Tom Brady is under no illusions that he will become a best-selling author.
But he believes he has an important story to tell — actually three — when it comes to the history of the PET bottle and how the container went from creation to ubiquitousness in short order.
Brady is the founder and former owner of Plastic Technologies Inc., now PTI, in Holland, Ohio, a PET packaging development and research firm.
He finally sold his stake in the firm last year after stepping away from the day-to-day operations more than a decade ago.
He's at an age now — 78 — that he said he realized if he didn't create a written record of what happened back in the day, nobody would. So he did.
"If I don't write it down, it doesn't get done," he said. "There really isn't anybody else my age, I think, in the industry that has the background or the continued connectedness in the industry to do this."
When the forced confinement of COVID-19 came along, Brady started the project that has been in the back of his mind for years. The result is a trio of books: History of the PET Bottle, Plastics Technologies Inc. — Our Story and Impact of Owens-Illinois on the World. Brady got his start at the Owens-Illinois Plastic Products division 50 years ago and was part of the team that worked on the company's creation of the PET soda bottle.
Brady worked at O-I until 1985, when he struck out on his own to establish PTI, which became a well-known name in packaging consulting and design.
The books, which are printed on demand once orders are received, are available through BookBaby, a self-publishing company, and Amazon.
"The reason I wrote these books was not to become a famous author or make a lot of money," Brady said. "It really was, as I sat here during the pandemic, the thought was this industry, the PET Industry … it kept occurring to me that there really is no documentation to that."
So he got to work, estimating each one of the books took about nine months to complete.
"My personal satisfaction comes out of knowing that I'm connecting with, recognizing and otherwise sharing the fact that we did all this with others," he said. "My satisfaction comes out of recognizing them and giving them credit.
"This is not the kind of book that John Grisham would write, that every book store wants 20 copies," Brady joked. But those who want one, want one.
Along with writing for people involved in PET throughout the years, Brady said he believes there is importance to having a record of the PET industry that has been so important to Northwest Ohio. That's why he's donated copies to local libraries and people he has known over the years.
"I don't really have goals," he said, in terms of copies being sold. "What I have is a goal … that those people who have an interest in the history of this industry — and particularly those who have been involved in creating that history — know that these publications are there so that they can access them."