Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Fenton Art Glass Company - The Beginning

Frank L. And John W. Fenton opened The Fenton Art Glass Company as a cutting and decorating shop in July, 1905. Their brother Charles H. Fenton joined them a short time later. They began as a decorating shop using blanks supplied by other glass manufacturing companies.

As Fenton grew it became necessary to produce their own glass. They built a plant in Williamstown, West Virginia. The first glass from the Fenton Art Glass plant was produced on January 2, 1907.

I will be writing more about Fenton but because it is so vast, I do not want it to become boring so I feel a little bit at a time is a better approach. I will start with the Silver Crest pattern.

The Silver Crest pattern introduced by Fenton in 1943. Before 1958 the white was called opal and had an opalescence appearance when held up to the light. In 1958 Fenton changed the formula to milk glass which made the glass look very white without "fire" in the white. If you acquire items that have white edging encompassing crystal it is called Crystal Crest and dates from 1942. The pictures below are a few examples of Silver Crest.

Through the years Fenton survived tragedies, a devastating Depression era, numerous recessions and labor troubles to become the pre-eminent handmade glass factory known not only nationwide, but world wide.

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