It's a Dirty Job!

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

Blowing glass is a pretty tough job, but one national TV show also says it's a dirty one.

Camera crews were filming throughout the Fenton Glass factory in Williamstown all day Thursday.

It was all to show people across the nation that making glass takes a lot of craftsmanship, but there's also a lot of labor that goes into it as well.

You may have seen the show "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel where host Mike Rowe tries out some of the toughest occupations in the country. His most recent venture brought him to the Mid-Ohio Valley.

"It's kind of a disaster, but I'm pretty sure my mother will cherish it," Rowe said about a vase he made for her.

The purpose of this "dirty Jobs" episode, other than making his mom a present, is to show that the little pieces of art are a lot more difficult to make than you might expect.

When you think of Fenton Glass the words "beautiful" and "precious" come to mind, but in reality, it's a dirty job which somebody has to.

"There's also sweat and a little bit of blood and a lot of screaming and a lot of muscle and a lot of grit, and it takes just a ton of energy and work," Rowe said.

But it's the kind of work that Rowe was willing to try, and the kind that his show thrives on.

"I would say Mike is just like what you see on TV. He is as we'd say here in West Virginia, 'real people,'" Fenton Glas historian James Measell says.

"It's a great dirty job. It's just that in the end, if you know what you're doing, you end up with something beautiful," Rowe said.

But all that beauty doesn't come without a hard, and dirty day's work.

Rowe has done more than 200 "dirty jobs." He also said that because of the heat that comes with making glass, this job was one of the toughest.

Measell said this episode of Dirty Jobs will air sometime in 2009.


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  • by Brian Greenlee Location: Winfield WV on Nov 10, 2009 at 09:26 PM
    I am a big fan of Dirty Jobs and Mike Rowe. I am also very proud to be from the great state of West Virginia. Mike has made a couple trips to our state to show the awesome hardworking people of WV. So I was surprised and disappointed to see Mike did not mention where he was when he payed a visit to Fenton Glass. Most of the Jobs in West Virginia are "Dirty Jobs", from glass making to coal mining, to my line of work State Trooper, but no matter how dirty the job, the people of the best kept secret in the USA work harder than anywhere in the country. So Mike I look forward to seeing you come back to WV, but please, give us the "shout out" so the rest of America can see that we are not a bunch of uneducated rednecks, as so often portrayed. Thanks again Mike for entertaining, us with your travels, and continued success. Hopefully for years to come.
  • by Josh Location: Argabrite on Dec 21, 2008 at 03:53 PM
    I am the grandson of Joanne Argabrite CEO of Jabo Inc. and i was actually standing in my grandmother’s office when dirty jobs contacted her. They asked her if she would like to be on the show and she said yes. They then asked if there were any places close by to shoot for their second day so my grandmother gave them a few names and Fenton was one of the names she gave. I read the contract sent from dirty jobs and know for a fact that they asked both places not to contact the news . They explained that it would make it a lot easier to shoot the show with out interruptions by the news and other spectators. I hope this clears up any confusion in this matter.
  • by Anonymous Location: Vienna on Dec 15, 2008 at 04:16 PM
    I know Deanna and Mrs. Argabrite very well. You are actually very incorrect, Ellis. Jabo was the crew's first choice. Yes, Fenton was chosen due to proximity because they asked Jabo if there was anywhere else they could film another segment of the show.
  • by Ellis on Dec 5, 2008 at 01:55 PM
    That is false, filming at Fenton was always planned and for quite a few months, it was not recommended by JABO, the two were together because of proximity and nothing else. Sounds to me like the poster below is a little bitter.
  • by unknown on Nov 25, 2008 at 03:58 PM
    Deanna is correct they contacted Jabo CEO Joanne Argabrite about being on the show and she recommended they go to Fenton and the only reason Fenton got more attention is because they leaked the story to the press even after Dirty jobs asked them not to, its kind of pathetic really.
  • by Deanna on Nov 19, 2008 at 08:59 PM
    He actually went to JABO marble factory first on Novemeber 11 and they had recommended he stop by Fenton.
  • by Cass Location: Parkersburg on Nov 14, 2008 at 02:04 PM
    What was the other place that he was at? I was so bummed at I didn't get to see him.
  • by Beth on Nov 14, 2008 at 01:18 PM
    im so glad that they were here.I love dirty jobs.Also where else in town were they....
  • by amanda Location: marietta on Nov 14, 2008 at 10:59 AM
    it's not a place that is dirty
  • by Surprised!!! Location: Marietta on Nov 14, 2008 at 07:59 AM
    Yea, it was great that he was in town filming the show. He was also at another location filming, but you noticed that Fenton was the only company mentioned. It seems that Fenton Glass is usually in the spotlight some where.
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