Waterford Crystal is the first ever fully illustrated history of Ireland’s most iconic cut-glass manufacturer, its name synonymous with high-end glassmaking throughout the world.
Former Waterford glass cutter and local historian John Hearne explores how the art of glassmaking first arrived in Waterford at the turn of the sixteenth century. Hearne reveals how Waterford Crystal developed as a brand under the guidance of skilled artisans and shrewd business leaders with an eye for ingenuity. Waterford developed a global reputation for quality glass and crystalware that was rocked and buoyed by events that span centuries, including the American Revolutionary war, the World Fair in London, World War Two and the attacks of 9/11.
A testament to innovations in design and brilliant marketing strategy, Waterford Crystal also examines the brand’s failures – dubious accountancy practices that led to a long and bitter strike in 1990; the avarice and self-aggrandisement that ultimately led to the company’s demise in 2009.
Preserving the memory and legacy of Waterford Crystal for future generations of glassmaking, Hearne pays tribute to some of the finest artisans Ireland has ever produced, whose passionate devotion prefigured inspired works of art – turning basic ingredients, sand and ash, into objects of aesthetic beauty.
Table of Contents
- From Penrose to Gatchell, 1700–1823
- A Harsh Economic Environment, 1824–1835
- Feud, Strike, Closure, 1835–1851
- Attempts at Revival, 1851–1946
- Revival, 1946–1960
- Branding the Future, 1960–1984
- On the Brink of Closure, 1985–1994
- Of Hubris and Nemesis, 1995–2009
About the Author
John M. Hearne is a former teacher, lecturer and master cutter. His previous works include Thomas Francis Meagher: The Making of an Irish American (ed., 2005), Glassmaking in Ireland: From the Medieval to the Contemporary (ed., 2010), and A History of the City of Waterford Vocational Education Committee, 1930–2013 (2014).