West Virginia State Museum Education

West Virginia's Historic People

Important People

Michael Joseph Owens

Michael Joseph Owens

Michael Joseph Owens (1859-1923) was an investor and glass manufacturer. He was born in Mason County (then Virginia) and by age 15, he had become a glassblower. In 1888, he began work in a glass factory in Toledo, Ohio. A series of experiments he undertook as a young man eventually led to the perfection of a completely automatic bottle-blowing machine patented in 1895 and 1904. Before his death, he had patented more than 40 devices for improving the manufacturing of glass. He organized the Owens Bottle Machine Co. in 1903 and the Libbey-Owens Sheet Glass Co. in 1916. Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio is named for him.

Helpful Links

e-West Virginia Michael Joseph Owens

e-West Virginia Owens-Illinois Glass Company