The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Ted Ligibel Historical Glass Collection


Size: 1 linear foot

Provenance: Gift of Ted Ligibel, December 2005

Access: Open

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:  Barbara Floyd, December 2005

Biographical Sketch

Ted J. Ligibel was born in 1949.  He is a descendant of early northwest Ohio settlers, the Machen family, for whom a street near Scott High School is named.  Ligibel grew up with a landmark in the family.  A. Rensch & Co., importers, has been using the same building on 607 Monroe Street since 1882.  The firm, run by Ligibel’s mother, has belonged to her family for over a century.

Ligibel received a Bachelor of Science degree in human ecology and anthropology from the University College at the University of Toledo in 1972.  Ligibel began his historical preservation career in 1974 when he joined the Maumee Valley Historical Society, where he worked in the landmarks committee.  He was chairman of that committee until 1984.
Ligibel continued his education at Bowling Green State University, where he received his Master of Arts degree in American Studies in 1981.  While pursuing his M.A, he served northwest Ohio as a state historical preservation officer.  He first became well-known locally during this time, as he fought the demolition of historic downtown Toledo buildings.  He held the post from 1976 to 1982.  After budget cuts eliminated funding for the preservation officer position, Ligibel oversaw historic acquisitions for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and helped write two books:  Lights Along the River, which is an architectural guide to the Maumee River Valley, and Island Heritage - A Guided Tour to Lake Erie’s Bass Islands. 
            Ligibel came to the University of Toledo in 1986 and assumed the position of research associate in historical preservation and resource planning with the University’s Urban Resource Center.  Ligibel’s post was funded by UT, under contract with the City of Toledo, as part of a project in which Ligibel developed curriculum materials in historical preservation.  Furthermore, Ligibel assisted the city’s community development department in identifying and documenting historic buildings in Toledo neighborhoods.  In late 1985, Ligibel further took on instructing duties in the University of Toledo’s history and geography and planning departments, and took the post of research associate at the University’s Urban Affairs Center. 

While at the University of Toledo, Ligibel conducted numerous studies and architectural inventories of homes, buildings, churches and landmarks of the city.  He also gave numerous talks and walking tours of UT’s campus, and held seminars concerning the University and the surrounding Toledo area.  In particular, Ligibel gave a series of free public lectures on the role of historic preservation in the revitalization o f downtown areas.

            It was not until the mid-1980s, though, that community leaders listened to Ligibel’s pleas to save downtown landmarks.  In the 1970s and early 1980s, during a period when Toledo was in a rush to revitalize an ailing downtown, Ligibel fought unsuccessfully to save more than a dozen historic structures from the wrecking ball.  Particularly Ligibel was noted for his studies of the city’s working-class areas.  This was indicative of his commitment to broad based preservation.
            Furthermore, Ligibel’s theories on urban preservation won him growing respect within the national preservation movement.  He has been asked to serve on key committees for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  When the trust held its 1991 convention, Ligbel led discussions regarding the twenty-fifth anniversary of the national Historic Preservation Act.  Also, Ligibel was one of the principal organizers of the Historic Neighborhood Council (HNC) which was formed in 1988 to develop a “blueprint” for preservation activities in Toledo’s historic neighborhoods.  As Ohio adviser to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Ligibel worked to nominate the homes for the National Register of Historic Places.

            Ligibel received recognition for his accomplishments.  Former mayor Harry Kessler nominated Ligibel for an award from the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments.  In 1987, Ligibel was awarded the Chairman Emeritus Award from the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, recognizing contributions to community development through his activities in historic preservation.  Ligibel further received one of the eight public education and awareness awards from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society.  He received this award in 1989 for his role in increasing public awareness of the importance of preserving the historic and architectural resources of Toledo and Northwest Ohio.  Also the Toledo newspaper, The Blade, invited Ligibel to write a series of articles on historic buildings.
Ted J. Ligibel, Toledo’s leading preservationist, left the University of Toledo in September 1991 to take the teaching position of associate professor of historic preservation at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.


Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of historical and commemorative glasses and bottles collected by Ted Ligibel because of his interest in local history.  The collection has been arranged in alphabetical order based on the general description of the item. 
Researchers should use care in unwrapping the items, as they are fragile.  Each item is wrapped in acid free tissue, and the description of the item is noted on the outside of the wrapping.

Items relating to the University of Toledo have been added to the collections of University Archives.  For more information, see UR 05/18.


Box and Folder Inventory






Libbey Calaphon [sp?] reflector, ca. 1910



Libbey Centennial commemorative glass, 1988



Libbey Centennial commemorative glass w/panda bear, 1988



Libbey John Glenn commemorative glass, ca. 1984



Libbey Safedge pitcher, ca. 1940s



Libbey Toledo bicentennial commemorative glass, 1976



Libbey “Toledo Glass Capital of the World” glass, ca. 1960



Libbey “Toledo Glass Capital of the World” glass with gold key, ca. 1960



Libbey Toledo honorary glass, ca. 1980s



Lucas County Bottle Company catalog, ca. 1930



Owens Bottle Company dropper service bottles, one dozen, ca. 1910s



Owens Bottle company dropper service bottles, one dozen without stoppers, ca. 1910s


Last Updated: 6/27/22