The Libbey story begins in 1818 in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the establishment of the New England Glass Company. The company, which focused primarily on the production of cut glass, was said to have grown to be the largest glass plant in the world by the mid-century. In 1870, William L. Libbey joined the New England Glass Company as an agent and sales manager, and four years later, his son Edward Drummond Libbey joined as a clerk. In 1880, Edward became partner with his father in the firm and change the name to New England Glass Works, Wm. L. Libbey & Sons Props.
In 1883, Edward Drummond Libbey gained full control of the company when is father died. In 1888, he moved the business to Toledo, Ohio, where key natural resources for making glass were abundant. The City of Toledo gave Libbey four acres in North Toledo to build the factory and 50 lots to build housing for the new glassworkers. On March 17, 1888, Libbey officially broke ground for a new glass factory. Five months later, a special train of glassworkers and their families, together with 50 carloads of equipment, arrived in Toledo from Boston. The current Libbey glass factory is still located on the original four acres of land.
In 1892, the company changed its name to The Libbey Glass Company. From 1888 until the 1920’s, Libbey’s primary product was brilliant cut glass.
New England Glass Company is founded in East Cambridge, MA
William L. Libbey & Edward D. Libbey
William L. Libbey takes over operations of the New England Glass Company, with his son, Edward Drummond Libbey
Welcome to Toledo
E.D. Libbey moves the company to Toledo, Ohio
Michael Owens is hired and becomes the plant supervisor.
The Libbey Glass Company
The company changes it’s name to The Libbey Glass Company.
Chicago World’s Fair
Libbey exhibits a working glass factory at the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois. The success of this exhibit established the Libbey brand name throughout America.
Michael Owens invents the ten-arm glass bottle machine.
Let there be light!
Libbey is the first to automatically produce electric light bulbs by the glass industry using the Owens bottle machine.
St. Louis World’s Fair
Libbey exhibits brilliant cut glass at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
Machine Blown Glass
Libbey is the first to develop machine blown glass tumblers.
Libbey Owens Sheet Glass Company
Michael Owens and Edward D Libbey form the Libbey Owens Sheet Glass Company
Owens-Illinois Glass Company
Owens-Illinois Glass Company purchases the entire Libbey Glass Company
Libbey debuts its Golden Foliage glassware, the largest selling decorated glassware pattern.
Libbey makes the first one-piece press and blow stemware.
Libbey becomes a publicly traded company and is listed on the NYSE
Libbey becomes a privately held company
Libbey completes the sale of its European Operations