Its corporate name is hardly a household word, yet Owens-Illinois, Inc., located near a small town in northwestern Ohio, is the world’s largest manufacturer of glass bottles and jars used to provide food, beverages and medicines each day for millions of people around the world.
Although the glass containers it produces are among the most modern of packages, the Company is one of America’s oldest business enterprises, able to trace its ancestry back to 1818 and the founding of the New England Glass Company in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Deming Jarves, the nation’s most famous glassmaker.
The venerable Ohio glass company owes its existence today to the innovative genius of Michael J. Owens, the inventor of a revolutionary machine to blow bottles automatically, and the business acumen of his boss, Edward D. Libbey. Their story, and that of the nine other men who perpetuated the industrial giant Owens and Libbey established, is told here by a historian and businessman who has been a student of the glass industry for nearly six decades.
About Jack K. Paquette
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Published March 23, 2011
Crafts, Hobbies & Home, History.