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The company of Waterford was first established in 1783, on land adjacent to Merchants' Quay in the heart of the Irish harbour town of Waterford.
Its founders were two brothers, William and George Penrose, who were 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." More than two hundred years later, the reputation they established for creating glass of unsurpassed beauty and quality has transcended the intervening centuries.
Initially they imported tradesmen from Stourbridge and concentrated on making flint glass, which continued until 1851.
1949 The Irish Glass Bottle Co established a subsidiary, Waterford Glass, to revive the lead crystal cut glass industry. By 1968 this was a public company.
Waterford's principal manufacturing plant stood on a 40-acre site on the outskirts of the city made famous by its glittering product. There were also two other manufacturing plants in County Waterford.