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The Fenton Art Glass 100th Anniversary Timeline

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.

 

1905
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.

1906-07
The Fentons build a factory in Williamstown, West Virginia. The first piece made is a crystal cream pitcher with a Water Lily and Cattails pattern.

1910
After several successful years, Frank L. Fenton is named President, Treasurer and General Manager.

1925
Frank's brother Robert C. Fenton is appointed Vice President, Secretary and Sales Manager.

 

1939
Baskets, Cranberry glass, crested ware, and the Hobnail pattern all debut in the late 1930s.

1948
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.


1952
Milk glass Hobnail becomes Fenton's flagship pattern. Years later, Bill Fenton fondly calls Hobnail our "bread and butter" line.

 

1969
Fenton and Cracker Barrel begin a business relationship. Fenton created a special item for Cracker Barrel's 30th Anniversary in 1999.

1978
Frank M. Fenton accepts the position of Chairman of the Board, and Bill Fenton becomes President.

1980-1989
The first Connoisseur Collection is offered in 1983. Throughout the 1980s, Fenton's Milk Glass, Burmese and Rosalene colors continue to rise in popularity.

1986
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.
 

1988
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.


1994
Fenton's Showcase Dealer Program begins with 235 dealers. Today there are more than 1,000 Showcase Dealers nationwide.

1996
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.

 

2000
Fenton celebrates the company's 95th Anniversary! Fenton launches web site: www.fentonartglass.com

 

2004
Fenton publishes a coffee table book titled FENTON: Handcrafted American Glass Artistry

 

2005
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, click here.

2010
May 4, 2010 - Fenton turns 105!

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