Riedel Crystal is a glassware manufacturer based in Kufstein, Austria, best known for its glassware designed to enhance different types of wines. According to Petr Novy, Chief Curator of the Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou Czech Republic, Riedel is the oldest family-owned and operated global crystal glass brand worldwide.
Established in Bohemia in 1756, the company is managed by Georg Riedel and Maximilian Riedel. They are the 10th and 11th generation of the family.
Josef Riedel the elder was an early adopter of new technology. When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, the Riedels implemented a private phone line in the forests to improve communication amongst their factories in 1883. When Thomas Alva Edison patented the first electric light bulb in 1881, the Riedels introduced electric light to the Riedel factories in 1883, primarily for safety reasons to limit fire risk. The modern era of lighthouses began at the turn of the 18th century and lighthouse construction boomed. The first Fresnel lens was used in 1823 - its light could be seen from more than 32 km out. In 1883, the Riedel production catalogues introduced moulded optical crystal Fresnel lenses for lighthouses, and speciality glass products began to play a significant role in the Jos. Riedel product mix. These were successfully exported until 1914 when World War I started.
Josef Riedel the elder was named Glass King of the Iser Mountains and in 1888, he was decorated with the papal Order of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. He was an honorary citizen of Wiesenthal an der Neisse as he had given the village land on which to build a church in 1880, and was an honorary citizen of Franzensbad (1858).
Today, Riedel has produced glass for over 250 years and for eleven generations right in the heart of Europe.
According to Wikipedia