitkin, Coventry, Westford, Willington, New London, New Hampshire, and Stoddard,
Moving towards the end of the 19th Century, mechanically pressed glass was produced in large quantity and used more in North America than other parts of the world. Complete table settings were made in many patterns and colors. Glass companies often copied each other's designs and patterns.
Carnival glass and depression glass are two of the more recent items of pressed glass that are collectible. There is a large amount of it out there for collectors to find.
Decorative glass is also very desirable. Tiffany is the biggest name in this category. Fine glassware, known as crystal glass, includes names such as Waterford.
Collectors also love to collect certain objects of glass, such as, perfume bottles,ink wells, fruit jars, old medicine bottles, and more. Bottle collecting is a very popular past time. There is ample supply of bottles and one can get started collecting glass bottles on a budget.
Glass is most likely the most difficult collectible to identify its exact period and maker. There are dealers out there that create fake pieces and sometimes only a trained eye can detect the fake pieces. The things to look for to test for authentic pieces is the quality of the glass, pontil mark, workmanship, signs of use, color or tint, weight, and sound.