Conventions Bring Touch Of Glass to Ohio Valley

MOUNDSVILLE – Glass collectors from across the country are gathering this weekend for the 32nd annual Fostoria Glass Society of America convention in Moundsville and the 36th annual National Imperial Glass Collectors’ Society convention in St. Clairsville.

Hundreds are expected to attend the Fostoria event at the former West Virginia Penitentiary, which also includes a joint Fostoria and Imperial Glass Show and Sale. That event started Friday and will continue between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. today. The event is open to the public, but there is an admission fee.

A Fostoria Glass auction will be held at 5 p.m. with a preview starting at 4 p.m. The FGSA also will be raffling off an early Fostoria No. 500 Atlanta Molasses Can. The drawing will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday. A flea market will be held starting at 8 a.m. Sunday at the prison.

“This year, the show is on the older glass,” Cassie Clark, spokeswoman for the Fostoria Glass Museum in Moundsville, said. “We’re concentrating on Fostoria Glass made between 1887 and 1909.”

Fostoria Glass Society members are attending from as far away as Washington State, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Florida.

Past-President Don Crabb of Pennsylvania said, “They are true Fostoria lovers.”

“We’re looking forward to a good show,” said current Fostoria Glass Society President Jim Davis of Tennessee. “We combined this year with the Imperial folks from across the river … and we’re hoping it will make it better for both of us.

“Registration has been good, the weather has been good, and we’re looking forward to a good weekend,” he continued. “I’d like to see a good turnout with a lot of local participation.”

Meanwhile, the National Imperial Glass Collectors’ Society convention started Thursday with an ice cream social and open house at the Imperial Glass Museum in Bellaire. The event consists of four days of activities aimed at appreciating any and all things Imperial. The headquarters for the convention is at the Hampton Inn in St. Clairsville.

This year marks the centennial anniversary of Imperial’s introduction of the NUART trademark and line of iridescent glassware consisting mostly of light shades. Also celebrated will be Imperial’s Candlewick line with exhibits of candlewick light shades.

The Bellaire Library Activity Room will also host three events today: the Glass Fest (glass sale) from 9:30 a.m. until noon; the former employees gathering at 1:30 p.m.; and retired glass worker Clyde McFeley will conduct a special candlewick seminar at 2:45 p.m.

Mark Nye will be the keynote speaker at the buffet dinner at Undo’s West in St. Clairsville tonight. He will address Imperial’s connection with Cambridge Glass.