The only manufacturer of handmade glass in Estonia, the Glasstone factory dates
its origins to the Meleski glass factory established in central Estonia at the end
of the 18th century.
After a turbulent history, which included nationalization during the Soviet period,
followed by a difficult period of re-privatization after Estonia regained its
independence in the early 1990s, Glasstone is today moving toward a new future
based on traditional glassblowing skills and modern design approaches.
The original factory was established in 1796 by the German aristocracy who
controlled the Estonian economy at the time. After Estonian won its independence
after the First World War, the company was acquired by a local businessman,
Johannes Lorup, who modernized the factory and increased exports.
The factory has operated at the present location since 1934, when Lorup expanded
operations to the capital. After the Soviet occupation in 1940, the factory was
nationalized and Johannes Lorup deported to Siberia. He never returned.
When Estonia regained its independence, it was possible to again privatize the
company, and with the accession of Estonia to the EU in May 2004, the prospects
for the future are bright.