"We make glass the old-fashioned way,"
says company President George W. Fenton, "using many techniques
and tools that are essentially unchanged from those of a century
Located in Williamstown, West Virginia, Fenton Art Glass is among
the world's foremost producers of handmade art glass. From its
modest roots as a glass decorating company in 1905, Fenton has
progressed and become renowned for innovative colors and decorative
treatments on pressed and blown glassware. "We make glass the
old-fashioned way," says company President George W. Fenton, "using
many techniques and tools that are essentially unchanged from those
of a century ago."
The Fenton Art Glass Company was founded in
1905 by Frank L. Fenton and his brother John W. Fenton in an old
glass factory building in Martins Ferry, Ohio. They began by
painting decorations on glass blanks made by other glass
manufacturers. Soon, being unable to get the glass they needed, they
decided to produce their own glass. The first glass from the new
Fenton factory in Williamstown, West Virginia, was made on January
Frank L. Fenton's desire to develop new and unusual colors helped to
keep Fenton in the forefront of the handmade art glass industry.
During the years from 1905 to the 1920's, Fenton design was heavily
influenced by the artists at Tiffany and Steuben. In late 1907,
Fenton introduced "Iridescent" glass. This glass, now known as
"Carnival" glass, is a popular collectible today.
During the 1930's and 1940's, Fenton produced practical items, such
as mixing bowls and tableware to get through the depression and WWII
shortages. They continued working on developing a wide array of new
colors. In the late 1940's, the top three members of the Fenton
management team died, leaving Frank M. Fenton, age 33, and Wilmer C.
(Bill) Fenton, age 25, to step in and take over as President and
Vice President. In spite of other glass factories closing at a rapid
rate, Frank and Bill led the Fenton factory through significant
American growth for the next 30 years.
In 1986, the leadership of the company passed on to the third
generation, with George W. Fenton, Frank M's son, taking over as
President. Today nine Fenton family members work together along with
over 400 employees to create handmade glass artistry that is loved
by collectors around the world. Fenton is known for its beautiful
colors and patterns. Each piece of glass is an artistic creation by
skilled glassworkers and decorators.
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here to follow the Fenton history timeline.
<<Selection in Document>>
FENTON Handcrafted American Glass Artistry
Fenton 1955 50th Anniversary Catalog Reprint
Review of Fenton's Milk Glass, Revised Edition
Fenton Collector Essentials 5-Book Set
Fenton Glass - The First Twenty-Five Years
Especially For QVC...(softbound)
Especially For QVC...(hardback)
Fenton Glass - The Second Twenty-Five Years
Fenton Glass - The 1980s Decade