Fenton Art Glass Commemorates 100th
May 4, 2005 11:47 a.m.
WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. -- Fenton Art Glass, the largest manufacturer
of handmade colored glass in the United States, marks its
centennial anniversary today -- 100 years to the day since the
company opened for business. "When my grandfather and his brother
started Fenton Art Glass at the turn of the last century, it was
their desire to enhance the glass making industry," said George
Fenton, company president. "That mission and dedication to quality
workmanship has carried through to the present day, where we have
multiple generations working together to produce the high- quality
decorative glass that my grandfather had in mind."
Gov. Joe Manchin will issue an official proclamation and take part
in the Fenton experience by learning the glass making craft from
Fenton master artists. "In today's day and age, centennial
celebrations are few and far between," Manchin said. "Fenton Art
Glass products and the company's influence in the glass making
industry spans the world."
Founded in 1905 as a glass decorating company, the company soon
discovered the benefits of producing glass itself without having
to depend on other glass manufacturers. In 1907, the company moved
into a new factory in Williamstown, where the company
headquarters, factory and gift shop are located today. Fenton's
"iridescent" glassware, first marketed in 1907, is now known as
"Carnival" glass and remains a popular collectible.
A family business since its inception, leadership for Fenton Art
Glass was passed to its third generation in 1986. Today, Fenton
family members -- including those from the fourth generation --
work together with 500 employees to create handmade glass. Fenton
products are available for purchase in more than 4,500 retail
shops across the United States and in several foreign countries,
as well as on the television shopping network QVC.