The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

H.J. Durholt Papers, 1935-1978


Size: 1 lin. ft.


Provenance:  The H.J. Durholt Papers was donated to the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections July 1988. 


Access: open


Related Collections: Carl U. Fauster Collection (MSS-068); Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company Records (MSS-066, divisions and plants series). 


Processing Note: none


Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.


Completed by: April S. Dougal, December 1990


Reformatted by: Arjun Sabharwal, October 2009.



Biographical Sketch


Harry J. Durholt was involved with glass manufacture in Toledo for forty-one years.  He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska 2 February 1894 and moved to Toledo in 1906.  He was hired on at Libbey Glass in 1918 as a machinist at the Westlake plant, and studied chemistry, engineering and business management at Tri-State Business College and the University of Toledo at night.  In 1919, Harry and his wife, Marie, were the first couple to be married in Toledo’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help church. 


Durholt was promoted to night foreman soon after he was hired at Libbey Glass and began working with Casper Lanzinger and August Kadow, the engineers who developed Libbey Glass’s first tumbler machines. 

Durholt also played a part in the development of decorated glassware beginning in 1922, and in the production of industrial glassware for railroads in 1924.  By 1926 he was promoted to the position of assistant plant superintendent at Libbey Glass, and in 1929 he became the plant’s superintendent.  A promotion in 1935 made him manager of the Owens-Illinois Libbey Glass plant.  Fourteen years later, in 1949, he was named general manager of the Libbey Glass division, a position that placed him in charge of all the division’s operations.  Durholt was simultaneously made a vice president of Owens-Illinois in 1949.  In 1955 he moved on to the administrative division of Owens-Illinois and became a consultant to the executive vice president of the company until his retirement in 1959.



Scope and Content


This collection of Harry J. Durholt’s papers documents much of his career with the Libbey division of Owens-Illinois Glass Company.   The collection includes correspondence, reports, scrapbook materials, maps, charts, and graphs, printed material, and photographs.


The correspondence is broken down into two series; incoming and outgoing.  Major correspondents include Carl Fauster, Alexander Turner (General Manager of O-I Libbey Glass Division), and Max Powell.  Most of the materials consist of memoranda regarding Westlake Ware, the Dur-O-Bor plants in Belgium, the Research and Engineering program, and the transfer of Sharpe, Inc. to Libbey Glass.


Reports range in date from 1935 to 1958 and include some undated materials.  A report on Libbey Plant Equipment (1935-1942) provides information on production, decorating, etching, and mixing equipment, as well as the Westlake Division’s maintenance department.  “Raw Material Specifications for the Libbey Plant” (1949) was a guide for manufacturing and purchasing and “Libbey Glass Division Distributors & Discount Agreements and Commission Arrangements” (1950) outlined retail discounts by dealer.  A report entitled “Research, Development and Engineering in Owens-Illinois Glass Company and Subsidiaries” (1953) included information on the goals of the program, contemporary problems and premises, and the proposed plan to coordinate these areas in the O-I Glass Company.  Researchers will note that Durholt’s letters to Max Powell also relate to this subject.  The “Annual Report of Owens-Illinois Glass Company Retirement Funds” (1955) is an analysis of 1955 investment operations and includes the annual report of the Toledo Trust Company Trustee on the investment of O-I retirement funds.  Durholt’s report on his trip to England and Europe includes information on divisions and plants in England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the Dur-O-Bor plants in Belgium.  Information on these plants is also found in the Alexander Turner correspondence and the series of maps, charts and graphs.


Scrapbook materials include items that date from 1949 to 1971 and some undated items.  The contents are composed primarily of newsclippings, but also include an article from Auction  magazine entitled “A Sovereign in the Pot: collecting American Gold Ruby Glass” by Carl Fauster (1971), as well as an essay on pleochroic art glass.  For information on the photocopy of an“1892 batch book,” see correspondence from Carl Fauster to Durholt (folder 1).


Materials in series of maps, charts, and graphs are self-explanatory.  They provide specific information about the Libbey Plant from 1910 to 1959 and the Dur-O-Bor plant in 1955.


