News-Antique.com - May 18,2009 - In 1888, a young glass blower named Michael Joseph Owens went to work for the New England Glass Company in Toledo, Ohio. Fifteen years later, in 1903, he invented the first automatic bottle-making machine, the most significant development in glassmaking since the invention of the blowpipe more than 2,000 years ago. The Owens machine, which led to formation of the Owens Bottle Company that same year, literally revolutionized the glass industry. It also laid the groundwork for future technology innovations.
In 1929 Owens merged with Illinois Glass Company to form Owens-Illinois Glass Company. In 1965, the corporate name was changed to Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I) to reflect the company's broader scope of operations - including its successful entry in the manufacture of plastics packaging.
The timeline below highlights key historical events, making Owens-Illinois what it is today: one of the
largest and most diversified manufacturers of glass and plastics packaging products.
1903 - Michael J. Owens invented the first automatic bottle-making machine, which led to the founding of the Owens Bottle Company.
1929 - Owens Bottle Company acquired the assets of Illinois Glass Company and merged its name to Owens-Illinois Glass Company.
1932 - Owens-Illinois produced plastic closures for the first time.
1958 - Owens-Illinois Glass made its first blown plastic container to be used mostly for chemicals and household cleaners.
1965 - The corporate name changed from Owens-Illinois Glass Company to Owens-Illinois, Inc., to reflect the broader scope of operations.
1972 - Demand for child-resistant closures dramatically increased as a result of standards of the Food and Drug Administration. The O-I Closure Division was formed.
1982 - New O-I corporate headquarters building in Toledo, Ohio opened.
1983 - The Owens Bottle Machine was declared an International Historic Engineering Landmark, the 13th such landmark in the world, by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
1988 - Owens-Illinois broadened its glass and plastic packaging businesses through the acquisition of Brockway, Inc.
1995 - The O-I plastics group becomes a billion-dollar business for the first time.
1998 - O-I acquired the worldwide glass and plastics packaging businesses of BTR Inc., further expanding O-I manufacturing operations in Australia, New Zealand, China, Indonesia, and other foreign countries.
2000 - Worldwide shipments of glass containers by O-I and its subsidiaries reach an all time high of approximately 100 million per day.
2004 - O-I more than doubles its European presence with the purchase of BSN Glasspack, S.A.,
making the Company the largest glass container manufacturer on four continents.