U.S. Senate recognizes 100 years of
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
By BRETT DUNLAP
News, Parkersburg, WV
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate is recognizing a Williamstown company's 100
years of business and service to the community.
U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., introduced a
resolution last week congratulating Fenton Art Glass of Williamstown on its
"Fenton Glass is a trademark of West Virginia," Byrd said. "Across the
country and around the world, people know Fenton's quality and character,
and, through the remarkable works of art, people learn of West Virginia's
quality and character as well."
The resolution, which was introduced to the Senate on Friday, recognized
Fenton as a beloved institution in West Virginia that continues to
contribute to the economic and cultural heritage of the state through its
production of world renowned hand-blown glass.
"Fenton deserves this honor," Rockefeller said. "People all over the world
know of the craftsmanship and beauty of Fenton glass.
"They appreciate the remarkable attention West Virginia craftsmen pay to the
details of their products, and they appreciate the artistic vision
underlying their work."
James Measell, Fenton Co. historian, said Monday the company is honored by
"We are delighted the senators from West Virginia saw fit to sponsor a
resolution to honor us," he said.
Fenton marked its founding on May 4 and held a celebration for the community
and collectors July 29-Aug. 2.
The company's pieces will be featured on QVC throughout today as one of the
final centennial celebration events.
The Senate resolution notes the great history of Fenton Art Glass, which was
founded in 1905 by brothers Frank and John Fenton.
"Fenton Art Glass rose from its humble beginnings as a glass decorating
company in 1905, and came to settle in Williamstown, West Virginia, by
opening a factory to create their own glass when they were unable to obtain
glass they needed," the resolution stated. "With the vision of brothers
Frank and John Fenton, Fenton Art Glass began to create innovative new
colors and established the company in the forefront of the hand-blown glass
The document went on to note the company's history where in 1907 Fenton
introduced its highly colorful Iridescent, or "Carnival" Glass, which became
instantly successful throughout the country and is now highly prized by
collectors around the world. Also, during the 1930s and 1940s, Fenton
addressed the shortages felt by families in the United States by producing
mixing bowls and tableware that were often unavailable during the World War
I and Depression shortages.
"The first 100 years of Fenton Art Glass have been a grand journey, but
those years are just the beginning chapters," Byrd said. "There is a great
future ahead for Fenton, for Wood County, and for all of West Virginia, a
future as beautiful as the works created by the artisans at Fenton."
The resolution noted Fenton Art Glass is not only a family tradition for the
Fenton family, with the third generation of the Fenton family now carrying
on the legacy, but also a West Virginia institution, employing generations
"Fenton Glass, known for its beauty and precision in craftsmanship, is a
symbol of the dedication and care of the Fenton family, as well the pride in
craftsmanship so characteristic of the West Virginia people," the resolution
Rockefeller said he believes Fenton will continue to be successful for years
to come and will continue to be commemorated by future generations.
"I feel sure that one hundred years from now, some future Congress will pass
a resolution honoring the bicentennial of this great West Virginia company,"
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