In 2014, Waterford Crystal signed a licensing deal with Lionsgate, the producers of the American TV series ‘Mad Men’ and went on to create an epic collection of old fashioned tumblers, decanters, and highballs for fans world over. Pretty awesome for a Waterford brand!
In fact, Matthew Weiner, ‘Mad Men’s creator saw Waterford Crystal as the ideal match for his iconic show and thought that Waterford’s heritage and image were the perfect pairing of two icons. How bad!
How did it all begin?
Well, here’s a few facts about Waterford Crystal
- Waterford Crystal dates back to the late 18th century
Brothers William and George Penrose started their business in Waterford in 1783 and produced the extremely fine flint glass that has become renowned all over the world. Unfortunately, they had to close in 1851 due to a lack of capital and excessive taxation. What a shame but thankfully for Waterford’s economy, the company was brought back to life in 1947.
- There’s a special way to identify Waterford Crystal
So there’s a hidden ‘acid stamp’ in Gothic type font on the crystal that only appears if you dip it in hot soapy water- very cool! Crystal made from 1999 onwards has a millennium stamp with a trademark seahorse design engraved. Just so you know what’s what.
- The chandeliers in Westminster Abbey are Waterford Crystal
In 1965, the Guinness family presented the abbey with sixteen lead crystal chandeliers to hang in the nave and transepts of Westminster as a way of marking its 900th anniversary. Nice gift, made for a great backdrop when Prince William was walking Kate up the aisle no doubt.
Waterford Crystal today
At its peak, The Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre was one of the biggest tourist draws in the country. Busloads of overseas visitors used to flock to the factory to see how the lead crystal was made. And while the factory shut it’s door’s in 2009, you can still see the crystal in all it’s glory at the House of Waterford Crystal on the mall, Waterford. Well worth a visit, and a great testament of Waterford’s talent and legacy.
Up the Deise!