Fostoria glassware was, for most of the 20th century, one of the main types of fine quality blown stemware used in American homes. The ‘American’ pattern, recognizable by its cubic pattern, was very popular and resulted in the Fostoria company being the largest maker of handmade glassware in the United States for many years. Today, since foreign competition ran them out of business, original vintage Fostoria American Glassware has become a popular collectible item.
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The Fostoria Glass Company took its name from Fostoria, Ohio, where it started operations in 1887. A few years later, better natural resource availability caused them to move to Moundsville, West Virginia. While they originally produced kerosene lamps, they moved into the production of high quality hand blown stemware by the early 1900’s. The distinctive American cubic pattern was introduced in 1915. In 1924, they began advertising nationally and their business took off, resulting in them delivering over 8 million pieces of glassware at their peak. However, as tastes changed and imports became more common in the 1980’s, their business model was no longer viable, resulting in the sale and end of the original company although pieces were still produced under contract with other companies through the 1990’s.
If you’re wanting to collect Fostoria American Glassware you should be aware of several characteristics that separate it from lower cost/quality versions made on contract as well as out and out replicas and imitations. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristics of the original Fostoria glassware is the weight and clarity. True Fostoria pieces have a quality feel from the thick glass and well crafted cube edges that you can’t mistake. You also won’t find yellowing or other discoloration in this fine glassware. You will also find that most Fostoria American glassware was made with 3 part molds rather than the cheaper 2 part mold process used by replicas. Another feature to look for is a ground glass base rather than a pressed glass base.
When buying Fostoria American Glassware online, you should, as always, check the reputation of the seller and make sure that they have supplied ample photographs and description to satisfy you and, should you have any questions they should answer them quickly and accurately. Also make sure that they will be shipping your glassware purchase in a prompt and safe manner.
I hope this article has given you a good overview of collecting Fostoria American Glassware. If you have any questions about this glassware feel free to ask below in a comment.