With its abundance of sand and easy river access, northwestern Ohio has attracted glass-makers for 150 years. By the late 19th century, Michael Owens was well on his way to revolutionizing glass-making with his bottle-making machine that could produce 240 bottles per minute, an invention that reduced labor costs by 80%. The region also produced Harold McMaster, who Fortune Magazine dubbed "The Glass Genius" for his invention of Permaglass, the curved and tempered glass used in automotive and consumer markets throughout the 20th century.

"I think the regional determinant is the ongoing collective legacy of the physical infrastructure and the human capital of making glass and glass products." -- Tom Blaha, Executive Director, Wood County Economic Development Commission