Fostoria blue urn
above: Coin Glass Urn
by Fostoria

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Fostoria Glass from
The Glass Encyclopedia and Glass Museum on line

A short explanation of Fostoria Glass followed by an article about Fostoria American pattern:
Fostoria Glass Co. opened in Fostoria, Ohio in 1887, but moved to Moundsville, West Virginia four years later reportedly when gas was more readily available than in Fostoria. They were very successful for nearly a hundred years, finally closing in 1986 after being bought by the Lancaster Colony company in 1983.

For a long time they were the largest producers of hand-made glass in America. Their largest production lines were stemware but they also made a full range of tableware including the USA's first complete dinner service in glass.

A large amount of the Fostoria tableware had etched designs. Their most famous design is the Fostoria American line, an "ice cubes" pattern which was produced from 1915 until they closed in 1986. Even after they closed, these same pieces are shown in the Indiana Glass catalogs for 1988-89 (Indiana Glass also belonged to Lancaster Colony).

Fostoria American Glass
compared to Jobling 2077 & other look-alikes

Fostoria American and Jobling 2077 patterns are very similar, as Emily Seate, co-author of the book "Fostoria Stemware" pointed out. There has been some confusion which I hope this short piece helps to sort it out.

John Bell, a glass specialist from the North East of England (the home of Joblings) has helped us by providing a photograph of his Jobling's bowl and many other people have contributed to the information now on this page.

The English company James A. Joblings & Co Ltd., produced a "3-handled salad bowl" and a "3-handled small bowl" in a very similar "icecube" pattern to Fostoria "American". This was part of an experiment in expensive quality pressed glass that Jobling's introduced in the mid-1930's, but discontinued in 1939 because the depression and the Second World War put an end to production.

The Jobling's catalogue form the mid 1930's shows only these two shapes in this pattern, and only in this colour (jade). However, an earlier catalogue shows these two three-handled bowls and in addition a large jug and small jug (each with one handle) and tumbler and low sugar bowl both without handles. There is a flint glass version and I have seen a deep turquoise version in John Bell's shop in the North East of England. These were probably made before the 1930s. Below is a photograph of the turquoise bowl (left) belonging to John Bell and my clear glass set with one jade bowl (right).

The Jobling's 2077 pattern is easy to distinguish from Fostoria American and other look-alikes because it always has a very large star on the side. With the large 3-handled bowls, the star is behind the handles. With the other shapes, it is in the centre of the side. It is shown most clearly in the catalogue picture below on the left, which shows the jugs in this pattern.

The plain "icecubes" pattern (without the Jobling's star) was known in England as "Georgian" and was imported in large quantities by Charles Pratt's National Glass Company (which had showrooms in Charterhouse Street, London) along with another popular design "Chippendale" (patented in the USA in 1907). In 1931 the British Government introduced a 50% import duty on glass, and at that time the moulds for popular designs from overseas were bought and imported so that the glass could be made in Britain.

We know that the moulds for the Czechoslovakian design known as "Jacobean" were imported around 1931, and British firms then made that design, notably Davidsons. The moulds for "Chippendale" were imported from the USA and made at Davidsons. So it would not be surprising to find that the moulds for "Georgian" were also imported and the glass made in England during the 1930's. Davidson's did advertise a design they called "Georgian" at that time, but I have not so far found a picture of that design. The picture below shows two English versions of the ice cube design. On the left is a small Jobling 2077 bowl in jade, and on the right a sugar bowl which is marked on the inside "Made in England" in jade glass typical of Davidson's. This is probably an example of Davidson's "Georgian" pattern.

Bagley's of Knottingley, in Yorkshire, made an icecubes pattern between 1931 and the end of 1939. They called it "Honeycomb" and they made a two-handled sugar bowl, cream jug, square lidded honey pot, dish and butter dish in this design. This design is easily confused with the Fostoria American pattern. If you have the two together (Fostoria and Bagley) then it can be distuinguished because I am told the Bagley Honeycomb pattern has a smaller cube than the Fostoria American.

Icecube Patterns in the USA

The Fostoria Glass Company Inc. of Moundsville, West Virginia, was the main USA producer of the icecube pattern. They introduced their pattern "2056 American" in 1915 and continued to produce it until their glassworks was closed in 1986. Over the years they made a very wide range of items in their "American" pattern. Whole books have been written just on this one pattern (see below). The quality of the glass was high and the icecube pattern clearly defined. It is very popular with glass collectors today.

Indiana Glass produced an icecube pattern which is not so easy to distinguish from Fostoria. This glassworks acquired the Fostoria molds when their parent company, Lancaster Colony Corporation, bought Fostoria Glass in 1985.

The 1982 and 1983 Indiana Glass catalogs show a pattern called "Whitehall" beverageware (footed tumbers) and apart from the fact that the foot is attached straight on the bowl (not even a short stem) the pattern is very similar to the American pattern "Footed Tumbler" shown in the 1982 Fostoria catalog. But the difference in the stems does make it possible to distinguish the Indiana tumblers from the Fostoria ones.

However the 1988-89 Indiana Glass catalog features a pattern called "American Whitehall" which was offered in 45 different items and from the photographs and from information reported elsewhere, these were made from the same molds as the Fostoria American pattern, and appear to have been identical. A few were offered in blue, a few in amber, but most were offered in Crystal. Indiana Glass was only marked with labels, which came off easily. So American Whitehall would be very easy to confuse with Fostoria's American.

Lancaster Colony Corp. stopped making lead-crystal glass around 1992, and changed the glass of some patterns from lead crystal to non-lead glass. So if the Indiana Glass American Whitehall pattern was offered in lead crystal originally, this would have changed in 1992.

JeannetteGlass Company produced a pattern known as "Cube" or "Cubist" between 1929 and 1933. It is a depression glass product, not as high quality as Fostoria American. It was made in several colors (pink, green, amber, blue, yellow, white, dark blue, and crystal) and in a wide range of items. Some of the items are similar in shape to the Fostoria American range. The cubes are not as sharply defined as the Fostoria pieces.

If you are looking for something in the Fostoria American pattern or any of the others mentioned on this page, you can usually find a good selection on offer on ebay. click here to see Fostoria Glass

click here to see Jobling Glass

Here are some books with more information on Fostoria American Line glass that you may find helpful. Click on any book cover to read more about a particular book.

Fostoria American Line 2006 Fostoria American Line2002 Fostoria American Line 1996 Fostoria pressed glass book Fostoria pressed glass book Seligson Glass book

And these books include information about Joblings glass:

Guide to Jobling Glass 1985 British Glass Book 2

Here are more books with more information on Fostoria glass. Click on any book cover.

Fostoria value guide Useful Fostoria book Ems Fostoria book Fostoria tableware book Fostoria tableware book Bones Fostoria book Fostoria glass book Fostoria pressed glass book Navarre Fostoria book Fostoria table glass book 20th Century glass book Fostoria book

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