Fostoria "Complete Dinner Sets" Advertising

by Virginia Scott
Rainbow Review Glass Journal - March 1974

Fostoria ad Fostoria Glass Company of Moundsville, West Virginia, began a national advertising campaign in May, 1924. The early ads were written by talented writers and were marvelous word pictures of crystal and glassware. In one short paragraph, the ad-writer described the beauty of crystal, mentioned quality and the reasonable price, listed the design, and variety of pieces made, named the colors and told where to find Fostoria glassware and how to identify it by the trademark.

In 1925 Fostoria begin making complete sets of glass dinnerware. A September, 1925 ad made the first mention that I found of this in the statement "it comes in sets like china and silver: you can match your pieces." This ad reproduced here is from House & Garden, June, 1926. It seems to be the announcement ad for "The first complete set of glass dinnerware ever made." A later ad, 1927,appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine and used the same picture with the heading "Now the full splendor of Fostoria - the complete dinner service." This ad asked. "All glass? A complete dinner service.? It sounds like a fairy tale, or a dazzling dream from Arabian Nights; is it really practical?" Both ads give the reasons why Fostoria dinnerware is practical: Tested for months and proven serviceable for hot food and drinks; never "craze"; difficult to chip; stacks conveniently. Throughout 1927 and into 1928, Fostoria ads stressed the "complete dinner service" which could be bought on the "open stock plan." in "amber, blue and green, plain or with delicately etched permanent designs."

The dinnerware set shown in the reproduced ad is, I believe, the "Vesper" pattern which Fostoria introduced in 1928 and produced for about eight years. Unfortunately, the pattern is rather indistinct in the photocopy. "Vesper" like many of the Fostoria patterns of the 1920's, is a "lace like" design. The pattern has a finely etched band and a scrolled medallion which incorporates a large flower with leaves and stem. Smaller flowers appear on each side of the large flower which, to me, resembles an open wild rose. The shape of the medallion is adapted to the pieces. It is long on the goblets and footed tumbler, and is only slightly wider than the band on the plates, bowls and saucers.

Fostoria glassware has always been handmade and of fine quality. Every Fostoria collector will probably concur with this statement from a 1927 "complete dinner set" ad: "Each piece of Fostoria you own is a treasure for your china closet worthy to be an heirloom; and a jewel for your table."

Until next time, may you find many treasure for your china closet and jewels for your table.