The Fostoria Value Guide
by Milbra Long and Emily Seate
A Review by
Leonette A. Walls, Ed. D.
A massive publication project was launched in 1994 by Milbra Long and Emily Seate to present four comprehensive volumes dedicated to the wares of Fostoria Glass Company. The appearance of the first volume was certainly not the beginning. A project of this enormity only evolves after many years of pursuing the love of glass. It is a great joy and privilege that the opportunity, again, is mine to review another Milbra Long-Emily Seate offering on Fostoria wares. It seems totally impossible that time has escaped so stealthily from my life since I first reviewed the second volume on Fostoria  Tableware. There have been many projects presented to the glass-loving public over the years, but this monumental effort truly stands Texan-tall. These two Texas ladies have made a tremendous impact on the world of glass reference material. Two factors are quite evident to me after observing and knowing these two writers; Milbra has a passion for Fostoria that has propelled her to devote a large portion of her life to learning and sharing her knowledge, and Emily has devoted herself and her skills to assist her mother and to share the dream in this enormous legacy event.
The first presentation of the project was a volume on Fostoria Stemware published by Collector Books. This volume featured computer generated illustrations , hand drawn by a graphic artist. This user-friendly guide has proven itself to be a definitive handbook for the novice as well as the expert, not only for pricing values, but for identification purposes.
The following two volumes focused on the Tablewares by Fostoria , giving the reader a vast amount of information, along with accurate documentation to excite the student of glassware.  The fourth volume, dedicated  to Useful and Ornamental  Fostoria offerings, gave the glass collector a much needed resource for items rarely covered in other publications.
Now, with great delight, my task is to present to the reader an assessment of the latest volume on Fostoria  by Long and Seate.  Perhaps one of the moving elements of this scenario is that at an age when many are perched in a recliner watching the world pass by, Milbra is still attending to her passion for glass.  A deep  commitment was needed to achieve this latest addition to the legacy: a commitment to the task and a commitment to combining the efforts of both authors for this long term work.
The Fostoria Value Guide is a compilation of all the items listed in the first four volumes, plus additional information not previously presented. In this volume, an up-dated  price guide is presented as well. For the first time, collectors and dealers can have an unusually extensive resource on Fostoria in one handy book. The alphabetical listings contain dates of production, colors produced, etching and cutting references, and  sizes  plus a ready reference to the more comprehensive material in each of the original volumes. A feature of this volume is the presentation of all pieces of a pattern, whereas, in the previous volumes , the reader would need to refer to both stemware and tableware volumes. Although the original volumes present larger detailed drawings, color photo presentations, and historical data of patterns for the student of glass, the newest volume does present a sketch or photo with each pattern listing for easy identification. This is a practical-sized reference which can easily accompany the Fostoria lover on shopping sprees.
Pricing is difficult for any author in todays market. Many prices did not escalate a lot, while some remained the same due to no increase in interest by the collecting public.  In my personal usage of all the previous volumes, I have found that the prices more  reasonably reflected the actual market than some price guides, although the prices on some items may have been higher. The reader must always remember when using a price guide that prices are based on many factors.  All of these factors are subject to change, especially considering the time frame needed to produce such a comprehensive volume.
The overwhelming reason for my love of all the previous volumes in addition to the latest price guide is the accessibility of so much wonderful inclusive information on the wares of  Fostoria Glass Company. An example of this feature is the section on Fostoria tumblers which appears alphabetically in the listings. Also, my passion  for research drew me to the section of pages which will be new to Long-Seate readers. These pages appear at the end of the book with photos, catalog pages and advertisement pages.  I would  be remiss in my presentation to fail to mention the absolutely stunning cover by Beth Summers. Not only does the front cover feature exquisite glassware, but the background colors are pleasing to my eye.
In my opinion, the work of Milbra and Emily is by far, to date, the most comprehensive work on Fostoria glassware. Though presented in a scholarly manner, all five volumes have proved to be user-friendly.  I  predict with a great measure of certainly that after using the newest volume for a few weeks, my praise will be even greater as I comprehend more deeply the vast work that I hold in my hands. It can be easily presumed that the work of Milbra Long and Emily Seate will profoundly affect the sphere of glass-collecting for generations to come. Accolades are clearly deserved for the time, effort and expertise of these gracious ladies.  As for this writer, my thanks and appreciation are presented as my tribute for a job well done.