Printed material includes issues of the Libbey Safedge Gazette, Hobbies, Lib-Bits, and Owens-Illinois News.  Durholt also kept copies of many Libbey glassware catalogs, notably Libbey Crystal: the New Era in Glass [1933] and Libbey Modern American Glassware [1942].  Other catalogs date from 1951 to 1957 and include price lists and sales bulletins on Libbey glassware, as well as catalogs from Dominion Glass (Canada) and Imperial Candlewick (Bellaire OH).


Photographic material in the collection consists of photos of the Libbey plant (1949-1951), John Wright and H.J. Durholt at administrative and other functions, photos of unidentified groups, and a filmstrip titled “Blowpipes” (1947).


The collection also includes a green glass cane, 40.5 inches long.


This collection would be especially useful to glass collectors, and could be utilized in conjunction with the Carl U. Fauster Collection (MSS-068).  It also provides valuable information on the Libbey glass divisions in Europe which would complement materials found in the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company Records (MSS-066, divisions and plants series). 


Box     Folder              Description


                        Correspondence - Incoming

1          1                      Fauster, Carl U. 1955, 1968, 1978

            2                      McCreery, C.Wayne 1957 - 1958

            3                      Nelson, J.R. 1957, 1958

            4                      Schwyn, Robert C. 1955 - 1958

            5                      Turner, Alexander M. 1956 - 1958

            6                      Miscellaneous 1941-1958

                        Correspondence - Outgoing

            7                      Powell, Max July - August 1957

            8                      Miscellaneous 1957

            9                      Subject file - Libbey - Sharpe 1949


            10                    “Libbey Plant Equipment,” 1935-1942

            11                    “Raw Material Specifications for the Libbey Plant,” L.V. Gogin 10 May 1949

            12                    “Libbey Glass Division Distributors & Discount Agreements and Commission Arrangements,” 10 Feb 1950

            13                    “Research, Development and Engineering in Owens-Illinois Glass Company and Subsidiaries,” O.G. Burch, 22 January 1953

            14                    “Annual Report of Owens-Illinois Glass Company Retirement Funds,” 1955

            15                    “Trip to England and Europe,” H.J. Durholt, 20 June 1957

            16                    Miscellaneous, October 1936 - November 1958, n.d.

                        Scrapbook Materials

            17 (OS)           Scrapbook, 1949-1954

            18                    Scrapbook Materials, 1955-1971, n.d.

            19                    “1892 batch book,” photocopy, n.d.

                        Maps, Charts, Graphs, etc.

            20 (OS)           Site Plans, Libbey Plant, 1910, n.d.

            21                    Organizational Charts, Libbey Plant, 1955

            22 (OS)           Drawings, Specifications of machinery and products 1956, 1957, 1959, n.d.

            23 (OS)           Dur-O-Bor Division (Soignies & Manage, Belgium) organizational charts, site plans, specifications, 1955, n.d.

            24 (OS)           Blueprints, Hugh White Chevrolet, 1965

                        Printed Material

            25                    Libbey Safedge Gazette, Feb 1951, Feb 1952; Hobbies, June 1972

            26 (OS)           Lib-Bits, Oct 1951-Nov 1973

            27 (OS)           Owens-Illinois News, Dec 1955

            28                    Catalog - Libbey Crystal: the New Era in Glass, (Libbey-Nash series), [1933]

            29                    Catalog - Libbey Modern American Glassware, [1942]

            30                    Price lists and sales bulletins, 1951-1954

            31                    Catalogs, 1953-1955

            32                    Catalogs, 1953, 1957, n.d.


            33                    Libbey plant, 1949, 1950, 1951, n.d.

            34                    John Wright and H.J. Durholt in groups 11 November 1957, n.d.

            35                    Unidentified groups, n.d.

            36                    Libbey Glass Display - World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893(?), n.d.

            37 (OS)           Film, Blowpipes, 1947


            (OSC)              Green glass cane with red white and blue stripes (40.5”)

            38 (OS)           Framed pencil drawing of Ash Street (Toledo) plant, LOF

Last Updated: 6/27/22