Two hundred years ago, the company of Waterford was first established in the heart of the Irish harbor town of Waterford. Its founders were brothers, William and George Penrose, 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 Penrose brothers opened the first glass making factory in Waterford in 1783, where their work was immediately recognized for its clarity and purity of color and they continued to enjoy success for 70 years, when the factory fell victim to a lack of capitalization, and was sadly forced to close. In 1947 the Waterford story resumes with glass maker Kael Bacik and Miroslav Havel as Chief Designer. Havel spent many hours at the National Museum of Ireland studying surviving examples of the Penrose brothers’ crystal from the 18th and 19th centuries and from these surviving designs, in 1952, Havel created the now iconic Lismore , which remains the world’s best-selling crystal pattern.
Since its humble beginnings, Waterford has exponentially expanded its offerings beyond traditional stemware to embrace and complete the luxury lifestyle experience. Together with leading designers in the world of fashion and luxury living, Waterford created unique ranges of dining and home décor originals. These creative pairings with Waterford include the works of Monique Lhuillier, John Rocha, Jo Sampson, Jeff Leatham, Billy Canning, Jasper Conran and Robert Mondavi.
Waterford Crystal today maintains very strong links with its illustrious predecessors. There is the same dedication to purity of color, design inspiration and highest quality levels: core values carried over and maintained from the company’s earliest beginnings.