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    

American Fostoria Square Class Cake Stand Rare 1915-1925 16" Large American Fostoria Swung Vase #1Vtg Etched Poppy Topaz Fostoria Glass Tripod Design~art Deco Rocket~urn VaseFostoria American Cologne Bottle, 6 Oz., Elegant Depression Era, #1Vtg Ruby Red American Fostoria Torte PlateFostoria American Cologne Bottle, 6 Oz., Elegant Depression Era, #2Fostoria American Clear Mustard Jar With Lid & SpoonAntique Fostoria Coin Oil Lamp Amber Glass Opalescent Globe Vintage Eagle WickA Fostoria American 14" Punch Bowl With Original Glass Ladle ElegantRare Fostoria Glass Orient Etched 1925 Tumbler 3 1/2in Tall Excellent ConditionVintage Fostoria American Clear 10" Round Glass Cake StandAmerican Fostoria Ruby Red Glass 3 Footed Bowl Original Paper LabelFostoris Frosted Coin Glass 8" Round Bowl Emerald Green ColorFostoria Cigarette BoxVintage Fostoria American Block Cake Stand With Rum WellVintage Fostoria American 10" Square Pedestal Cale Stand Rum Well Elegant GlassRare Vintage Glass Fostoria American Crystal Round Pedestal Cake Stand Plate Fostoria Navarre Crystal Wilma Continental Champagne Goblet Stem 5 OzArt Deco Fostoria Glass Etched Fern~ebony Black Low Sherbert ~ Sakier~ Modernism2 American Fostoria Cruets With Stoppers ~ 5" And 5Vtg Fostoria American Mustard Jar Set With Spoon 3 PcsRare Etched Fostoria Baroque Chintz Etch #337 Oil And Vinegar CruetVtg Fostoria Ruby Red Thumbprint Stemware Wine Goblets & Shot Glasses Lot Of 20 Vintage Fostoria American Pattern Wear Crystal 10 Salad Plates 1940'sFostoria Coin Ruby Red Tumbler 5 3/8" High ExcellentFostoria American Clear Tall Footed Water Goblets Set Of SixVintage Fostoria Emerald Green 4 Coin AshtrayVintage 1960's American Fostoria Clear Glass Butter Dish And Lid Tray Cube Fabulous Fostoria Colony Swirl Pair Of Serving Dishs - Brilliant!(2) Fostoria Crystal - Navarre - 5 1/2" Brandy Snifter Glasses - Gorgeous6fostoria 5098 Etched Versailles Blue 41/2 Low SherbetsFostoria Navarre Crystal Wilma Continental Champagne Goblet Stem 5 OzFostoria Glass Society (fgsa) Pelican, 1990 Depression GreenVtg New Fostoria American 14" Glass Crystal Serving Platter Dish Cake Plate TrayVintage" Pink" Depression Butter Dish "american Pattern"Four Vintage Footed Fostoria Corsage Juice Glasses !Fostoria Sheffield Wine Stems (2) With Platinum TrimFostoria American 1/2 Gallon Straight Sided Ice Lip Pitcher 8-1/4" "fat"Vintage Fostoria #2443 Art Deco Topaz Glass Ice Bucket Excellent No ReserveFostoria Needle Etch Tumbler Clover Leaf PatternFostoria American Pattern #2056 9" Handled Bowl #138Fostoria Clear Set Of 2 14oz Drinking Glasses(7) Seven Fostoria American Clear Crystal Champagne Tall Sherbert Glasses7 Fostoria June Bow Pattern Pink Ice Tea 6 In Tall X 3 1/4 In AcrossVintage Fostoria Glass Blue American Coin Pitcher Ice Lip Frosted Fostoria Glass Society (fgsa) Pelican, 1993 Ebony BlackCentral Glass Works Greek Set Of Four Nut Dishes Rare!6 Fostoria Virginia Peach Pink Ice Tea Claret Wine Water Goblet Glass VintageFostoria Glass Society (fgsa) Pelican, 1992 Raspberry Ice 4 Stunning Fostoria Or Colony Glass Blue American White Hall 12 Oz Glasses Elegant Holiday Crystal Glass Sleigh #2595 ~fostoria~ 1980~ 2" X 4.25"Fostoria American Clear Cup & Saucer Set Of Six #2A Vintage Fostoria Cream And Sugar With "corsage" Etching!3 Meadow Rose Crystal Wine/water Glasses Stemware FostoriaFostoria Versailles Pink ParfaitSet Of 8 Fostoria Water Goblets Virginia Light BlueFostoria Glass Society (fgsa) Pelican, 1991 PinkFostoria Glass Society (fgsa) Pelican, 1994 Azure BlueFostoria 3-lite Glass Candle Holder Candelabra Baroque Antique Amber Depression Lunch/tea Set: 22 Piece Plate/ Tea Cup/ Tray Set

Recent News: Fostoria Glass

Source: Google News

Estate Sale Roundup: July 24-27: Gas up the jalopy, it's your turn to drive.
Austin Chronicle, July 24th

Collections include a large selection of amber glass, includng Fostoria, milk glass, vintage domino collection, and old decks of playing cards. Ladies may appreciate a beautiful assortment of scarves, vintage purses, and gloves, many with price tags...Read more

Business notebook: 7/20
Toledo Blade, July 19th

Renee Smith has been chosen as president of the Fostoria Economic Development Corp., effective Aug. 1. She is the Fostoria Community Grants writer, a post supported by the FEDC and the city of Fostoria. Business Achievements, with news of management...Read more

PEACH WEEKENDER Plan It: 7-17
Toledo Blade, July 16th

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

Putnam County antique glass enthusiasts show off their collections
Cookeville Herald Citizen, July 13th

Carter is one of the founding members of the Fostoria Glass Society of Tennessee, which was formed in October of 1966. She clearly remembers coming across the notice about a meeting to form the club and deciding it was something she needed to find out ...Read more

Summer here in Fostoria
Fostoria Focus, July 11th

“We're definitely excited about some of the things we're adding that are new to the festival,” Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler said. SummerFest starts out on the right foot with the inaugural Raise Your Glass wine tasting event, sponsored by Corporate One...Read more

Plan It: 7-10
Toledo Blade, July 9th

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

Old Moundsville pottery, glass plants being redeveloped
Charleston Gazette, July 6th

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) – A former glass plant and an old pottery plant in the Northern Panhandle are being redeveloped for new uses. Contractors have completed demolishing the former Fostoria Glass Co. plant in Moundsville. The property is now ...Read more

After the Inferno
Santa Fe Reporter, July 1st

I ignored the china, Fostoria glass and Nambé ware but carefully removed the framed water color for which Bethany had once received a blue ribbon at the Los Alamos County Fair. I didn't even consider the TVs, VCR or stereo or my collection of sassy...Read more