Fenton Art Glass Company

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.

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 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).

Blue Opalescent "Fan Vase" by Fenton

Fenton 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 (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!

REFERENCES

Fenton Glassworks at Williamstown soon to be re-opened (Statejournal.com).

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.

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2 Responses to Fenton Art Glass Company

  1. 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.

Comments/Replies: All comments are moderated so will not be published immediately. Because of mail volume received, and time and energy restraints, some questions may not be answered individually, especially if the subject is already addressed elsewhere on this site. This website is not intended as an appraisal service, but as a resource for background info on glass companies and the marks they used, so I usually delete "What is this bottle worth?" types of queries. Thank you very much for your patience & understanding !!