- Existence: 1801 (date of birth of Joseph Foster) - 2015 (date of death of John J. Foster) - 2015
The Foster family, located first in New England and then in the Midwest, consists of five generations of glass makers.
(1) Joseph Foster (1801-1863) was a glassblower who founded a glass bottle factory in 1842 in Stoddard, New Hampshire.
(2) George W. Foster (1829-1892), son of Joseph Foster, was also a glassblower and worked in his father's and other glass factories. He established his own factory, New Granite Glassworks, also in Stoddard, New Hampshire, around 1860. By the 1870s, glass making began to move to the Appalachia and Midwest, where fuel was more abundant. George W. Foster closed the New Hampshire factories and opened a glass Dean, Foster & Co., a glass jobbing company.
(3) Adelbert M. Foster (1859-1934), son of George W. Foster, opened a branch office of Dean, Foster & Co. in Chicago in 1885. The jobbing company changed its name to A. M. Foster & Co. around 1895. He also held leadership positions in and owned various Indiana glass making factories, including B. F. Leach Glass Co., Marion Flint Glass Co., and Millgrove Glass Co. In 1910, he purchased the Upland Cooperative Glass Co., which was renamed Upland Flint Glass Co. in 1911. Foster owned Upland Flint Glass Co. jointly with W. C. Forbes and S. L. Peterson. In 1929, Upland Flint Glass Co. was renamed Foster-Forbes Glass Co.
(4) John M. Foster (1898-1996), son of Adelbert M. Foster, began working for Upland Flint Glass Co. in 1920, first in manufacturing, and later in sales. In 1922 the plant abandoned hand-blown bottle making techniques for the Owens bottle machine. He became president of Foster-Forbes Glass Co. upon the death of his father in 1935. He held that position until his retirement in 1970.
(5) John J. Foster (1933-2015), son of John M. Foster, worked for Foster-Forbes Glass Co., becoming the Burlington, Wisconsin plant manager in 1966. He also served as a regional sales manager in the company's Massachusetts office.
Bibliography: Foster, John Merrill. _Old Bottle Foster and His Glass-Making Descendants_. Fort Wayne: Keefer Printing Co., 1972.