The predecessor of Libbey Glass was the New England Glass Company, founded in East Cambridge, MA in 1818. Sixty years later, William Libbey took over the company and shortly thereafter the company moved to Toledo, OH. This location was chosen not only for its abundant natural gas resources and large deposits of sand (both necessary for the production of handmade glass at the time) but also for its central location for transporting the company's glass products. In 1892, the company changed its name and officially became The Libbey Glass Company. Throughout the early part of the 20th Century, Libbey produced hand blown cut glassware which required a highly skilled workforce. During the 1930s, Libbey turned its attention towards automated glass manufacturing. Following WWII, and with the success of its automated lines, Libbey completely stopped the productions of its handmade glass.
Libbey's well known hallmark is a cursive L and can be found on most of its vintage glassware items. The company's trademark changed throughout its years. In 1896, a sword first appeared under the name Libbey. Libbey wanted to connect its glassware being produced in Toledo, OH with the exceptional swords being manufactured in Toledo, Spain. Periodically, the sword was dropped from Libbey's logo, with a sylized Libbey (sometimes shown in a circle) becoming its trademark. Towards the later part of the 20th Century, the cursive font was changed to block print.
Libbey continues today and, through acquisitions of other glass companies, has become the world's second largest glass manufacturer.