Item Number: #377
Production Dates: 1980-1982
Out of all the Fostoria American Coasters, this stunning 16-rayed version is the hardest one to find. It is easy to understand why, for they were only produced from 1980-1982. With a short production run, and also being prone to breakage during and after the manufacturing process, there simply are not a lot of them available. Even fewer are the ones in great condition.
The Coaster (with 16 rays) is approximately 3¾” in diameter. Expect slight variations in size. The 16-rayed coasters that I have are slightly smaller – bigger than 3½” but smaller than 3¾”. The outer rim of glass that surrounds this Coaster is thinner than the other variations, making it a bit more fragile.
I have noticed from my own experience that glasses do not sit as securely in the center of this Coaster as they do in the other variations. Since the thinner 16-Rayed Coaster had production and breakage issues, it is very plausible that the thicker 12-Rayed Coaster was then designed to help correct these problems.
While the 16-Rayed Coaster might be more difficult to find (especially in great condition) it is truly one of the prettiest Coasters that Fostoria Glass ever produced. If you would like to learn more about pricing and availability, please click the following sponsored link for available Coasters on eBay.
Item Number: #UD-01
Production Dates: Unknown
Out of all the Coasters considered to be from the American pattern, this is the one that is the most mysterious. The reason is simple. It is not included in the William Litman book on the American pattern (endorsed by the Fostoria Glass Society of America), nor is it recognized by other renowned and respected authors. It is; however, mentioned in a few other books.
Why is this particular Coaster not being included in all published resources on the American pattern? Since the 12-Ray Coaster does not appear to have been cataloged by Fostoria Glass, many researchers simply overlook it. Of those that do include it, I can’t validate their findings through official Fostoria records, catalogs, and/or advertisements.
I do know that this particular Coaster was reproduced after Fostoria closed, which is indicative of a mould that was still in good shape and repair. I personally believe that this item is the last coaster that Fostoria made. The thinner 16-Rayed Coaster had production and breakage issues, so it is very plausible that the thicker 12-Ray Coaster was designed to correct the problem. This scenario would make sense, and also account for why it is not listed in any of the last Fostoria catalogs. This was all happening during the last breaths of Fostoria Glass, with no new catalogs being produced. It would not be the first time that an American item was not featured in a catalog – or noted in official company records.
The Coaster (with 12 rays) is approximately 3¾” in diameter. It will accommodate various sizes of the straight-sided American tumblers. As seen in this photo, even the large Ice Tea tumbler fits quite comfortably.
There are 12 rays that display in the center of the Coaster, enclosed within a wide band of glass. This design is different than the first FA Coaster, whose pattern has cubes all over.
To make things even more intriguing, the blue Coaster you see here was NOT made by Fostoria Glass. This is a reproduction piece that was made from the original mould. It is important to remember that these reproductions are not genuine Fostoria American items. While it would be correct to say these colored reproductions are from the American pattern, it would be incorrect to state that they were made by Fostoria Glass. Most of the colored Coasters (if not all) were made by Wilkerson Glass. When compared to the original clear crystal Coasters, they appear to be well crafted.
The 12-Rayed Coaster is very thick and durable, and still easy to find. If you would like to learn more about pricing and availability, please click the following sponsored link for available Coasters on eBay.
Item Number: #380
Production Dates: 1937-1980
The Coaster is an interesting item in the American #2056 line. While there are a couple of variations of this piece, the Coaster featured in this post was produced longer than any other design. It made its debut in 1937 and was produced for over forty years. This Coaster (item #380) showcases the famed cubes all over its surface, encased within a circular glass rim.
The origin of the term “coaster” dates back to the mid-1700’s, at a time when they were commonly used by household servants to hold decanters and wine bottles. The intent of the coaster was that it would easily slide (or “coast”) from one person to the next around the table. Earlier coasters were often made out of wood, silver and paper. Any type of coaster that slid easily would work – even glass. These days; however, most people use coasters for an entirely different purpose.
Today, we mainly use coasters to help protect the surface of a table from condensation and moisture. This layer of protection also helps in protecting surfaces from being burned by hot beverages. Many modern coasters are made from paper, cork, and wood – all highly absorbable materials. Glass, while not being noteworthy for whisking away condensation, at least offers a layer of protection. The American Coaster will not absorb moisture; however, it will happily catch the drips, and do so beautifully.
On a personal note, I like to use my American Coasters in other ways – in addition to table top protection. For example, I also use them as toppers for drinks to prevent contamination from airborne particles or insects. This strategy is wonderful for outdoor parties, keeping flies and other insects from getting in or near your drinking glasses.
For a dinner party, I will set them at each place setting. Once the table is cleared, any drinks that have the coaster sitting on top of their glass signals me that the guest is not finished with their drink. This strategy is a bit more formal; however, it works like a charm. It eliminates posing the question “Are you finished with your drink?” over and over again to all your guests.
The Fostoria American Coasters are truly beautiful. Each one is a little piece of art – approximately 3¾” in diameter. If you would like to learn more about pricing and availability, please click the following sponsored link for available Coasters on eBay.