The Glass

It was the uniqueness of the total technology of producing lead crystal, from the operation of the furnace to the weighing and mixing of the raw materials, the firing, the blowing, shaping, annealing, cleaning, decorating, and polishing that enabled the company to produce fine tableware–and thus preserved the building. Not only would mechanization have been cost prohibitive, it is virtually impossible for lead glass production.

Because of its brilliance, bell-like tone, and because it can be etched and cut in intricate patterns, lead glass has always been preferred by those who could afford it. Seneca Glass Company may have offered over one thousand patterns. Its markets included some of the finest stores and hotels in America, as well as international steamship lines. Eleanor Roosevelt, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, and the president of Liberia are only three of the many dignitaries who owned Seneca crystal.

In 1944 and 1945, the U. S. State Department ordered Seneca crystal for thirty American embassies and consulates. Because of the changing allegiances during the war, some of the crystal was rerouted from nations who became enemies to “friendly” nations.