Ceramic Industry

Lenox May Close Crystal Factory

October 16, 2001
The parent of Lenox Manufacturing may close its last crystal stemware manufacturing plant in the United States by the end of the year. A final decision on whether to close the Westmoreland County, Pa., plant is expected in the next 30 to 45 days, according to Phil Lynch, a spokesman for Brown-Forman Corp., the parent company based in Louisville, Ky. "We did inform everyone there that the prospects for operating in Mount Pleasant look grim. Things do not look good. It's a terrible thing for the employees, and we feel badly," Lynch said. The company employs 158 people at the plant, which was built in 1970 as the first glass factory built in the United States devoted to hand-blown lead crystal. Its home in Mount Pleasant has been a site for crystal production since the 1850s. Lenox crystal is used at White House dinners and in every American embassy.