Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal is a trademark brand of crystal glassware produced in Waterford, Ireland, and in recent years (largely as sub-brands) in other locations, by the company Waterford Wedgwood plc., previously trading as Waterford Glass Ltd.


A crystal business was originally founded in the city in 1783 by George and William Penrose; it produced extremely fine crystal that became world-renowned. However, their company later closed, reportedly due to excessive taxation of the product. In 1947, Czech immigrant Charles Bacik, grandfather of Irish senator Ivana Bacik, established a glass works in the city, due to the superb reputation of the original glassware. Aided by fellow countryman and designer Miroslav Havel, the company started operations in a depressed Ireland. By the early 1950s it had been taken over as a subsidiary of the Irish Glass Bottle company. Waterford Crystal Limited is currently a subsidiary of Waterford Wedgwood plc, itself formed through the acquisition by the then Waterford Glass Group of the famous pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood in 1986. The current chairman is Tony O'Reilly, and the CEO John Foley. The leading shareholders are billionnaire O'Reilly and his family, joined in the last decade by O'Reilly's brother-in-law, Greek shipping heir Peter Goulandris.

In May 2005, Waterford Wedgwood announced the closure of its factory in Dungarvan in order to consolidate all operations into the main factory in Kilbarry, Waterford City, where 1,000 people are employed by the company. The move resulted in nearly 500 Dungarvan workers losing their jobs.

The Kilbarry operation features a tourist centre offering guided tours of the factory, a gift shop, cafe, and gallery.


Waterford produces many patterns of lead crystal stemware, including lines such as Adare, Alana, Colleen, Kincora, Lismore, Maeve, Tramore, and many others.

Waterford's chandeliers hang in well-known buildings like Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, and the Kennedy Center, and they have made the crystals for the famous New Year's Eve Ball that is dropped each year in New York City's Times Square. The ball is a 1,070 pound geodesic orb, six feet in diameter and is lit by 600 clear and colored high-intensity halogen bulbs and 96 halogen strobe lights. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10652228/ MSCBC "Times Square ball to get LED makeover"] (retrieved 31 December 2006)]

Sporting trophies are also crafted by Waterford, such as the Masters Series crystal shield trophies that are awarded to the winner of each of the nine men's professional tennis Masters Series tournaments, and the AFCA National Championship Trophy that is awarded to the US college football team which finishes the season at the top of the Coaches Poll.

Also crafted by Waterford are the winning trophies for the French and German Grand Prix in Formula One, and a bat and ball trophy presented at the final game at Yankee Stadium to Derek Jeter.


ee also

* Edinburgh Crystal
* Tyrone Crystal

External links

* [http://www.waterford.com/ Official site]
* [http://www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com/ Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre]

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