Glimpse into the Past; Owens-Illinois history

[Trade Journal]

Publication: American Glass Review Glass Factory Directory Issue

Pittsburgh, PA, United States
p. 8,12-13, col. 1

A Glimpse into the Past


In this, the 350th anniversary year of the start of glass manufacturing in America, the 1958 Glass Factory Directory Issue of the AMERICAN GLASS REVIEW gives emphasis to the rich tradition of the industry by presenting capsule histories of some of the oldest and best-known manufacturers in the business. The selection of companies is a random one and is not intended to be complete or in any way representative of the industry's present-day line-up.

Owens-Illinois Glass Company


Another giant of the glass industry, O-I traces its beginnings to the purchase in 1929 by the Owens Bottle Company of the assets of the Illinois Glass Company. Illinois Glass was the older of the two firms, having been organized in 1873 by William Eliot Smith and Edward Levis at Alton, Ill. The Owens Bottle Company was started in Toledo in 1903 by Michael J. Owens, the inventive genius who created the automatic bottle blowing machine.

The company's Libbey Glass Division, one of the country's largest producers of machine-made tumblers and stemware, descends from the famous New England Glass Company which was established in 1818 in East Cambridge, Mass. Other divisions or subsidiaries operated by O-I include the Closure and Plastics Division, the Kimble Glass Company (which produces television picture tubes, glass block, and scientific glassware), the Kaylo Division (which makes insulation and building materials), and the National Container Corporation, a company acquired in 1956. The organization's Glass Container Division, however, is the largest.

First-half sales in 1957 for all divisions amounted to $247,456,069; earnings for the same period were $17,197,196.


Keywords:Hemingray : Owens-Illinois Glass Company : Kimble Glass Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:May 21, 2012 by: Bob Stahr;