American by Fostoria
Or the other guys?
by Leonette A. Walls, Ed. D
 American by Fostoria Glass Company was a best seller for decades.  There are a large numbers of items produced and collected by many.  It also is one of the patterns that tend to become a point of confusion with many collectors, especially those new to collecting. In this article are some simple hints that start the collector on learning to distinguish  Fostoria American items from glassware that is similar.  Oftentimes, we, in glassware circles, call these items, look-a-likes. To further confuse the issue,  there are items very close in design to American being seen in discount stores, today.
     Initially, it may appear to be difficult to distinguish American by Fostoria and the look-alike "other guys".  There are  a few basics ways to help determine the "real" American items. One of the basic characteristics to look for  are mold marks or the absence of them.  Most American pieces have  three mold lines.  The look-a-likes have none.  Footed pieces such as bon-bons and bowls will have a turned foot; the look-a-likes have a straight post type foot.  Feel the glass; American edges will be smooth, the glass will have a slick feel to it and the glass will have a clarity that only "better" glass displays.
Visit an experienced and knowledgeable dealer and see American first-hand.  This is always a great help. Purchase a book that lists Fostoria products only or a book devoted to Elegant Depression glassware.  If an item does not coincide with descriptions in reference books, beware!  You may have found a "new" piece, but more than likely, you have found a look-a-like.  One of the most distressing  problems is the mixing of the look- a- likes with the "real".  Unfortunately, too often the copies are priced as American. Colored  pieces are not common, and new colored pieces are currently being produced.
    Current  produced items are noted in reference books. These are usually common items, so it is not as risky as might be surmised. Prices in the outlet stores are comparable to the "old" pieces. These current items should not affect the market significantly.  A good rule:  When in doubt, leave it out! Don`t assume anything!  Shop with a dealer you can trust.  American  had a long run with a large list of items and there are some great pieces.   Many of  the pieces are reasonably priced and  affordable to collect on a limited budget.  The pieces are serviceable, and will withstand regular use.   As with most patterns, there are "hard" pieces that boast a hefty price tag.  As a collector, a decision will have to be made as to how extensive your collection will be.   Be a knowledgeable collector! Visit  a show or shop and learn about this great pattern! Have fun and
Happy hunting!
Look alikes include:
American Whitehall
Crystal Cubist