Augustus H. Heisey, an immigrant from Germany, began his career in the glass industry in 1861.  After three decades working in the industry, he decided to start his own glass production facility. The Heisey Company, which opened in 1896, initially produced pressed glassware. The glassware had such a fine quality that the glassware appeared to be cut.

In 1907, Heisey's son designed what came to be known as the well-known trademark for Heisey (a diamond-shape with an H in the center). Around 1914, Heisey started producing blown glassware with fancy, pressed stems (because he was not satisfied with the look of pulled stemware). Heisey called these pieces Heisey's American Crystal. A.H. Heisey died in 1922 and was succeeded by his son, E. Wilson Heisey. The younger Heisey chose to start following conventions of other glassware companies of the time and began producing colored glass. While the colored glass produced was profitable, Heisey’s most popular line was crystolite, a clear glass it introduced in 1938. Crystolite was produced until Heisey closed its doors twenty years later.

In 1958, the company was sold to Imperial Glass Corporation which continued to use some of the Heisey molds, naming the pieces “Heisey by Imperial.” This line continued until 1968, when Imperial Glass shut down its operations.

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