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The Fostoria Glass Company, at Moundsville, West Virginia, was moved shortly after its establishment at Fostoria, Ohio, in 1887. West Virginia natural gas, so important in glass polishing, and as a source of fuel at that time, was largely responsible for the relocation. Fostoria glass is made with both lead and lime base, pressed glass employing lime and the blown, lead. All Fostoria glass is handmade, even their pressed ware is produced in hand-operated presses. The origination of glass dinnerware is claimed by Fostoria, also the distinction of being the first American works to make colored ware popular. Their register of colors runs from dainty rose, azure, wisteria, through the brighter greens, topaz, and ambers to an opaque ebony.
Variety is quite unlimited in Fostoria glass: massive cut rock crystal centerpieces, lovely pressed candlesticks, fragile blown figurines, and other bits of real craftsmanship are produced along with their lustrous colored dinnerware and brilliant stemware.
Particularly noteworthy are Fostoria's splendid plate etchings (the term plate here refers to the steel engraving plate employed in the process), made by a delicate process of acid engraving in which intricate designs are transferred to glass. Needle etching, a less intricate method, is also an effective decorative process used by Fostoria.
Other Fostoria glass is beautified by wheel cutting, especially the rock crystal pieces; still others are decorated with applied colors for effects of iridescence, and other color attributes. Lastly should be mentioned the less common but striking applied metallic decorations.
The polish, a noticeable and distinguishing feature of Fostoria glass, is accomplished by utmost care and working of the glass over a natural gas flame (this is their only use for natural gas now) which adds luster and brilliancy never equalled in machine polished products.
The grace and logic of design of Fostoria heavier pressed pieces, namely, cups, saucers, plates, bowls, and such pieces, have noticeably reduced the old and prevalent feeling against pressed glass-a prejudice partly based on the assumption that scarcity enters into aesthetic appraisal and appeal.