Toast to 200! Libbey celebrates Bicentennial


TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A Toledo company runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week keeping a furnace of molten glass moving to produce items we use every day.

Even dozens of restaurants and hotels in the area use Libbey Glass.

"In a given shift they may put this same item into eight different boxes," Libbey Glass Director of Operations Terry Hartman said. "Right now, it's being put into a 24 piece, it can go into a 12 piece. Every day and a half we change to a new item. They do it on the fly."

Getting to this point did not happen over night. Libbey Glass has spent the last 200 years perfecting and growing the craft of glass making.

Libbey Glass celebrated its 200th Anniversary on February 18, 2018.

Cambridge, Massachusetts gave birth to the glass-making company at the hands of William Libbey.

Seventy years later, Edward Drummond Libbey, the innovative son of the first corporate owner of Libbey Glass, moved the company to Toledo, Ohio.

Many believe it was the nutrient rich clay and sand that drew Edward to Toledo, but really there was something in the water.

When Edward came to visit the young city, which would later be coined "The Glass City," it was a young Florence Scott who got his attention.

"We're not really here for the raw materials and for all of the other things," Hartman explained. "We're really here because he ended up marrying Florence Scott."

The granddaughter of Jesup W. Scott, one of the founders of the City of Toledo, attended the meeting with Edward Libbey and local real estate developers. From there, Edward Libbey moved the glass-making company to Northwest Ohio.

The rest is history.

For 120 years, the Libbey-Scott families set forth to create a lasting legacy in Toledo, rooted in tradition, family and the art of glass making.

"Once you become a very proud organization of what you produce and the quality you produce you really want to be a customer servant to your customers and we're very proud of the product we make," Hartman said.

Today, Libbey Glass is a worldwide leader in glass-making and innovation with traditions that have not changed in 120 years and has helped move the company forward.

Worldwide Libbey Glass produces 1 billion 200 million pieces of class each year. Put end to end, the glass would circle the globe just over four and a half times.

"It is really neat to see how we impact the lives of so many people around us," Toledo Plant Production and Engineering Manager Brian Schankin said. "Like I said you can't watch TV without seeing somebody drinking out of something. And the pride that goes with knowing that, hey, that's our item."

"It gets in people's blood," Libbey Glass Director of Manufacturing Mike Rounds said. "There is still that part of art and it take a special kind of person to do that."

Libbey Glass quietly continues to influence not only the world of glass making but our community. From the Toledo Art Museum, Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois and even the glass you use when you go out to eat in the Glass City.

To celebrate its Bicentennial, Libbey Glass executives went on the road to New York City Wednesday and ran the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

Libbey Glass says they have a community celebration planned for May 5.

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