The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections at the University of Toledo has recently received a collection of records and artifacts from the Owens-Illinois company. This large collection includes business documents, bottle catalogs, photographs, films, books, patents, stock certificates, company newsletters, press releases and two collections of actual bottles. It also includes some rare personal letters from Michael J. Owens.
Working for Edward Libbey at Libbey Glass in 1903, Michael Owens developed the world's first automated bottle-blowing machine, revolutionizing the bottle industry. Libbey and Owens founded the Owens Bottle Machine Company to market the machine. Owens' original drawings of the bottle machine are included in the new collection. In 1929, Owens Bottle Machine Company bought the Illinois Glass Company and became the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. Owens-Illinois retains a major presence in the Toledo area.
The collection will be cataloged by Canaday Center staff and available to researchers in late 2006.
A few treasures from this collection are featured on the left.