Fenton Art Glass plays a prominent role in the history of antique art glass in the United States as the largest manufacturer of colored glass. The Fenton Glass Company was started by brothers Frank and John Fenton who opened a workshop in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio in 1905 painting decorations on glassware from other manufacturers. With a desire to develop more glass colors the brothers built a glass factory in Williamstown, West Virginia in 1906 where they launched iridescent glass known as carnival glass in 1907.
By 1908 mass production of carnival glass had begun. Inspired by Tiffany and Steuben antique glassware was decorated with common patterns of animals and fruit. Different colors were introduced over the years in royal blue, green, purple, and the most popular, Marigold or orange. In 1920 the Fenton Glass Co. developed a rich red color which is now rare and very sought after. In 1948 the sons of Frank Fenton took over running the Fenton legacy. The demand for carnival glass extended through the 60’s which prompted the Fenton Glass Company to reproduce antique glass and classic patterns in the 70’s. Earlier Fenton glass will not have a logo.
Traditional glass making ceased in 2011 and the legacy lives on through the hand crafted jewelry still produced using traditional Fenton colors and art glass making techniques.
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