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T.G. Hawkes & Co.

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1880 (date of establishment) - 1962 (date of dissolution)

In 1880, Thomas G. Hawkes opened Hawkes Rich Cut Glass Works on Market Street in Corning, New York. Hawkes, a native of Ireland, had worked previously as a manager for Hoare & Dailey, another glass cutting firm in Corning. Hawkes Rich Cut Glass Works was first located above L. Field's marble works. In October 1882, Hawkes moved his business to a building constructed by Stephen Hayt at the corner of Market and Walnut Streets. Early city directories indicate the address as 74 and 75 W. Market Street.

Hawkes's firm quickly acquired an excellent reputation, solidified in 1889 when its wares won the Grand Prize for cut glass at the Paris Exposition Universelle. Hawkes Rich Cut Glass was incorporated as T. G. Hawkes & Co. in 1890.

After purchasing the former Payne foundry on West Erie Avenue, Hawkes opened an auxiliary cutting shop there in 1901, and a second auxiliary cutting shop in the same location in 1902. He planned a glass factory here as well, but it never came to fruition. The two auxiliary cutting shops appear to have closed in 1910.

Thomas G. Hawkes died unexpectedly in 1913, and leadership of the company transferred to his son, Samuel. Cousins Penrose Hawkes and Townsend deMoleyns Hawkes also took on leadership roles in the company, but none of the new company leaders had trained as glass cutters. While they knew the business of selling cut glass, they did not know the trade.

In 1915, the company modernized its operations. Four frame buildings at 73-79 West Market Street were combined into a single modern factory, with a unifying brick façade. Packing, shipping and storage were on the first floor; offices, stockrooms, and assembly rooms were on the second floor, and cutting rooms on the third; the company moved into the new building on Dec. 24, 1915, and moved out of the Hayt building. A fire in 1924 damaged the new building, but later that year a new showroom was installed at the head of the main staircase.

T.G. Hawkes & Co. prospered until the Great Depression, when the already dwindling demand for cut glass further dropped. Samuel Hawkes retired around 1940, and Bradley Lindsley and Penrose Hawkes took over all business operations. In its final years, T. G. Hawkes & Co. no longer produced cut glass. As a means of generating income, the company rented storage space to individuals and local businesses. After Samuel Hawkes’s death in 1959, the family and board decided that the company was no longer viable and closed its doors in 1962. Until his death in 1972, Penrose Hawkes maintained a retail store in Corning that sold "Hawkes" crystal, made by local glasscutter Floyd Manwarren, as well as Waterford crystal.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

J. Hoare & Co. Scrapbook Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0070
Scope and Contents The J. Hoare & Co. Scrapbook Collection is comprised of seven scrapbooks associated with the cut glass firm but received from various sources. Scrapbook contents include clippings, design inspiration, photographs, and silhouettes and templates of ware from J. Hoare & Co., Elmira Cut Glass Company, Gorham Manufacturing Company, Hunt Glass Co., John Illig, Libbey Glass Manufacturing Co., Pairpoint Glass Company, and many others. The scrapbooks were likely assembled by J. Hoare & Co....
Dates: Circa 1875-1917

T.G. Hawkes & Co. Records

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0063
Scope and Contents These records document a highly successful glass cutting firm in Corning, New York and the three generations of the Hawkes family that owned and operated the firm. The records are divided into three series:

Series 01: Corporate Records, 1880-1976

Series 02: Family and Personal Papers, 1880-1977

Series 03: Artifacts and Artwork, Circa 1880-1920
Dates: 1880-1977