The History of Waterford® Crystal
Waterford Crystal designs and crafts an
extensive line of crystal frames. The company has a strong and dedicated
commitment to creating prestigious products - for gift giving and home
The beginnings of glass
making in Ireland are lost in the mists of time but there is sufficient
archaeological evidence to show that, from the early Iron Age, glass was
regarded with respect. Indeed, medieval documents can prove glass making existed
in Ireland back in the middle 13th century.
The company of Waterford
was first established in 1783 on land adjacent to Merchants Quay in the heart of
town of Waterford. Its founders were two brothers, William and George Penrose,
who were important developers and principal exporters in the city. Their vision
was to "create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of
beauty for the home."
The brothers were important developers and the city's principal exporters.
development, they told the Irish Parliament, cost £10,000 - a great deal of
money in the 18th century.
They employed 50 to 70 people, led by a fellow Quaker, John Hill, from
Stourbridge in England, and succeeded in producing crystal with a purity of
color unmatched in Ireland or England. Merchant ships sailed regularly from the
port of Waterford with cargoes of crystal bound for Spain, the West Indies, New
York, New England and Newfoundland.
But less than 100 years later the initial company failed due to lack of capital
and excessive taxation. In what seems like a remarkably short time, Waterford
Crystal acquired an unequalled reputation for creation of beautiful objects and
designs, but its operations lay dormant.
Another century passed before the enterprise was revived. In 1947, while Europe
was still in ruins after the second World War, a small glass factory was set up
in Waterford just 1½
miles from the site of the original glass factory.
Waterford® Crystal Today
Today, Waterford Crystal
has very strong links with its illustrious predecessor. There is today the same
dedication to the purity of color, to the same design inspiration and to the
same pursuit of highest quality levels possible. The traditional cutting
patterns made famous by the artisans of Waterford became the design basis for
the growing product range of the new company.
Waterford Crystal, today, is the leading brand of premium crystal. Its
products - superb handcrafted frames are designed and manufactured to the
In 2004, Waterford
the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Lismore pattern of crystal.
Almost every year since its inception, Lismore has topped the popularity list
and has been the biggest selling pattern of crystal in the US and the world.
Waterford Crystal® has become almost a synonym for the finest quality
crystal sought after by collectors and connoisseurs around the world. Each piece
of Waterford can be recognized by the signature on the base of the frame with
the word "Waterford".