Fenton Art Glass Company is the largest manufacturer of handmade
colored glass in the United States.
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 2,
Frank L. Fenton's desire to develop new and unusual colors helped
to keep Fenton in the forefront of the handmade
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 150 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.
Online Reference Materials:
Shelley A. Fenton
Lynn E. Fenton Erb
Wilmer C. "Bill"
Don A. Fenton
Frank M. Fenton
George W. Fenton
Michael D. Fenton
Nancy G. Fenton
Randall R. Fenton
Scott K. Fenton
Thomas K. Fenton
Rossi, Glass Artist
Burdette, Fenton Craftsman
Jr., Fenton Craftsman
VanDyke, Fenton Craftsman
Workman, Fenton Craftsman
Myers, Fenton's first basket handler
Suzi Whitaker, Sculptor
Louise Piper, Started the
Fenton decorating department
Barley, Decorating Designer
Burton, Decorating Designer
"Robin" Spindler, Decorating Designer
Reynolds, Decorating Designer
Williams, Decorating Designer
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