Why is Toledo, Ohio Known as the Glass City?
It came up in trivia the other day... "What US City is known as the Glass City?" Unfortunately, I assumed it had something to do with the number of glass windows, so I went with a random big city - Chicago.
Turns out the ACTUAL answer was Toledo, but WHY would Toledo be called the Glass City? Is it fragile? Easily Broken? Am I missing something?
As most city nicknames do, "The Glass City" was so-named for its early accomplishments in the U.S. Kalamazoo is known as the "Mall City" because it had the first mall. Grand Rapids is known as the "Furniture City" because of its early furniture manufacturing days, and its ability to ship up and down the river system and across the Great Lakes.
Toledo got its name for being one of the first major glass manufacturers in the country with the ability to widely distribute.
The Miami and Erie Canals were finished in 1845, which connected Cincinnati to Lake Erie, through Toledo. Soon after their completion, Toledo began to boom.
The city was also halfway between New York City and Chicago on the rail lines, so it was in key position for distribution, and the first of many glass manufacturers was built in the 1880s
Sadly, Michigan JUST missed out on having the Glass City within its borders. The Toledo War ended in 1836 - nine years before the two canals were finished. And the first major glass producer, New England Glass, moved to Toledo in 1888. Today, it's known as "Libbey Glass."
So, Toledo was already (unfortunately) part of Ohio by the time "The Glass City" began to rise.
Since then, Toledo has continued to be one of the most well-known glass manufacturing cities in the world, and has since gained the moniker "Glass Capital of the World!".
But, this wouldn't be a story about an Ohio City without some kind of "thing." Behind the roots of becoming "The Glass City," Jesup W. Scott, who owned much of the land that became downtown Toledo, determined that by the beginning of the 20th Century, Toledo would be the 'Biggest City in the World!'.
Well... maybe if Toledo had stayed in Michigan.