Business: Pennsylvania Firebacks
Artist: J. Del Conner
In 1979, the all-but-forgotten art form of the cast iron fireback was revitalized by artist Del Conner. With his company, Pennsylvania Firebacks,
the first new designs in a very long time were introduced to America. A few years latter, working with museums and private collectors, a line of
Historic Reproduction Firebacks were added to his growing line of original designs. To ease installation, Del invented and patented the Saf-TBoot support system that allows a fireback to be held leaning in a variety of angles.
Cast in Hamburg, Del’s firebacks are shipped to homes all across the country. In a hearth, a Pennsylvania Fireback radiates more heat from a
gas or wood fire, protects the back wall, and adds a visual accent year-round. A popular trend is to mount a fireback behind the kitchen range as
a backsplash. Firebacks have also been used as exterior plaques on walls and in gardens.
Del began his career as a commercial artist, designer, and illustrator of Bird’s-Eye-View maps. This was done while restoring a registered
historic mansion in Awbury Arboretum, Philadelphia. An avid historian, Del was a founding board member of the Association of Philadelphia
Tour Guides, and served on the boards of other organizations. With his wife, artist Jacque Brough Conner, Del relocated to Windsor County a
few years ago to be close to the foundry, the area’s inspiring landscape, and enjoy the friendly community.