Libby glass carafe
above: Brilliant Cut
glass by Libbey

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Libbey Glass

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Libbey Glass from
The Glass Encyclopedia

A short explanation of Libbey Glass:
Libbey Glass was first founded in 1818. In 1878 William L. Libbey leased the New England Glass Company glassworks in Cambridge, Massachusetts, changing the name to the New England Glassworks, L. L. Libbey and Sons, Proprietors. His son, Edward Drummond Libbey, took over the operation in 1883 and in 1888 he closed this factory and moved to Toledo, Ohio, renaming the company Libbey Glass Company.

Libbey's became the largest cut glass factory in the world during the Brilliant Period (which lasted from around 1878 to 1915). Brilliant Cut Glass was very deep, complicated, and highly polished. This company was one of the major producers of Brilliant Cut glass. At the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 Libbey's brought 130 craftsmen to blow and cut glass. Souvenirs sold there were marked "Libbey Glass Company, World's Fair 1893.". In addition to art glass, Libbey forever changed the glass industry with the automatic Owens bottle-making machine and automatic sheet glass machine.

Joseph Locke, a brilliant glass-maker and designer who had a very successful career in England in the 1870's, emigrated to America in 1882 and joined the New England Glass Company which was then owned by Libbey's. At Libbey's he invented many new art glass processes, including Amberina, Pomona, Agata, Peach Blow and Maize. These were very popular and made both Joseph Locke and The Libbey Glass Company very famous. Locke left the Company in 1891 and moved to the United States Glass Company in Pittsburgh.

Libbey's continued to make cut glass until around 1918. The carafe on the left is signed with Libbey in a circle, acid etched into the glass at the side near the bottom. The company still exists today as a major supplier of glassware for bars and hotels, operating from Toledo, Ohio.

References, Sources & Further Reading:

Here are some books that include information on Libbey glass that you may find helpful. Click on any book cover or title to read more about a particular book.

Libbey Glass since 1818 Libbey Tradition 1968 Libbey Glass Drama Toledo Glass City Brilliant cut glass book Drummond Glassmaker Glass in NW Ohio Libbey Cut Glass 1996 Pressed glass book Michael Owens glass Fire and Sand Glass 1960 American Cut Glass book

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