Ford City is located 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Pittsburgh and 4 miles south of Kittanning on the east bank of the Allegheny River. It was founded in 1887 by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (now PPG Industries) as the site for its Works No. 3 glass factory. The factory at one time employed as many as 5,000 workers. It was closed in the 1990s. Ford City was named for PPG's founder, John Baptist Ford (1811—1903).