In 1887, L. B. Martin and W. S. Brady founded the Fostoria Glass Company in Fostoria, Ohio. When the area’s natural gas deposits ran out, Fostoria moved to Wheeling, West Virginia, and then to Moundsville, West Virginia, in 1891, where it remained until it closed in 1983.

The factory in Moundsville opened with a furnace that could fire 14 pieces of glass at once, which was quite impressive at the time. Fostoria’s first products were kerosene lamps and lamp parts, but the company’s line soon expanded to include “tableware, colognes, stationers’ glassware, and candelabra,” as one of its advertisements touted.

In 1915, Fostoria introduced the American pattern of glassware, which was not discontinued until the factory shut its doors in 1983; this remarkable 68-year run makes American the longest continually produced pattern in the domestic glassware industry. Fostoria’s early tableware pieces, including these early American items, were generally either needle etched or wheel cut.

By 1920, Fostoria had expanded to a large factory with five furnaces, producing stemware, decorative lamps, container glass, and tableware. The company’s management—headed by president W. A. B. Dalzell—realized it had to think strategically in order to keep customer demand high enough for the factory to produce at capacity. With this motivation, Fostoria began an advertising campaign the likes of which had never been seen before in the glass industry—Fostoria’s marketing style would later be imitated by many of its major competitors.

While most firms sold their glassware through sales representatives, who would sell the products of multiple companies, Fostoria created its own closed system. The company chose which stores could sell its goods and trained its salesmen to be experts in the product.

In 1924, Fostoria expanded its product line by introducing colored glassware. The inaugural colors included green, amber, blue, and canary. The colors were a huge hit, and, with the strength of a national advertising campaign behind it, Fostoria products began appearing in influential magazines like “Good Housekeeping” and “Ladies’ Home Journal.”

Colored glassware fit snugly into the market—due to the rise of industry and the workdays it entailed, fewer American families were having luncheons and afternoon teas than in th...

In 1925, Fostoria employed 650 workers and was second in the industry, behind the Cambridge Glass Company. Building on its success, the company continued to introduce new colors of glassware, including orchid (1927); rose (also known as dawn) and azure (1928); and regal blue, empire green, and burgundy (1933).

At the same time, carnival glass was having its heyday, so Fostoria produced two lines: Taffeta Lustre, which included bowls, candlesticks, and console sets, and its Brocaded designs, which included Brocaded Acorns, Palms, Summer Garden, and more.

With its strong market position, Fostoria was in good shape when the Great Depression struck. While the company was not immune to the downturn, it weathered the economic climate and emerged still in business. During the Depression, Fostoria produced glassware that was still of high quality, especially in comparison with the cheaper, budget products of its competitors.

Just a few years later, World War II cut Fostoria’s workforce almost in half, but that did not stop the company from continuing to innovate. In the early 1940s, Fostoria released several new patterns of glassware, including Chintz (1940), Colony (1940), Romance (1942), and Holly (1942). These followed on the heels of the distinctive Baroque style, which was introduced in 1937 and featured a signature fleur-de-lis in its design.

After World War II came to a close, Fostoria began its most aggressive period of expansion. The company’s size and production peaked in 1950, with more than 900 workers and about eight million pieces of glass sold that year. The company continued to introduce new styles, including Century (1950), Rose (1951), Wedding Ring (1953), and Jamestown (1959).

Throughout the 1960s, Fostoria sold millions of pieces of glass each year to American consumers, including a few particularly noteworthy figures: Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon both obtained exquisite glass ashtrays engraved with their signatures from Fostoria.

Always a leader in marketing, the company expanded its efforts yet again by adding company boutiques and display rooms to department stores. Even more innovative was the company’s new consumer-direct magazine, “Creating with Crystal,” which was highly successful as a marketing tool.

Faced with increasing competition from foreign companies, however, Fostoria began to decline in the 1970s—the Lancaster Colony Corporation eventually bought the company. The factory closed altogether in 1983, though some of its patterns—including American—continued to be produced by Dalzel-Viking, thanks to a contract with Lancaster Colony. The early 1990s saw the last trickle of Fostoria pattern production.

