Fenton Glass Company – 1907
Throwback Thursday takes us to the Ohio River Valley which was a mecca for glass factories in the 1800’s. The area was rich in silica sand and supplies of natural gas and coal. The Fenton Brothers, Frank and John, bought an old glass factory in 1905 and began painting old glass blanks from other glass makers. The next year the brothers split up and John opened his own company in Ohio. Frank moved to Williamstown, West Virginia and began production for the new Fenton Glass Company in 1907. Frank designed the glass and hired Jacob Rosenthal, a famous chemist, to develop colors for his new line.
Fenton has earned a reputation for fine crafted glassware as each piece is crafted by hand. This sets Fenton’s quality apart from other antique and vintage glassware. Generations of the Fenton family have designed and produced glassware including vases, perfume bottles, figurines, lamps, bowls and other collectibles. Each piece features beautiful motifs and designs imprinted on them. Fenton also manufactured carnival glass and slag glass.
Specific glass colors were only used for a limited time as keeping a uniform color was often difficult. The rarer Fenton colors include deep reds and blues. Certain colors were only available in specific years and today this helps in dating the pieces. Some Fenton Glassware features border colors; these are rare and were difficult to create. The borders were made by adding a strip of color and then reheating and dipping the glass right out of the mold.
In the 1940’s, Fenton produced milk glass available in a large variety of colors. They also began creating hobnail glass in 2 sizes of bumps. In 1970, Fenton hired an artist and began a line of hand painted pieces. They also began marking Fenton Glass with an “F’ trademark. Each hand painted piece is signed by the artist who created it. Dave Fetty was one of the most popular Fenton Glass artists and his work is often referred to as “Fetty Glass” and used a mosaic style.
Fenton Glass ended production in 2012 and the glass is highly sought after among collectors. The wide variety of styles and color choices, and the delicate attention to detail through handcrafting each piece makes Fenton Glassware a beautifully unique gift. The Past Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village features a large selection of this impressive glassware with a wide range of prices, colors and styles for sale. Visit The PAST Antiques Marketplace on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles.
Check back next week for another Throwback Thursday!