“Zawiercie” Household Glass Glassworks

Huta Szkła "Zawiercie", Zawiercie, 2015.
“Zawiercie” Household Glassworks, Zawiercie, 2015

Founded in the nineteenth century in Zawiercie by Andrzej Chmielowski. The main products were bottles, jugs, and beer mugs. In 1884 the glassworks was purchased by Alojzy Reich, representing the company “S. Reich & ‘Ska”. This company, which had several glassworks in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, transformed the small factory into a thriving, modern plant.

In 1900, the status of the company was changed to “Towarzystwo Akcyjne Huty Szkła w Zawierciu formerly S. Reich & Ska w Zawierciu”. The co-owner of the company, alongside Alojzy Reich, became Emanuel Marcus, who was later to be the director of the glassworks. World War I interrupted the operation of the plant, but it was resumed as early as 1918. The products were made of colourless glass and in yellow, emerald, brown and violet. The ornaments were ground, painted and etched with hydrofluoric acid. During World War II, the glassworks continued to manufacture, focusing on lighting glass. After the war it was nationalised and from 1945 it operated as the State Glass Factory in Zawiercie. In 1950 the name was changed to the Household and Lighting Glassworks in Zawiercie and utilitarian production of reflective and signalling glass was carried out. After establishing contact with the newly established Faculty of Glass of the State Higher School of Visual Arts in Wrocław, its graduates were engaged in the design of leaded glass utility objects. From the 1960s, the factory’s products were largely exported to France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Italy, the United States, Canada, Venezuela and New Zealand. In the following years, production fell. In 1986, production was switched to lead glass, abandoning sodium glass products. In 1998 the plant was transformed into a joint-stock company and 11 years later it passed into the hands of private investors. Progressive problems led to the bankruptcy of the company in 2016 and its definitive closure in 2018.

Designers associated with the glassworks: Bogdan Kupczyk, Władysław Michalski (engraver), Stanisław Pędziwiatr (engraver and designer), Zofia Piaskiewicz, Sebastian Pietkiewicz, Józef Podlasek, Maria Słaboń-Kapa, Zofia Szmyd-Ścisłowicz

Read more:
www.zawierciewebsite.com – Zawiercie general history