Fostoria Glass Company
Moundsville, West Virginia 1891 - 1983
Lancaster Colony, Moundsville, West Virginia 1983 - 1986
Fostoria Glass Company, Factory Moundsville WV
Fostoria built a furnace in 1891 that could fire 14 pieces of glass at a time, considered exemplary for the period. During the early years of 1887 through 1909, Fostoria advertised that it manufactured tableware, colognes, stationers' glassware and candelabras, as well as inkwells, sponge cups, vases, finger bowls and fruit jars. Many of the stemware designs were needle etched or wheel cut, popular styles during the early 20th century.
By 1925, five additional furnaces were added and the company was in its heydey, manufacturing stemware, container glass, and decorative lamps, before adding a colored stemware and dinnerware product line. Fostoria struggled through the Great Depression and World War II, but survived, producing milk glass and depression ware, and the notable patterns of Chintz (1940), Colony (1940), Romance (1942), and Holly (1942).
Foreign competition increased during the 1970s. In 1983, Fostoria sold its factory to Lancaster Colony Corporation of Columbus, Ohio. By 1986, Lancaster Colony closed the factory and sold the remaining stock directly to consumers.
Fostoria's best selling pattern was American, introduced in 1915. After the factory closure, Lancaster Colony contracted with Dalzell Viking Glass Company of New Martinsville, West Virginia to continue manufacturing some Fostoria patterns, including American. Thereafter, I. E.. Smith Glass Company of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania bought the American molds.
Fostoria stemware and dinnerware continue to be popular collector items, colored pieces valued higher than clear ones of the same pattern. Earlier American pieces are more valuable than later ones.
Production peaked in 1950 when Fostoria manufactured over 8 million pieces of glass. The company expanded in the 1950s, adding the crystal patterns Century (1950), Rose (1951), Wedding Ring (1953), and Jamestown (1959). In the 1960s and 1970s, the company’s marketing campaign expanded to include boutiques and display rooms within jewelry and department stores. In addition, Fostoria published its own consumer direct magazine, Creating with Crystal during this period.
All U.S. Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower through Ronald Reagan ordered glassware from Fostoria.
Fostoria Glass Company, Factory Moundsville WV 2010
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