I think I received my first piece of Waterford in 1988. It was a vase. I never knew about their history though until I took the tour.
English brothers started making crystal in Waterford in 1783. But their company closed in 1851. It was given new life in 1947 when two Czechs started making crystal again.
It was a great tour. It starts with background on the company and then takes you through the different stages of the process. A carpenter makes wood molds for special pieces like the U.S. college football trophy. They use cast iron molds for volume pieces like glasses.
Glass is blown at the next stage, and it needs to cool slowly overnight. The edges are smoothed during the third stage, and then on to the marking. The crystal is then cut, and finally goes for an acid bath.
Crystal is inspected at each stage. Waterford does not make “seconds.” All imperfect pieces are smashed and re-melted.
Replica of bowl presented to president Obama
Crystal American flag
Glass before the acid wash
Largest champagne flute – about 5 feet tall
Jill learning how to blow glass