Skip to main content

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 several of his report cards. There are a number of financial records of George Ross Ford Jr., such as receipts for personal purchases, and some banking statements.

A significant amount of material pertains to the construction and contracting of George Ross Ford Jr.’s family home and includes. a blueprint for the home. Interesting ephemera in the collection includes a homemade book that appears to be for a child named Nancy, a blueprint for an unidentified lot, and a dime savings bank book among other items.


  • 1907-1947
  • Majority of material found within 1931-1933


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

During the 1860s entrepreneur Captain 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 formed by John B. Ford in New Albany Indiana, with help from his sons Emory and Edward. In 1880 Edward and Emory built a plate glass factory in Creighton Pennsylvania. This plate glass factory would be reorganized and renamed as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Factory. After Captain Ford sold the family business in 1897, son Edward continued to pursue his passion for glassmaking and built the Ford Plate Glass Company in Rossford, Ohio. 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 passing away.

After Edward’s death in 1920, his company would eventually merge 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 in 1930 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.

Edward Ford was married twice. With his first wife, Evelyn Carter Penn, he had two children: a daughter Mary and son John B. Ford named after his father. After his first wife passed away in 1872 Edward married Caroline Ross of Zanesville, Ohio and had three children: Laura Ford, Edna Ford, and George Ross Ford who was born in 1882. George Ross Ford would be the one to take over his father’s role as the President at the Edward Ford Plate Glass factory and facilitate the merger of three powerful glass producers: Libbey-Owens-Ford.


0.7 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger Boxes and 1 half Hollinger box)

Custodial History

Acquired in 2013

Separated Materials

Edward Ford, Creighton, Pa., Marc[h] 3rd 1882- [notes pertaining to the manufacture of plate glass].Bib 134111

Batch mixes / E. Ford.Bib 134027

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. memoranda's & pots.Bib 134026

Edward Ford Family Papers 1907-1947
A Guide to the Papers
Paul Chasse
April 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA