Libby glass is synonymous with quality glassware in the United States. The Libbey glass brand dominates the U. S. Home and commercial glassware market. Although best known for serviceable and sometimes exquisite glassware today. Libbey has produced many types of glass over the years and often for promotional purposes.
Initially the company produced ceramics, windshields, etched and colored glassware for items such as water pitchers, and even doorknobs. During its early years this historic company struggled to keep afloat. Making glass was at the time an expensive process in terms of both labor and materials and transporting needed materials to their location was expensive.
The Libbey manufacturing facility was relocated in 1877 to Toledo Ohio where it remains to this day. The relocation was a profitable move for the company as well as the city of Toledo. Shortly after the move Libbey also introduced automation to the glass making process and became more profitable even through difficult years. Glassware made by Libbey from the early years is highly sought after as their craftsmanship was unequalled.
Vintage glassware from Libbey was very frequently gilded or etched and much heavier than equivalent pie of Libbey’s glassware to complete their collection. Colored glassware was very popular although prohibitively expensive to make. Today those early works are considered very desirable for collectors who scour second-hand shops and attics for the missing pieces for their personal collections.
Libbey began producing an exquisite line of stemware in 1933 which was a departure from the sturdy glassware they had been producing for restaurants and hotels up until that point. A former Tiffany designer joined the company to produce designs for the long neglected custom glassware end of the business. Art deco, Eagle Star and Syncopation were just a few of the designs produced by Libbey during those years.
Libbey is a name known in America for over 180 years and seen everywhere from restaurants and bars to homes across the nation. Although Libbey is well known for their quality glassware some of their largest customers are American discount stores. Whether it is exquisite sparkling glass or extremely durable glassware for commercial use, Libbey produces it.
Libbey’s products encompass glassware, flatware and service ware for hotels, restaurants and cafeterias. For many years Libbey had only a single manufacturing plant. Eventually though they could be found in the Netherlands, China, Mexico, Louisiana and of course Toledo Ohio remains the headquarters for Libbey.
Libby glass company clearly reflects the economic struggles and victories of the United States over its history. This giant in the glass-making industry began as a small and none too profitable company and grew eventually to a name recognized throughout the world. The secret to the success of Libbey is their adaptability and willingness to change focus depending upon the current climate. Over the years the company has flourished in good times and weathered the bad by meeting the current needs of the customer such as with water pitchers.