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Corning Incorporated



  • Existence: 1851 (date of establishment)
  • Usage: 1989 (date of establishment)
  • Usage: 1851 (date of establishment) - 1868 (date of move to Corning, New York) - 1868
  • Usage: 1868 (date of establishment) - 1875 (date of name change and incorporation) - 1875
  • Usage: 1875 (date of establishment) - 1989 (date of name change) - 1989


In 1851 Amory Houghton, an enterprising merchant from Massachusetts, decided to become involved in the glassmaking industry. After a decade of directing several different companies, Houghton and his son, Amory Houghton Jr., purchased the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works in Brooklyn, New York in 1864. Both men served as directors and officers at the company. Financial difficulties, though, as well as a fire in the factory forced the Houghton family to take extreme measures in order to save the company. In May of 1868, the board of Brooklyn Flint Glass agreed to move its entire business to Corning, New York after a local banker, Elias Hungerford, convinced Amory Houghton that the town could be transformed into a center of glassmaking. Just five months after the move, the Corning Flint Glass Works opened its new factory. The initial products included goblets, globes, jars, fruit dishes, lamp chimneys, and glass blanks for cutters and engravers. In 1875, the company was incorporated as the Corning Glass Works.

After operating successfully for several years, Amory Houghton, Jr., the company’s president, decided to focus on a few specialty products. These included colored glass for railroad signal lenses, blown glass for lamp globes and chimneys, glass tubing for scientific and industrial uses, and glass blanks for cut crystal glassware. The high quality of the company’s crystal glass blanks stimulated the development of a local industry dedicated to glass cutting and engraving. By the turn of the century, cut glass firms such as J. Hoare & Co. and H. P. Sinclaire & Co. enabled the town of Corning to promote itself as “the Crystal City.”

In the early 20th century Amory Houghton Jr.’s sons, Alanson and Arthur, began to institute significant changes at Corning Glass Works. In 1908 they established a research and development laboratory dedicated to the study of scientific glass and hired Dr. Eugene Sullivan to lead and organize the new department. Dr. Sullivan, who earned his PhD at the University in Leipzig in Germany, hired physicists, chemists, and optical scientists to collaborate in the newly formed research facility. Due to the innovations of Dr. Sullivan and his staff, Corning Glass Works was able to expand its light bulb making business, manufacture more laboratory glassware, and begin making optical glass. In 1913 the Research & Development team made a breakthrough in the production of temperature-resistant borosilicate glass. Marketed as Pyrex, this highly durable cookware and laboratory glass was one of Corning Glass Works’ most successful products.

Throughout the twentieth century, Corning Glass Works continued to gain a worldwide reputation for its innovation. In 1935, Dr. George McCauley, a Corning physicist, designed and produced a 200” mirror blank, regarded as the world’s largest piece of glass at the time, for the Hale Telescope at Mount Palomar. Corning also mass-produced TV picture tubes, a contribution allowing millions of people to afford televisions. In 1994, Corning received the National Medal of Technology for life-changing and life-enhancing inventions.

The company is now known as Corning Incorporated and produces advanced optics products, science equipment such as microplates and petri dishes, optical cables, environmental filters, pharmaceutical tubing, and much more. Corning Incorporated has research centers distributed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Corning Glass Works Collection

Identifier: MS-0027
Scope and Contents This collection contains materials gathered over several decades pertaining to Corning Glass Works (since 1989, Corning Incorporated) and its products. Researchers should note that Corning Incorporated maintains its historic records of enduring value within the the Corning Incorporated Archives. The Corning Incorporated Archives may be reached at the following email address: collection consists of two series:(1) Subject Files, 1868-2013...
Dates: 1868-2013

Corning Glass Works Photograph Collection

Identifier: MS-0028
Scope and Contents

This set of early photographic prints of Corning Glass Works factories consists of two series:

(1) Original Factory, 1868-1889

(2) Reconstructed Factory, 1889-1905

Researchers should note that some of the photographs have been dated according to the number of factory smokestacks depicted in the images. There were five in 1888, eight in 1891 and 1898, ten in 1903, and twelve in 1905.

Dates: 1868-1905

External Media about the Corning Museum of Glass

 Record Group
Identifier: CMOG-RG04
Scope and Contents

These records contain external media clippings about The Corning Museum of Glass and objects in its collection published locally, nationally and internationally.

The records are divided into three series:

(1) Newspaper Clipping Scrapbooks, 1951-1979

(2) Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, 1950-2020

(3) Media Activity Reports, 2001-2012

Dates: 1950-2020

George V. McCauley Papers

Identifier: MS-0098
Scope and Contents

The papers of George V. McCauley, research physicist at Corning Glass Works accumulated at his workplace and were given to the Rakow Research Library by Corning Incorporated. The papers primarily document his work on the 200" disk and are divided into three series:

(1) Correspondence and Subject Files, 1913-1965

(2) Photographs and Drawings, Circa 1931-1996

(3) Artifacts, Circa 1925

Dates: 1913-1996; Majority of material found within 1930-1965

Ottorino N. Mercadante Design Drawings

Identifier: MS-0194
Scope and Contents This collection consists of about 130 design drawings and renderings created for the decoration of Corelle, Centura, and other tableware brands produced by Corning Incorporated. While most are clearly attributed to Mercadante, some have other designers' marks or are without attribution. It is unclear how many of these designs went into production.Materials are grouped together by design type and arranged alphabetically. Physical arrangement does not follow intellectual...
Dates: Circa 1960-1987

Dianne M. Williams Collection on Pyrex

Identifier: MS-0156
Scope and Contents

The collected primary source materials assembled by Pyrex collector Dianne M. Williams are arranged into five series:

(1) Advertisements, 1915-1980

(2) Photocopied Advertisements, 1915-1986

(3) Booklets, 1922-1943

(4) Ephemera, 1907-1949

(5) Dianne M. Williams Pyrex Book Manuscript, Circa 2010

Dates: 1907-2010

World Kitchen, Inc. Media and Design Records

Identifier: MS-0209
Content Description The World Kitchen, Inc. Media and Design Records consists of a wide variety of materials documenting the product design, marketing, sales, manufacture, and advertising of the popular houseware lines Corelle, CorningWare, Crown Corning, Pyrex, and Visions, ranging from their beginnings at Corning Glass Works (hereafter referred to as Corning) to their eventual incorporation into the World Kitchen brand in the 2000s. The collection is divided into eight series:1....
Dates: 1915-2011; Majority of material found within 1970-2006