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Edward Ford Plate Glass Company



  • Existence: 1899 (date of establishment) - 1930 (date of merger with Libbey-Owens Sheet Glass Company) - 1930


During the 1860s entrepreneur John B. Ford developed interest in an area of glass manufacturing where no American glass company had gone before: plate glass. In the United States at the time of the 1860s all polished plate glass was being imported from Europe. There was neither equipment nor skilled technicians in the U.S. to produce plate glass. Captain Ford, aware of the competition in glass bottle and window production, made the move to import plate glass making equipment and technicians from Europe.

In 1869 the first American plate glass factory was established by John B. Ford in New Albany Indiana, with help from his sons Emory and Edward. In 1880, the two Ford sons built a plate glass factory in Creighton Pennsylvania. This plate glass factory was reorganized and renamed as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. After John B. Ford sold his interest in Pittsburgh Plate Glass in 1897, Edward Ford founded the Edward Ford Plate Glass Company in Rossford, Ohio in 1899. The Edward Ford Plate Glass Company was producing roughly one fifth of all the plate glass in the U.S. by the time of Edward’s death in 1920. Edward operated the factory until his death.

In 1930, the company merged with two other great glassmaking companies: Libbey and Owens. Edward Libbey founder of the Libbey Glass Company, and Michael J. Owens of the Owen Bottle Company had already formed a partnership as the Libbey–Owens Sheet Glass Company. The three companies came together to form the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company, one of the largest glass manufacturers in the world. Today the company is part of Pilkington North America.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Edward Ford Family Papers

Identifier: MS-0186
Scope and Contents The Edward Ford Family Papers, 1907-1947 consist of correspondence, financial records, house construction records, and ephemera. Most items are sorted chronologically, although financial records are in alphabetical order, as the original owner filed them. Family correspondence includes many letters from Edward Ford’s grandson George Ross Ford Jr. to his family from boarding school and from later years of his life, as well as a few letters from George’s teachers to his parents and...
Dates: 1907-1947 ; Majority of material found within 1931-1933