At one time, toothpick holders were expensive cases carried on ones person. Some toothpicks were personal items made of gold, silver and ivory. Other toothpicks were just whittled out of wood as needed. Toothpick holders as we know them today were not necessary until disposable wooden or quill toothpicks were introduced in the 19th century.
Toothpick holders were made of glass, ceramics, and metal. They did lose their popularity when Victorian etiquette frowned upon cleaning one's teeth at the table. In the 20th century, they became a collector's item. Today they can be found made of wood along with glass, ceramic and metal in all different shapes.
Imperial Glass Bellaire Toothpick Holder Vintage Purple Slag Glass #505
Vintage Imperial Glass Toothpick Holder. This vintage glass toothpick holder was made by Imperial Glass. IG's mark is on the bottom inside the holder. The toothpick holder is a purple slag glass. It is in pattern #505, aka Bellaire. It is approx. 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". It is in good condition with minor wear and aging .
Fostoria Glass Company was started in 1887. The factory was located in Fostoria, Ohio. In 1892, Fostoria relocated to Moundsville, West Virginia. Fostoria produced high quality fire polished colorless pressed pattern glass. In addition to tableware they also produced fruit jars and an assortment of oil lamps.
This continued until the 1920's when William Alexander Baxter Dalsell, president, introduced colored tableware along with complete dinnerware sets. For nearly a century, the company catered to and directed cosumer tastes. The Fostoria plant closed in 1986.
While Fostoria Glass has many popular patterns including Coin, Long Buttress and Colonial, the American pattern has remained the most widest collected pattern.
In 1915, Fostoria introduced the American line with 95 different items. The cube design produces a prismatic fire in both sunlight and artificial light. The original issue was only in clear glass. In the 1920's Fostoria produced some colors included an opaque black and pastel colors. These were only made during the 20's. Milk glass was introduced in the 50's and 60's. In 1982, Fostoria introduced Ruby Glass Forstoria. The success of the pattern led to around 340 different pieces.
The American line was one of my first loves. I tend to spot pieces of American from far away. However, it is easy to be fooled by a look alike or reproduction piece. Two of the more common patterns were Cubist by Jeannette Glass and American Whitehall by Lancaster. So how to tell the difference?
Check out some of the Fostoria I have for sale at the moment!
What's your favorite glass pattern? Let me know in the comments!