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.

  • 1818


    New England Glass Company is founded in East Cambridge, MA

  • 1874

    William L. Libbey & Edward D. Libbey

    William L. Libbey takes over operations of the New England Glass Company, with his son, Edward Drummond Libbey


  • 1888

    Welcome to Toledo

    E.D. Libbey moves the company to Toledo, Ohio

  • 1888

    Michael Owens

    Michael Owens is hired and becomes the plant supervisor.


  • 1892


    The Libbey Glass Company

    The company changes it’s name to The Libbey Glass Company.

  • 1893

    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.


  • 1903

    Michael Owens

    Michael Owens invents the ten-arm glass bottle machine.

  • 1904

    Let there be light!

    Libbey is the first to automatically produce electric light bulbs by the glass industry using the Owens bottle machine.


  • 1904

    St. Louis World’s Fair

    Libbey exhibits brilliant cut glass at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • 1907

    Machine Blown Glass

    Libbey is the first to develop machine blown glass tumblers.


  • 1916

    Libbey Owens Sheet Glass Company

    Michael Owens and Edward D Libbey form the Libbey Owens Sheet Glass Company

  • 1935

    Owens-Illinois Glass Company

    Owens-Illinois Glass Company purchases the entire Libbey Glass Company



  • 1966

    Golden Foliage

    Libbey debuts its Golden Foliage glassware, the largest selling decorated glassware pattern.

  • 1970


    Libbey makes the first one-piece press and blow stemware.


  • 1993



    Libbey becomes a publicly traded company and is listed on the NYSE

  • 2020


    Libbey becomes a privately held company



  • 2022

    European Operations

    Libbey completes the sale of its European Operations