“Irena” Household Glass Glassworks

“Irena” Household Glass Glassworks, 2020

The glassworks was founded in Inowrocław in 1924 by Franciszek Dzwikowski. It produced only glass bottles. In the mid-1920s, it was taken over by the German company “Winkelhausen”, which produced bottles for its own wine and vodka label in Stargard Gdański.

In 1927, Henryk Podkomorski became the new owner of the works, and he modernised them, installed modern machines and named the steelworks Irena.

The speciality of the plant were jars for flavourings such as “Weck”, “Irena” and “Irena patent”. In addition to this method of manual blowing with transparent and tinted glass, a range of table and fancy goods, bottles, lighting glass, perfume and cosmetic, pharmacy and technical glass was produced.

Even before the outbreak of World War II the buildings of the ruined “Ino” Glassworks were purchased. During the war the works was taken over by the Germans. A fire and the subsequent dismantling of the hall caused the works to fall into ruin after the war. With the effort of the workers, in 1945 the plant was cleared of rubble and production was resumed. In the 1950s the product range of the glassworks was wide and included: electrotechnical glass, battery vessels, packaging glass, food and cosmetic bottles, jars, wine demijohns, fancy glass, household glass and sanitary and lighting glass. Between 1952 and 1955, the plant was upgraded under a six-year plan. From the 1960s, the production technique was improved, a product tank for the production of coloured glass was built, and in the 1970s the plant implemented the technology for producing crystal glass using blowing and hand-decorating techniques. The crystal glasses of the “Irena” Glassworks were hugely popular. A large part of the products were mainly exported to Iran.

In 1991, the plant was transformed into a State Treasury joint-stock company; shares were issued on the Stock Exchange. The company’s unstable situation in subsequent years and repeated attempts to save it led to the sale of ¾ of the plant to an Iranian investor. In 2019, the works, operating under the name of Irena Holding Group Sp. z o.o., again stood on the verge of bankruptcy.

Connected to the glassworks were: Jan Gernat (engraver), Przemysław Jankowski (designer), Wiesław Krysiak (designer), Katarzyna Łożykowska (designer), Adam Łożykowski (designer), Wit Płażewski (designer), Stefania Rybus-Kujawa (designer), Wanda Zawidzka-Manteuffel (designer), Bogumiła Jung (designer)

Read more: http://irenaco.eu/?page_id=8580 ; https://www.glassonline.com/irena-to-acquire-foreign-glassworks/