John Baptiste Ford

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John Baptiste Ford was born in a log cabin in Danville, Kentucky back in 1811 to Jonathan and Margaret. In 1813, his father left of fight the British forces at New Orleans never to return. At 12 he was apprenticed to a saddlemaker, he ran away at 14 settling in Greenville, Indiana where he remained for the next 30 years.

In 1854, he moved to Albany, New York where he produced steamboats many of which were used by the Union forces. In 1864, he turned his attention to glass making and opened up the New Albany Glass Works producing bottle and jars. In 1880, he moved again to Creighton, Pennsylvania where he continued to produce glass. In 1893, founded a chemical company that supplied soda ash for the production of glass. He died in 1903.

What you may not know about John is that the glass company he started in Creighton was renamed the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company now known as PPG Industries. It is one of the world’s largest producers of glass. He also formed the basis of what would be later known as the Libbey Owens Ford glass Company. Not bad, not bad at all in my opinion, what say you?

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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

Wonder how much one of his old glass jars are worth.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 17, 2020 05:03 AM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray "not bad at all"..... there are people who collect old glass containers... they don't make 'em like they use to!!

Jan 17, 2020 05:22 AM #6
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

And to think it all started out with his determination at the age of 14 to be independent. Now a days the education system says you are incapable to succeed unless you have spent 16 or more years under their guidance. Thanks James Dray 

Jan 17, 2020 05:51 AM #7
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That is indeed a great success, but I am interested in knowing why he ran away and did he actually go it alone in the world beginning at the age of 14?

Jan 17, 2020 06:20 AM #8
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Of course, I'm familiar with both those companies, James... but had no idea who was behind them.

Jan 17, 2020 06:20 AM #9
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

To create something that is lasting is always a remarkable achievement.

Jan 17, 2020 06:24 AM #10
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Good morning, James. Nice post you gave us today, with a great message. Thanks!

Jan 17, 2020 06:35 AM #11
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. I love rare stories of those who work hard, create and excel. TY     

Jan 17, 2020 07:33 AM #12
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


It goes without saying that we knew of this company, however thanks to you it was fun finding out the story and the man behind it. A

Jan 17, 2020 08:21 AM #13
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

Wow that is a pretty awesome turn out for a 14 year old run away.  Your life is what you make it for sure!

Jan 17, 2020 08:44 AM #14
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Your knowledge of people in history astounds me...

I hope you have a great weekend James Dray 

Jan 17, 2020 09:50 AM #15
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi James Dray - with those two names it once had corner the plate glass market.

Jan 17, 2020 11:28 AM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

He certainly knew his glass inside and out! I didn't know his name but certainly knew the glass companies.


Jan 17, 2020 01:31 PM #17
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

John was an amazing man who left a lasting legacy. Thanks for sharing his story and have a wonderful weekend James!

Jan 17, 2020 02:44 PM #18
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray,

Well now I know the rest of the story about Libby Glass!

Jan 17, 2020 03:57 PM #19
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Wow, James- Most of us are familiar with PPG but now we know the rest of the story. 

Jan 17, 2020 08:02 PM #20
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing the story of John Baptiste Ford and the background of  PPG.  

Jan 17, 2020 09:29 PM #21
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

Good Morning, James.  Once again your posts have shown the ability of young people to succeed when given the chance.  No staring at a smart phone for John Baptiste.

Jan 18, 2020 04:05 AM #22
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

So glad he had an interest in glass!

Jan 18, 2020 05:14 AM #23
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

My grandfather's name was John Baptist Juarez. He was a wonderful man. Yet, his accomplishments do not compare with those of John Baptist Ford.

Few have managed to accomplish so much in live as Mr. Ford...and from such humble roots, too.

Feb 03, 2020 02:17 PM #24
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