Fenton Art Glass
For over 100 years, the
vision of Fenton family members, together with their passion for
glassmaking, has sustained the Fenton Art Glass organization. Each
person contributes special talents to the team effort of glassmaking.
We make quality glass, by hand and in keeping with the great heritage
of craftsmanship in the American glass industry. To see the Fenton
Family Tree, click here.
With $284.86, Frank L. Fenton and his brother John start the
Fenton Art Glass Company, renting space in the Haskins Glass Co.
building in Martins Ferry, Ohio. They buy glass blanks on which
they paint decoration. Soon, they have trouble acquiring glass, so
they decide to produce their own.
The Fentons build a factory in Williamstown, West Virginia. The
first piece made is a crystal cream pitcher with a Water Lily and
After several successful years, Frank L. Fenton is named
President, Treasurer and General Manager.
Frank's brother Robert C. Fenton is appointed Vice
President, Secretary and Sales Manager.
Baskets, Cranberry glass, crested ware, and the Hobnail pattern
all debut in the late 1930s.
With the passing of Frank and Robert C. Fenton, Frank M. Fenton
becomes President. Wilmer C. "Bill" Fenton becomes Vice-President.
Together, they lead the factory through significant growth for
nearly four decades.
Milk glass Hobnail becomes Fenton's flagship pattern. Years later,
Bill Fenton fondly calls Hobnail our "bread and butter" line.
Fenton and Cracker Barrel begin a business relationship. Fenton
created a special item for Cracker Barrel's 30th Anniversary in
Frank M. Fenton accepts the position of Chairman of the Board, and Bill
Fenton becomes President.
The first Connoisseur Collection is offered in 1983. Throughout
the 1980s, Fenton's Milk Glass, Burmese and Rosalene colors
continue to rise in popularity.
George W. Fenton becomes President, and he remains at the helm
today. Bill Fenton is named Chairman of the Board, and Frank M.
Fenton retires to the position of Historian.
Fenton appears on QVC with Bill Fenton as the first on-air guest.
Today on-air guests include George Fenton, Scott Fenton, Nancy
Fenton and Shelley Fenton-Ash. Fenton published a book titled
Fenton Glass: Especially for QVC in 2002.
Fenton's Showcase Dealer Program begins with 235 dealers. Today
there are more than 1,000 Showcase Dealers nationwide.
The premier issue of the Glass Messenger, a quarterly newsletter
for Fenton collectors, is published. A Roselle on Cranberry Basket
is offered as the first Subscriber Exclusive.
Fenton celebrates the company's 95th Anniversary! Fenton launches
Fenton publishes a coffee table book titled FENTON: Handcrafted
American Glass Artistry
May 4, 2005 - Fenton turns 100! Fenton Centennial Celebration in
Williamstown July 31-August 2.
To read about Fenton's
first basket handler, Frank O. Myers,
May 4, 2010 - Fenton turns 105!