In general, Fostoria’s colored stemware and dinner pieces are more prized by collectors today than their clear counterparts. Some people like to amass entire sets of Fostoria products in one color, while others focus instead on specific pieces in a variety of colors. In particular, early pieces from the American set are especially popular with contemporary collectors.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Fostoria American Humidor/tobacco JarFostoria American Large Cone CandlesticksFostoria American Clear Glass 3" Square Puff Box & LidVery Rare Fostoria American Blue Glass Handkerchief Box W/ Lid BeautifulRare Fostoria "american" Large 3-footed Ruffled Basket W/applied Handle - MintVintage Fostoria Glass American 10" Round Pedestal Cake Stand With Rum WellSet Of 4 Fostoria Glass American Napkin Rings With BoxAmerican Fostoria Glass Hair Receiver Jar BoxFostoria Glass American Pattern Large Red Bowl 10.5" Perfect! Very Rare!Fostoria American Cloverleaf Condiment Tray Oil & Vinegar Cruets Jar And LadleFostoria American Cube Glass Small Square Trinket / Pomade BoxFostoria American Red Hex Footed Candy Dish/lid Sticker/mintFostoria American 7" Squarestep Candlestick, 1925-1944, Rarity 3Fostoria American Liquor/whiskey DecanterFostoria Glass American Crystal Serving Bowl With Ladle & Plate For Sauces MayoElegant Glass Fostoria American Pattern 10 1/2" Punch BowlFostoria Colony 10-1/2" Low Footed BowlFostoria American 13" Shallow Fruit BowlFostoria American Lunch Plates Set Of 8 Lot Crystal Vintage 8 1/2" Salad 8.5Fostoria American Glass Round Pedestal Cake Plate Stand With Rum Well VintageSeven Fostoria Cambridge Rose Footed GobletsVintage American Fostoria 2056 Bell Candle HolderFostoria American Cube Glass 3" Square Lidded Puff Box / Trinket BoxFostoria American Clear Glass Biscuit Jar Barrel & Lid & BailFostoria American Lady Amethyst Tea Goblets Lot Of 4Vintage Fostoria Ruby Red Coin Glass Candy Dish Frosted 1887 Eagle Liberty BellOld Antique 1940s Jenny Lind Double Cameo White Milk Glass Alcohol Decanter NrFostoria, Candy Dish With Lid, Blue, Depression/elegant GlassVintage Fostoria American 10Antique Fostoria Trojan-topaz Etched Glass Ice Bucket Rare Piece At This Price Fostoria American Clear Glass Cigarette Box And Lid Jewel Trinket 307Fostoria Glass American Large Flat Console Centerpiece Fruit Bowl 13"American Fostoria Glass 12 Inch Round Center Handled Serving Platter PlateVintage Fostoria Ruby Red Coin Glass CollectionSet Of 4 Fostoria Glass Versailles Pink Water Wine Depression Era Goblet StemRuby Fostoria American 8" BowlFostoria 'crown Collection' Royal Blue Hapsburg Candy Dish Ca. 19603 Fostoria June 6" High Sherbet Champage "b"Fostoria American Pattern Cube Creamer With Lid Creamer Needs Repair Lid GoodFostoria American 1/4 Lb Covered Butter DishVintage Fostoria American Crystal Mustard Jar With Lid Excellent Condition4 Fostoria Glass American Luncheon/salad PlatesFostoria 3 Footed American Powder Jar With Lid,excellent ShapeFostoria Sugar Barrel Candy Dish With Lid American 6 1/4 InchFostoria American Oval Torte Tray 14 Inch Plate Platter Lovely!Beautiful, Fire Polished, American Fostoria 12" All Cube Platter Fostoria American 10" 3 Footed Fruit BowlBeautiful Ruby Red Fostoria Coin Glass Water Pitcher ..........Vintage Fostoria American Basket With Original Reed Handle - Euc Fostoria Needlepoint Glasses Set Green Opalescent Signed 4 Mint!Fostoria June 6" High Sherbet Champage "c"Fostoria June 6" High Sherbet Champage Rare Vintage Fostoria Colony Crystal Bottle Decanter Liquor Wine With 2 GlassesFostoria American (8) Straight Side 5 Oz Juice Tumblers~vintage~crystal ClearFostoria Art Deco Black Glass Open Handle Vase Sakier Designed 7 Vintage Fostoria Jamestown Ruby Red Sherbet Champagne Glasses Stemmed Goblets13 Fostoria American Clear Crystal 6" Bread Plates - Nice6 Beautiful Fostoria Buttercup 6030 Crystal Clear 4” CordialsNice Vintage Fostoria Glass Baroque Chintz Etched Ice Bucket With HandleLot Of Five Vintage Fostoria Pressed Glass American Pattern 2 Oz Shot Glasses

Recent News: Fostoria Glass

Source: Google News

OSS waste district to host two recycling events
Sandusky Register, September 17th

The events are open to residents — no businesses — in Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties, including all Bellevue and Fostoria residents. Collection will ... There will be a fee of $2 to $5, depending on size, to recycle CRT (lead/glass tube...Read more

Weekly Activity Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable's Office
The Tribune, September 11th

Security for this year's East Montgomery County Fair was provided by the Precinct 4 Constable's Office. Constable Rowdy Hayden and Chief Deputy Barry Welch were present for much of the weekend because both had children involved in the youth events ...Read more

Tiffin Glass history lives on in museum
Fostoria Focus, September 5th

6, 1998. The glass industry in Tiffin began in July 1888 when the company A.J. Beatty & Sons of Steubenville began looking for a place to build a new factory for its pressed ware. The company looked at Findlay, Fostoria and Tiffin before deciding on...Read more

Car crashes into 2 Springfield homes
WDTN, September 4th

The victims tell 2 NEWS that a driver hit several trash cans in the 2700 block of East High Street near Fostoria Avenue. They say the car then veered out of control, hitting the first home. The impact there shattered the entry way glass door. Car into...Read more

Marshall County Group Focused on Attracting Visitors
State Journal, September 4th

Marshall County that could be affected by the new designation would be the Former West Virginia Penitentiary, Grand Vue Park, Strand Theater, the Palace of Gold, Johnny Shar's Ice Cream Parlor and Circus Carnival Museum and Fostoria Glass Museum...Read more

High Hopes for Fostoria Site Are Becoming a Reality
Wheeling Intelligencer, August 30th

When the Fostoria Steering Committee was involved more than a decade ago in efforts to clean up the Fostoria Glass site in Moundsville, the main concern was to have the remaining buildings removed in an effort to attract light industry or commercial ...Read more

Elmwood FFA had busy summer
Sentinel-Tribune, August 30th

Another pedal pull was held at the North Baltimore's Good Ole' Summer Time Festival. In North Baltimore's kiddie pull there were approximately 35 contestants. The third pedal pull that took place was at the Fostoria Glass festival, and involved 12...Read more

Plan It: 8/29
Toledo Blade, August 28th

Glass Heritage Gallery: 109 N. Main St., Fostoria; 435-5077; Fostoria glass: on permanent view; Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4. Hancock Historical Museum: 422 W. Sandusky St., Findlay; 423- 4433; Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4; Sun., 1-4. Henry County Historical Society Dr...Read more