Fenton Art Glass Company, Williamstown, West Virginia

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 Glass sold hand-decorated glassware that was actually manufactured elsewhere by other glass companies.

In 1907 the operation moved to Williamstown, West Virginia, where Fenton started making their own glass, and 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 hand-blown “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.

Hobnail candy dish in Amberina glass ("Fenton inside an oval "mark is on the base)

Hobnail candy dish in Amberina glass (“Cursive Fenton inside an oval” mark is on the base)

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 milk glass.

Many of their vases, bowls, glass baskets, compotes and other types of glassware feature a lovely, attractive “ruffled”, “crimped” or “undulating” border.

Ruby Red amberina swung vase marked with "Fenton inside an oval"

Ruby red amberina hobnail swung vase marked with “Fenton inside an oval” on the bottom.

Fenton in an oval logo (as seen on the base of a ruby red amberina hobnail swing vase)

“Fenton inside an oval” logo (as seen on the base of the ruby red amberina hobnail swung vase, pictured above)

 

Much of their later glass has been marked, usually with the name “FENTON” placed inside a horizontal 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).

Blue Opalescent "Fan Vase" by Fenton Art Glass Company

Fenton Art Glass Company Hobnail “Fan Vase” in Blue Opalescent

 

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 (somewhat) revitalize the outlook for continued handmade glass production. However, in 2011, Fenton stopped handmade production of their glassware.  Since that time they have continued selling some smaller items including beads and glass jewelry.

This paragraph is from the Fenton Art Glass Company website: 

“UPDATE ON FENTON ART GLASS COMPANY and FENTON GIFT SHOP:
Fenton Art Glass Co. ceased traditional glassmaking in 2011. The factory site was purchased by Wood County Schools. Demolition of the factory and original Fenton Gift Shop was completed in 2018 to make way for construction of a new elementary school. Fenton Gift Shop moved to its new Boaz location in July, 2017. “

Although traditional glassmaking stopped in 2011, apparently the Fenton Gift Shop is still operating (as of summer 2018) and sells both vintage Fenton glassware, as well as some new glass made by Mosser Glass Company in the old Fenton molds. Also, a line of glass jewelry is sold there.


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REFERENCES

A beginner’s guide to collecting Fenton Glass

General history on Fenton, at their official website:

http://www.fentonartglass.com/about-fenton-glass

This webpage illustrates the succession of logos used on Fenton Glassware:

http://www.fentonartglass.com/about-fenton-glass/fenton-history/fenton-logo-history

Fenton Glass Society webpage:

http://www.fentonglasssociety.org/About_Us.php

“Fenton Fanatics” site has lots of great info on Fenton:

http://www.fentonfan.com/clubs.html

Wikipedia article about Fenton Art Glass.


FENTON GLASS keyword search on Ebay:  Fenton Glass on ebay

Please click here to go to my Home Page.

Click here to go to the GLASS BOTTLE MARKS pages, with an extensive alphabetical list of makers’ marks seen on bottles, jars, insulators and tableware. 

Here’s an article with some basic information about EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass). 

 

4 Responses to Fenton Art Glass Company, Williamstown, West Virginia

  1. Beverly Worters says:

    Is there a list of marks on carnival glassware available?

  2. Frances Griffin says:

    I just found this site–thank you so much for all your work!
    I was looking for information on the Pine Glass Manufacturing company that operated in Okmulgee, OK from 1927-1929. There doesn’t seem to be much information out there, but your site added a bit that I didn’t know.

    Thanks again.

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