Today we bring you the history of glass fishing floats. You may be familiar with these or perhaps saw them before and had not realized the purpose of these hollow glass balls.
Glass floats were made to be used in ocean fishing, to keep large fishing nets from sinking. They can range in size from a golf ball to a grapefruit to even triple the size of a soccer ball.
Many people think that they originated in Japan, but can actually be traced back to Norway in 1844 and then later to Japan in 1910. By the 1940's many other countries had also started making and using glass floats, including England, the United States, Russia, and France.
The floats were made for a time with plastic, wood, and cork, but glass proved to be the more durable option.
Floats can be put into 3 categories: authentic, contemporary, and curio. If you come across a glass fishing float and are wondering if its authentic or not, here are a few general ways to tell.
The authentic were made with heavy glass, and were made to be used in fishing. Authentic glass floats will show signs of use, and impurities. There may chips, dings, bubbles, and other scars. A large amount have an embossed seal on them, usually for ID purposes.
Contemporary floats were made for gift shops. They are also made with heavy glass, but will not have signs of use.
Curio floats were made in the 1980's. They are made with paper thin glass, and would not be able to withstand what the authentic floats were made for. These floats are also inexpensive and easy to come by.
Stop by the Vintage Vault to check out our large selection of authentic glass fishing floats! We have many both large and small. You may wonder what you would do with a glass fishing float, but there are many uses for floats today. You can display them on your patio cover and lawn, water fountains and gardens, and you can make light and light fixtures out of them. They are also wonderful to collect!