Fostoria Glass Identification

Written by karen malzeke-mcdonald
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Fostoria Glass Identification
The earliest colour glass made by Fostoria Glass was canary yellow. (yellow stemmed drinking glasses image by Steve Johnson from Fotolia.com)

Fostoria Glass Company, the largest and best-known American glass company, was in business for 100 years. In 1887, the company went into production in Fostoria, Ohio. After four years the fuel supply ran short at the site so the company was moved to Moundsville, West Virginia. Fostoria was known as "The Crystal for American." Fostoria Glass Company was called a "hand house," meaning every step in production was done by hand. The company's craftsmen became experts at shaping, finishing, and decorating.

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Identifying Fostoria Glass

The earliest glass Fostoria made was pressed crystal wares. Its speciality was handblown and hand-painted globes for oil-burning lamps, called "Gone with The Wind" lamps today. Hundreds of patterns were produced. Later into the early 1920s Fostoria focused on glassware for the home. The crystal was blown and hand-moulded and left blank. A craftsman would apply a design by hand to the pressed blanks.

Fostoria Glass Identification
Fostoria Glass made all-glass dinnerware in a variety of colours. (deep-red glass pot and glass blue balls image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

Colourful Clear Glass

Fostoria Glass Company didn't make opaque colours in decorative occasional pieces like many of the other glass houses of the day. It was the first to produce unique, all-glass dinnerware in a variety of colours. Colours initially introduced in 1924 included canary yellow, green, amber and ebony.

Fostoria Glass Identification
The "Gone with The Wind" globe lamps were often decorated with hand painting. (antique lamp image by Jeffrey Sinnock from Fotolia.com)

Fostoria Patterns

Fostoria Glass Company created many etched designs for its colourful glassware. The most identifying characteristic is the intricate and delicate detail of the etched designs. Iris was the most popular and recognisable. It was introduced in 1887 and discontinued in 1920. The design is delicate irises with a tint of gold on the interior of the piece and exteriors in a wide variety of iridescent colours.

Brocade Patterns

Fostoria produced a number of brocaded pastel floral patterns. These were made in ice green, ice blue, pink and vaseline glass with a gold edge applied to some of the finished pieces. Some of the design elements used were acorns, daffodils, daisies, palms, poppies and roses.

Coin Glass

Fostoria created a unique design called coin glass. There are four basic frosted coin designs: the liberty bell, colonial soldier cameo, the torch, and eagle. These pieces were made between 1958 to 1982 and came in a variety of colours. The emerald green was only in production for two years and is the most desired on the collectors market. The earliest colours were amber, olive green, and dark ruby.

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