Peter Gentile, the father of John Gentile, was orphaned at age 13 and already a trained glass blower at 17. He immigrated from his native home of Naples Italy to United State around 1911. He settled in Rochester, PA, where he found work at the Fry Glass factory. Ten Years later the Fry works closed. Peter followed his good friend Joseph Haden to Morgantown, WV and started work at the Morgantown glass work company. He later opened the Gentile Glass. John worked in the evening with his father learning the art of making glass and developing a love for the glass that continues today.
Peter is well known for the beautiful Italian footed pieces that he made at Morgantown Glass Company. These pieces are highly sought after today by collectors. John married Gertrude who has four children. Gentile Glass Company started in a small building at 416 industrial avenue in 1974-1975. John moved his factory across the street and built a new factory, which remains located at 425 industrial avenue, Star city, WV. The factory remained open until May 2006, when it was closed 3 months after John passed away on February 9,2006. Just 3 days before his 83rd birthday. He was surrounded by his loving, devoted wife and partner, Gertrude, and his family members. Gertrude Gentile is known as the first female paper weight maker.
Here are some samples of Gentile collection that was specially made by Peter John and Gertrude Gentile. These pieces were part of their personal collections. These pieces of glass and paper weights are one of kind and now donated to the glass museum.
Italian footed pieces made by
Paper weights made by
Situated in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Seneca Glass Company (1891-1983) manufactured over 1,000 hand-cut crystal glassware patterns on hand-blown glass, more than any other glass company worldwide.
In 1891, a group of immigrant glass artisans and businessmen from German settled in Seneca County, Ohio. They took possession of the former Fostoria Class company and established the Seneca Glass Company, later the company was moved to Morgantown, WV, in 1896 for better opportunity.
Over some ninety-two years of production, Seneca produced quality, delicate, lead, blow table and barware in a variety of forms. Stemware, tumblers, goblets, jugs, water bottles, finger bowls, nappies and more were all produced in abundance. The company is best known for the striking cut glass patterns they produced.