Stiegel, Henry William

Stiegel, Henry William

(stē`gəl), 1729–85, American iron and glass manufacturer, b. Germany. He emigrated to America, arriving in Philadelphia (1750). In 1758 he purchased his father-in-law's ironworks near Brickerville, Pa., where he manufactured iron stoves, developing the template type that served as a standard for many generations. About 1760, Stiegel laid out a town in Lancaster Co., Pa., which he named Manheim. In 1763 he brought glassworkers from England and built a plant at Manheim that was probably the first manufactory of flint glass in America. He is best known for the famous Stiegel glass, which he manufactured in colors ranging from light green to deep emerald, wine, amethyst, and blue, in the form of bottles, decanters, drinking glasses, and other wares.


See F. W. Hunter, Stiegel Glass (1950).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Stiegel, (Heinrich Wilhelm) Henry William

(1729–85) ironmaster, glassmaker; born in Cologne, Germany. In 1750 he emigrated to Philadelphia and by 1758 he was operating an iron manufactory in Lancaster County, Pa., which soon was one of the most successful in the colonies. In 1764 he began the first of his three glass factories; in addition to making standard sheet glass, he employed German, Venetian, and English glassblowers to make some of the most widely marketed glass tableware of the time. Although his glass wares were not signed and there are several varieties of "Stiegel ware"—including those colored wine-red, amethyst, and blue, and some with molded patterns—purists prefer to limit the term to a fine flint or green variety of glassware with engraved or enameled decoration. Legendary for his lavish expenditures, by 1774 he was bankrupt and imprisoned for debt, and his business never truly recovered after that.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.