Sparkle Plenty Glassware
About Us


Who is Sparkle Plenty?

In 1931, a cartoonist named Chester Gould created the Dick Tracy comic strip.  The detective's appeal was instant  and the strip's popularity grew steadily.  It was a welcome distraction to the Great Depression.  One of the strip's highlights was the birth in 1947 of a beautiful daughter to the characters B.O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie, whom they named "Sparkle."  Merchandisers caught the wave of public approval with the introduction of Sparkle Plenty dolls.

At the same time, American glass companies were developing inexpensive machine-made glassware in a variety of colors.  For the first time, anyone could afford to own beautiful dinnerware, luncheon and kitchenware.  The repeal of Prohibition saw a market flooded with barware as well.  Cordial Sets, decanters, ice tubs, cocktail shakers, stemware, and tumblers of every imaginable size and shape were promoted by hundreds of glass companies.  Today, Depression-Era glassware has surpassed stamps and sports cards as the largest of any collectible field.

Sparkle Plenty Glassware began in the Fall of 1986 through the efforts of Susie Thompson and her husband, Rick Hirte.  Susie is a registered nurse at Bar Harbor's Mt. Desert Island Hospital, and  a long-time collector of Depression Glass.  Rick, a former school teacher, and lifelong Collector of Everything quickly caught the Glass Fever --  After more than a dozen years, the company's glass inventory is over 5000 pieces.

For the first few years, Sparkle Plenty's selling efforts were made in local antique stores.  However, Maine's largely seasonal antiques industry came to a near standstill every Winter.  While waiting for the return of the summer tourists a few exploratory ads were placed in the Depression Glass Daze, a glass collector's trade paper.  Sales began to pick up.  For several years afterward, Daze ads were the sole conduit for Sparkle Plenty Glassware sales.  Then, in 1996, everything changed.

The World-Wide Web -- at that time still unknown to 90% of the American public -- was showing tremendous potential for growth as a sales medium and appeared to be ideally suited to our business.  Under the tutelage of Rick's older brother Bob, the web site you see today had its beginnings.  From a handful of small web pages, the website has grown to over seventy pages --some of them very large -- with over three thousand photos and a wealth of information.   Thanks Bob!

And now a great new site has been added for collectors and dealers of Fire-King glassware.  Be sure to visit The Fire-King.Net

  Rick and Susie

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Sparkle Plenty Glassware
is a member of the:

National Depression Glass Association

West Virginia Museum of American Glass

Aladdin Knights of the Mystic Light