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Harry A Rosenthal Jr
Harry A Rosenthal Jr
Jacob Rosenthal, Fenton chemist and grandfather of Harry

FAGCA's Benefactor, HARRY A. ROSENTHAL JR.


Harry Rosenthal was a great benefactor to FAGCA, both before and after his death. Harry's family roots were in glassmaking - "Fenton Art Glass owes much early success to famous glass chemist Jacob Rosenthal, also known as Uncle Jake, whose glass career began shortly after the Civil War. Perhaps Rosenthal's most important contribution to the young company was his role in the creation of iridescent glass, known as carnival glass, which Fenton introduced in 1907. Rosenthal's carnival glass, chocolate glass (sometimes called caramel glass by antique dealers), and golden agate pieces are now much-sought-after collector's items. Rosenthal also helped the company persuade other talented glass workers to relocate to Williamstown." (attributed to Phil Berry, Wonderful West Virginia Magazine, May 2006)

Jacob Rosenthal's grandson, Harry Andrew Rosenthal Jr., was born in 1935 to Dr. and Mrs. Harry Rosenthal.  Harry Jr. was a lifelong bachelor.  He joined FAGCA in 1990 and quickly became a very active and beloved member.  His dedication to Fenton glass shone through over the following years, in his annual convention attendance, highly desirable glass donations, and monetary gifts.  He resided in Daytona Beach, FL in a small and humble abode within 3 blocks of the Daytona strip.

Harry was also active in the Greentown Glass Club and, according to his eulogy, he would always come back from the Greentown convention in Indiana "with a 'new piece' (not counting the ones he bought and donated to their museum).  I told him they would have to open a 'new' Rosenthal wing for all his donations."

His eulogy also tells us that Harry was involved in local politics as a gadfly if not a candidate. "He was a good citizen... with an opinion.  Over several months, he wrote at least a dozen letters to the mayor of Daytona Beach outlining his belief that Daytona Beach was a 'city on the skids'.  He and his mom had moved to Daytona Beach in 1941, so he knew it's history... it's rumored that it got to the point that when the receptionist saw Harry coming, she would call the mayor to give him a chance to slip out the back door."

Harry passed away in 2018 and is buried alongside his mother at Riverview Cemetery, right here in Williamstown, less than two miles from the site of the former Fenton factory.

Harry donated Fenton glass from his own collection to FAGCA throughout the years, and that older glass, much of it rare, is on display at the FAGCA office.  He left FAGCA a substantial bequest upon his passing, which will preserve our mission into the future!
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Obituary - Harry Andrew Rosenthal, Jr., 82, of Daytona Beach, passed away January 8, 2018. Harry was born on January 14, 1935. He was a graduate of Seabreeze High School and received an Associate of Arts degree from the University of Florida. He was employed as an Office Manager at Burnup & Sims, Inc. and later the Volusia County Finance Department. Harry was long active in the Masonic fraternity, serving as Master of Daytona Beach Lodge 270 in 1964 and District Deputy Grand Master in 1998. He was also very active in Demolay, York Rite, and Scottish Rite. Harry was honored as 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason and was also a Past Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of Florida. Harry was also an avid collector of rare antique art glass. A Masonic Service, open to the public, will be conducted at New Smyrna Lodge 149, 300 North Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach, Florida on Friday, January 19, at 2:00 PM.

Fenton Art Glass also owes its early success to famous glass chemist Jacob Rosenthal, also known as Uncle Jake, whose glass career began shortly after the Civil War. Perhaps Rosenthal's most important contribution to the young company was his role in the creation of iridescent glass, known as carnival glass, which Fenton introduced in 1907, Rosenthal's carnival glass, chocolate glass (sometimes called caramel glass by antique dealers), and golden agate pieces are now much-sought-after collector's items. Rosenthal also helped the company persuade other talented glass workers to relocate to Williamstown.
Fenton Art Glass also owes its early success to famous glass chemist Jacob Rosenthal, also known as Uncle Jake, whose glass career began shortly after the Civil War. Perhaps Rosenthal's most important contribution to the young company was his role in the creation of iridescent glass, known as carnival glass, which Fenton introduced in 1907, Rosenthal's carnival glass, chocolate glass (sometimes called caramel glass by antique dealers), and golden agate pieces are now much-sought-after collector's items. Rosenthal also helped the company persuade other talented glass workers to relocate to Williamstown.


Oct/Nov 2011 Butterfly Net Article
Eulogy written and presented by Harry's friend Bob Burleson.

