Company Overview


PPG Industries was founded in 1883 when Capt. John B. Ford and John Pitcairn started the first commercially successful plate glass factory in the United States at Creighton, Pa. Known as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., the enterprise focused on innovation and quality… and more than 125 years later, PPG Industries is still dedicated to these priorities.

Captain John B Ford (left) and John Pitcairn (right) established the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.

During the company’s first decade, its flat glass production expanded rapidly through new facilities and acquisitions. In 1899, the business diversified with the construction of an alkali plant in Barberton, Ohio, to supply raw materials for glassmaking – the precursor to PPG’s chemicals businesses. A year later, PPG started building its coatings business by acquiring an interest in Wisconsin-based Patton Paint Co. Glass and paint provided continued growth in the 1920s, as the automotive industry and skyscraper construction expanded.

In the early 1940s PPG entered the optical products business with the introduction of CR-39® optical monomer. This material still is used widely in prescription lenses, along with the company’s array of other lens materials. In 1952, recognizing the potential of another type of glass product, PPG established its fiber glass business.

As a result of its diversification, growth and increasingly global presence, the company changed its name to PPG Industries in 1968. In the ensuing decades PPG emphasized innovation, developing specialty products, increasing process efficiency and accelerating its worldwide expansion.

In January 2008, PPG completed its largest acquisition ever – of SigmaKalon Group, previously based in Uithoorn, Netherlands. SigmaKalon brought strong architectural paint, protective and marine coatings, and industrial coatings businesses, and it greatly expanded PPG’s footprint in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. The acquisition made PPG the second-largest global coatings company.

Today PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. Its products include well-known brands such as Pittsburgh®, Lucite® and Olympic® Paints in North America and Sigma Coatings®, Seigneurie®, Dekoral®, Primalex®, Univer®, Johnstone’s® and Master’s Mark® paints in other regions. Coatings by PPG protect airplanes, golf balls, circuit boards, packaging, appliances, flooring, automobiles, bridges and buildings. PPG’s chemicals help to purify water, and its optical and specialty materials go into high-performance lenses as well as applications ranging from electronic passports to “green” car tires. Windows in houses and office towers, and windshields in aircraft, use PPG glass.

More than 125 years after its founding, PPG still holds true to the spirit of Ford and Pitcairn, continuing to offer innovative solutions.

The following are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of PPG and its related entities and are used above: CR-39, Dekoral, Johnstone’s, Master’s Mark, Olympic, Pittsburgh, Primalex, Seigneurie, Sigma Coatings and Univer.
Lucite is a registered trademark of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., used under license.