FENTON ART GLASS COMPANY
Williamstown, West Virginia
The Fenton Art Glass Company was organized in 1905 by brothers Frank L. and John W. Fenton at Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. During the first year or two, Fenton sold hand-decorated glassware that was actually manufactured elsewhere by other companies. In 1907 the operation moved to Williamstown, West Virginia, where Fenton started making their own glass, and has continued to do so for over a century. Fenton specialized in handmade art glass produced by “old style” traditional methods.
Throughout much of Fenton’s earlier years they produced large quantities of handblown “irridized” glassware, commonly called Carnival Glass, in many colors, shapes, and styles. Over 150 different patterns are known in carnival glass that are attributed to Fenton.
Fenton has also produced huge quantities of glass in their so-called “hobnail” pattern. Many, many colors were made including amberina, red, yellow, custard, blue, and multi-colored opalescent glass and milkglass.
Many of their vases, bowls, glass baskets, compotes and other types of glassware feature a lovely, attractive “ruffled”, “crimped” or “undulating” border.
Much of their later glass has been marked, usually with the name “FENTON” placed inside an oval, or an “F in an oval” on the base of the piece. (Please see the link farther down on this page which points to a webpage illustrating the various marks used by Fenton over the years).
Rumors have circulated for years that Fenton would soon be closing down their glass production. In 2007 it appeared that the end was near, but soon afterward increased business seemed to (at least partly) revitalize the outlook for continued handmade glass production.
However, in 2011, Fenton stopped handmade production of their glassware, but since then have continued selling some smaller items including beads and glass jewelry.
As of April, 2013, it was still uncertain if/when a new start-up of the old company would materialize. Glassware already on-hand, and jewelry items are continuing to be sold through the Fenton Gift Shop site. All of the molds and machinery used in producing their glass was purchased/transferred to a separate corporation, the Fenton Gift Shops, Inc, and negotiations are going on behind the scenes with U.S. Glass (who has purchased the assets of the company) to get the furnaces up and running.
If anyone has more up-to-date information on Fenton Art Glass and it’s current production, please contact me so I can update this webpage!
General history on Fenton, at their official website:
This webpage illustrates the succession of logos used on Fenton Glassware:
Fenton Glass Society webpage:
“Fenton Fanatics” site has lots of great info on Fenton:
Please click here to go to my Home Page.