Fostoria Glass Company
The Fostoria Glass Company, a now-demolished glassware plant in Moundsville, West Virginia, produced fine quality blown stemware and glassware adorned with custom designs and government seals. At the company’s peak in the 1950s, it was producing over eight million pieces of glass annually and was the largest maker of handmade glassware in the nation.
The Fostoria Glass Company was founded in Fostoria, Ohio on December 15, 1887. 1 2 The firm was drawn to the area because of plentiful, low-cost natural gas reserves, necessary components for glass production. The natural gas field was short-lived, and in 1891, Fostoria Glass relocated to Moundsville due to its abundance of natural gas and coal.
Initially producing pressware, Fostoria Glass’ focus had shifted to fine quality blown stemware by the 1920s, before expanding into the production of glass with government seals and other custom designs. 1 2 Every president in the United States from Eisenhower to Reagan ordered glassware from the company.
Fostoria Glass was one of the first in the nation to start a national advertising program in 1924 and was the first to produce complete dinner services in crystal. Its powerful presence made it the largest maker of handmade glassware in the nation and at its peak in the 1950s, the company employed nearly 1,000, producing over eight million pieces of glass annually.
Lancaster Colony purchased Fostoria Glass in 1983, but closed the Moundsville factory in 1986, citing antiquated facilities and foreign competition. 1 The long-abandoned complex was demolished in 2006. 4
The Fostoria Glass Museum, located adjacent to the county courthouse in Moundsville, continues on the legacy of Fostoria Glass. 3