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.
The world's first machine-made stemware was automatically produced on Libbey equipment and a short time later Libbey developed its heat-treated process for glassware used in hotels and restaurants.
Libbey became part of Owens-Illinois in 1935 and with O-I's progressive management and commitment to R&D, Libbey thrived. In June of 1993, Libbey strategically positioned itself for the future by becoming a public company (NYSE:LBY).
Since then, Libbey has fulfilled its promise to provide the largest selection of tabletop products for foodservice and consumer markets, purchasing Syracuse China in 1995, World Tableware in 1997, Royal Leerdam in 2002, Crisal in 2005, and Crisa in 2006.
Libbey acquired from Vitro its 51 percent of Vitrocrisa holdings of Crisa, bringing Libbey's ownership of Crisa to 100 percent. Based in Monterrey, Mexico, the acquisition of Crisa positions Libbey as the world's second largest glassmaker.
With innovation as its cornerstone, Libbey quality, consistency, and exceptional customer service have become the standard in the industry. Libbey continues to invest in state-of-the-art production equipment and faster and more efficient manufacturing technologies, allowing it to create the most significant introductions in the foodservice and consumer markets.
Get information on Libbey and our commitment to leadership now, and for the future, in the tabletop industry.