Founded by chimney sweep Terry Polis in 1979, Pennsylvania Firebacks, Inc., is about to mark the 40th Anniversary of its revitalization of the art form of the cast-iron Fireback.
When the turn to alternative energy emerged in the late 1970’s, as an artist, I had the pleasure of creating graphics and advertisements for my friend Terry and his then new sweeping business. At the time I lived in a two hundred year old farmhouse with nine fireplaces, in the middle of an arboretum, and an oil crisis. Needless to say Terry was a cherished client.
In 1979 I had the pleasure of partnering with Terry in revitalizing the forgotten art form of the Fireback by sculpting the first American designs in modern times. That year I designed and sculpted the Franklin Sun, and Great Oak (at that time called the Green Tree), Firebacks.
While still sculpting and making patterns of these first new Firebacks, the first advertisements for Pennsylvania Firebacks had to rely on line art drawings of the designs. These first advertisements appeared in the November 1979 issues of the Smithsonian, Natural History, House and Garden and a few other magazines. Subsequant advertisements in these magazines featured photographs of the newly cast Firebacks.
In 1981 the North Star Fireback, and Field of Stars Firebacks were introduced. Also that year the Franklin Sun Fireback was modified to its present form and work on the American Eagle and others begun.
Still hand cast with the finest materials by skilled foundry workers in Pennsylvania, we are honored by the public reception and customer loyalty we have received from the debut of our first advertisements to this day.
J. Del Conner,