If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Fostoria’s American pattern must be the most “flattered” glass pattern of the 20th century. Imitators that are most frequently misidentified as American are the Whitehall pattern produced by Indiana Glass, and the Cube pattern produced by Jeannette Glass. Both have a similar cube-like motif like American, but the similarity ends there.
Determining whether or not a piece of glass is actually American is not as difficult as you might think. Here are a few things to look for in a true piece of Fostoria American:
Mold lines – Most American pieces will have been produced in a three-part mold, which results in three mold lines (or seams) running down the length of the piece, not two mold lines as you will see in the imitators.
Color – If the color of your piece is anything but clear, it is probably Whitehall, not American. Very few pieces of American were produced in colors compared to the masses that were produced in clear.
Glass Quality – Glass produced by Fostoria was good quality and highly polished, resulting is a silky smooth crystal clear product that sparkles. The imitators are not as clear and don’t have the same silky feel to the touch.
Handles – American pitchers and jugs have handles that connect at the top of the piece, not an inch below the top.
Base – American plates and bowls will have a ground base; the imitators will not.
The best way to learn to tell the difference is to actually handle a variety of pieces of both American and its imitators. It won't be long before you'll be able to spot an imitation from across the room!