History of Fostoria Lamp and Shade Company & Consolidated lamp and Glass Co.–Fostoria, OH.
1890 - 1896
The Fostoria Lamp and Shade Company was born from a tragic fire, which destroyed its predecessor the Buttler Art Glass Company in 1890. Charles Foster was one of the main stockholders in Buttler Art Glass Co. Foster sold the old Buttler site and convinced investors to rebuild in Fostoria, OH. By August 21, 1890 (three months), Fostoria Lamp was pressing flint lamps. In seven more weeks, Fostoria Lamp had over 200 employees. By August 21, 1891, Fostoria Lamp and Shade staffed 250 employees who were working three shifts per day.
Nicholas Kopp, Jr. was 25 years old when he was hired as a manager for Fostoria Lamp and Shade in 1890. Young Kopp was a supervisor at Hobbs Glass Company prior to going to work for Fostoria Lamp and Shade Company. His father, Nicholas Kopp, Sr. had been employed as a glassworker at Fostoria Glass Company when Charles Foster was the corporation secretary there. That is how Charles probably met young Kopp.
Nicholas Kopp, Jr. was born in Alsace-Lorraine. He spoke French, German and English. The glassworkers at the plant were such a mix of immigrants that Kopp organized the shifts and employees by language: i.e., one shift spoke French, another German and a third English.
By mid 1893, Charles Foster, the President of Fostoria Lamp and Shade Company was forced to file personal bankruptcy. Business creditors became nervous so the company line of credit disappeared essentially putting the company out of business.
The Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company (C. L. & G. Co.) was incorporated in 1893 in West Virginia with headquarters in Pittsburg, OH by F. G. Wallace, Charles H. Dean, J. B. Graham, Hugh McAfee and Joseph G. Walter. F. G. Wallace was President, J. B. Graham was Secretary, Joseph G. Walter was the Treasurer and Nicholas Kopp, Jr. was the Manager. C. L. & G. Co. purchased the former Fostoria Lamp and Shade Company plant on December 13, 1893. Period ads list Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company as “the successor to Fostoria Lamp and Shade Co.”
At this point it must be noted that many of the glass patterns associated with C. L. & G. Co. were actually Fostoria Lamp and Shade patterns. These patterns included such names as cosmos, florette, melligo, scroll & net, palm, argus, bulging loop, narrow based scroll, double cord & tassel, overlapping leaf, gutatte, cotton bale, bulging petals, flaming, little scroller, palm leaf, long pedal daisy, cone, half cone, shell and seaweed (not to be confused with the rose bowl pattern) and others. It appears that C. L. & G. Co. continued the production of some or all of the former Fostoria Lamp and Shade patterns.
At some point in 1894, Nicholas Kopp introduced iridescent glass “royal copper” into the production line, which was shown at the Chicago World’s Fair. Although C. L. & G. Co. continued to make sugar shakers, toothpicks, mustards, cruets, salt and pepper, and other table items, the majority of their new development appeared to be lamps.
In 1896, Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company moved operations to Coraopolis, PA, ending their Fostoria, OH operations. In the spring of 1896, Nicholas Kopp, Jr. also moved with C.L. & G.Co. and continued to work for them until 1900. He left to form Kopp Lamp and Glass Co. in Pittsburg, OH. In 1901, Kopp acquired new partners and renamed the company Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass and Glass Company, again specializing in lamps and lighting in an array of colors and decorations–also called "Pilabrasgo." In 1926, Pilabrasgo went bankrupt and Nicholas Kopp reorganized and renamed the company Kopp Glass, Inc. Signal lenses, light fixtures, lamps and vases were the core of Kopp's business. Kopp Glass remains in business today.
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