After Harry’s father died early in his life (he was a doctor), he and his mother, Julie, moved to Daytona. She was Advertising Manager for the Daytona Beach News Journal for many years.

Harry was a confirmed bachelor.

He was one-of-kind.

He was a curmudgeon before he became a curmudgeon. He had a set routine. He didn’t cook, so he became an aficionado on where to eat in Daytona Beach.

  • Mario’s for chicken marsala ….and a Gibson

  • Chart House for prime rib….and perhaps a glass of wine

  • Longhorns for steak…and a Vodka martini

  • Aunt Catfish’s for grouper…and a libation

  • Olive Garden for salmon….and a libation

  • Stavros for pizza…and sometimes, god forbid, a beer

When I visited him, we often ate at Norwood’s in New Smyrna Beach for seafood and a Bloody Mary. 

On his trips to Orlando to celebrate my birthday, we would go to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for a superb filet mignon and a bottle of a favorite wine – Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon.

I remember we celebrated the new millennium at Manuel’s on the 28th in downtown Orlando and watched the fireworks at Lake Eola from atop the old DuPont Centre building.

Over a period of 15 years, he and I would attend Masonic week in Washington, D.C., where we’d attend a meeting, then skip out to sightsee. Over those years, we managed to visit almost all of the historical sites worth seeing, including the blizzard of ’92 when we got snowbound and grateful that the Old Ebbets Grill a block from the old Hotel Washington, remained opened!

But there was more to Harry Rosenthal than enjoying a good dinner and pleasant conversation with friends. He was a good citizen….with an opinion. Over several months, he wrote at least a dozen letters to the Mayor of Daytona Beach outlining his belief that Daytona Beach was “a city on the skids.” He and his Mom had moved to Daytona Beach in 1941, so he knew its history (for instance, Daytona was originally 3 cities before consolidation: Daytona, Daytona Beach, and Seabreeze). It’s rumored that it got to the point that when the receptionist saw Harry coming, she would call the mayor to give him a chance to slip out the back door.

Collecting glass was his passion. His grandfather, Jacob Rosenthal, had been the chief chemist at the Indiana Glass and Goblet Company in Greentown, Indiana. He was credited with “inventing” chocolate glass and Harry would always come back from the annual Greentown Glass Convention with a new piece (not counting the ones he bought and donated to their museum). I told him they would have to open a “new” Rosenthal wing because of all his donations.

He loved the Order of DeMolay (a Masonic youth organization) where he had become a member of Arthur H. Carter Chapter, going on to become a Chevalier and an active Legion of Honour. He rarely missed the annual Observance of Central Florida Court of Chevaliers at Linda’s La Cantina, where his fellow Chevaliers looked forward to hearing him speak. 

He served as a member of the Florida Legion of Honour Degree team for many years and at one investiture at the Masonic Home, he was made an Honorary Member of the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay.

He was a member of the Florida DeMolay Hall of Fame.

Like many of us, he transitioned from Senior DeMolay to Master Mason and would serve the fraternity with distinction for 63 years, becoming Worshipful Master, District Deputy Grand Master, Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honor, and as Right Eminent Grand Commander the year of our nation’s bicentennial.

And he was a generous man, contributing to many Masonic charities on a regular basis. He thought it was his duty to give back.

Most of all, he was good man, a good Mason, and a good friend who believed that “a man’s word was his bond.” He was definitely “old school” where good manners, common courtesy and respect, and enduring friendships mattered. 

The history books will speak kindly of him.

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***We are still working out the details and will be updating as we go along***
(updated 2/5/2021)

Because of Harry's generous bequest, we have been provided the opportunity to offer a scholarship program.  We are thrilled to announce we will soon be offering the annual Harry Rosenthal Jr. Scholarship Program.  We hope this initiative will help inspire, educate, and encourage future generations of craftsmen, authors, or anyone with an interest in the glass industry.  This program will be open to candidates mainly meeting criteria with a genuine interest in furthering the glassmaking/art glass trade and glass education.  It will be open to family members of current FAGCA club members.  This fund will be kept separate from the daily operating funds of FAGCA.  Contributions to this fund can be made using the Donate button below, or can be mailed to FAGCA Attn: Rosenthal Fund, PO Box 384, Williamstown, WV 26187.  Any donation is welcome and greatly appreciated.

Harry Rosenthal Jr. Scholarship Donation
Fenton Art Glass Collectors of America is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.