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     The Fenton Art Glass Company was founded in 1905 by Frank L. Fenton and his brother John W. Fenton in an old glass factory building in Martins Ferry,Ohio.  The Fenton Company was one of the oldest and the largest manufacturer of handmade colored glass in the United States. The brothers started by painting decorations on glass blanks made by other glass manufacturers. Unable to get the blanks they needed, they decided to produce their own glass by opening a new Fenton factory in Williamstown, West Virginia. In 1908 John Fenton decided to leave the company and founded the Millersburg glass company in Millersburg, Ohio.

     Frank Fenton designer and decorator from 1905 to 1920 , was influenced by two other glass companies: Tiffany and Steuben. But the many different colors of glass is attributed to glass chemist Jacob Rosenthal. In the late 1907, Fenton introduced “Iridescent” glass. This glass, now known as “Carnival” glass, is a popular collectible today.

     During the Great Depression and World War II, Fenton produced practical items (such as mixing bowls and tableware) due to shortages. While at the same time, they continued creating new colors. Towards the end of the Great Depression, Fenton produced perfume bottles made in French opalescent glass with the hobnail pattern. In 1939, Fenton started selling hobnail items in milk glass. Hobnail milk glass would become the top-selling line and allow the Fenton company to expand. Over the next thirty years, the Fenton Art Glass Company continued to expand, despite a large number of glass factories closing down.

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     Starting in 1970, Fenton added their logo to the bottom of their “Original Formula” Carnival Glass pieces to distinguish them from their older Carnival Glass pieces. By 1974, Fenton was putting their logo on all the pieces they made. On May 24, 2012, the Fenton Art Glass Company announced the sale of selected assets to the Fenton Gift Shops, Inc.  Thus the Fenton name will continue to produce beautiful glass.

      From the middle of July to the middle of August the display case of the Historic Burlington Antiques and Art Emporium will display vintage Fenton Art Glass, all for sale at reasonable prices. The Emporium is located at 424 High St. Burlington City, N.J. 08016 and is opened seven days a week from 11am to 5pm (Thursday until 7pm), and is only a short half hour trip from Philadelphia. Our coffee pot is always on with complimentary snacks to enhance your shopping.

    Happy Antiquing!    

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