The Fostoria Glass Company was located in Moundsville, West Virginia, and was founded on December 15, 1887 in Fostoria, Ohio on the illusion of low-cost, plentiful natural gas reserves.1 2 But the field of natural gas was short lived, and in 1891, Fostoria relocated to Moundsville due to its abundance of coal and natural gas. The natural resources helped fuel the massive kilns to produce pressed ware, but the company’s focus had shifted to fine quality blown stemware by the 1920s.

Fostoria was one of the first glass companies in the nation to start a program of national advertising beginning in 1924, and also the first to produce complete dinner services in crystal. The company expanded its operations from their regular line of blown, etched and pressed patterns to providing glass with government seals and other custom works. Every president in the United States from Eisenhower to Reagan ordered glassware from the company, and its powerful presence made it the largest maker of handmade glassware in the nation. At its peak in the 1950s, Fostoria employed nearly 1,000 and produced over eight million pieces of glass annually.

In 1983, Lancaster Colony purchased the Fostoria, but closed the plant just three years later, citing a lack of new investment and foreign competition.1 The complex were demolished in 2006 4 and included asbestos abatement that cost nearly $100,000. The project took eight to ten months to complete.

Nearby, the Fostoria Glass Museum continues on the legacy of the plant. Located in a modest three-story home adjacent to the Marshall County Courthouse in downtown, the center features numerous pieces often sought-after by collectors and exhibits that trace the factory’s rise and fall.3

Digest

  • Name: Fostoria Glass Company
  • Location: Moundsville, West Virginia
  • Years of Significance: 1891
  • Status: Demolished

Sources

  1. Fostoria Glass Society of America Article.
  2. “Fostoria allure lives on in museum.” Point Pleasant Register 6 June, 2006. 26 March, 2007.
  3. Steelhammer, Rick. “Beautiful legacy Museum preserves artwork made at Fostoria glass plant.” Charleston Gazette 4 June, 2006. 26 March, 2007.
  4. “Glass plant demolition may begin soon.” Charleston Gazette 27 March, 2005. 26 March, 2007.