A Brief History
On February 26, 1903, Michael Joseph Owens was granted a patent for a glass blowing machine, one of five inventions he patented for the mass production of glass objects such as light bulbs and bottles.
Owens made the production of glass bottles 80% cheaper and glass bulbs 90% cheaper than hand made objects. His inventions revolutionized the glass industry and helped spur the rapid development of the 20th Century industrial modernization.
Owens worked for glass pioneer, Edward Libbey, in Ohio, making light bulbs for Edison General Electric. In 1919, Owens joined Libbey in creating the Owens Bottle Company, later becoming Owens-Illinois Glass Company via merger.
For his contribution to industry through invention, Owens was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal by the Franklin Institute, one of the great Ohio inventors, such as Thomas Edison, Charles Kettering, the Wright Brothers, Garett Morgan, and many others.
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For more information, please see…
Dalton, Curt. How Ohio Helped Invent the World: From the Airplane to the Yo-Yo. CreateSpace, 2013.
DK. 100 Inventions That Made History: Brilliant Breakthroughs That Shaped Our World. DK, 2014.
The featured image in this article, a photograph of Michael Joseph Owens, is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1928, and if not then due to lack of notice or renewal. See this page for further explanation.
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