William L. Libbey
Libbey has its roots in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of the New England Glass Company which was founded in 1818. William L. Libbey took over the company in 1878 and renamed it the New England Glass Works, Wm. L. Libbey & Sons Props. In 1888, facing growing competition, Edward Drummond Libbey moved the company to Toledo, Ohio. The Northwest Ohio area offered abundant natural gas resources and access to large deposits of high quality sand. Toledo also had a network of railroad and steamship lines, making it an ideal location for the company. In 1892, the name was changed to The Libbey Glass Company.
The glass making process was much different than it is today. At the time, the principal product was cut glass. Work was done slowly by hand methods and years of practice were needed to develop the necessary skills. Following WWII, Libbey discontinued the production of handmade glassware and began to concentrate on the automatic high volume techniques that would help Libbey become America's most recognizable name in glassware.