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T.G. Hawkes & Co. Records

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


  • 1880-1977


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

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.


135.2 Linear Feet (73 Hollinger boxes, 6 half Hollinger boxes, 53 flat boxes, 5 card file boxes, and 5 oversized folders )

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Many materials in this collection are fragile and grimy. Some materials in this collection suffered flood damage in 1972. Researchers should wear nitrile gloves and apron when using material with obvious water damage, flood mud residue, or suspected mold. Researchers should also limit access to flood damaged materials to two hours per day. Some, but not all, flooded materials have been placed in sleeves to reduce the risk of exposure to flood mud.

The following materials have significant damage (failing bindings, red rot, flaking surfaces, significant tears and brittleness, and/or mold). Please exercise caution when handling these materials.

Box 020: General Business Correspondence (Bound Ledger)

Box 029: General Business Correspondence (Bound Ledger)

Boxes 045-053: Cash Books / Day Books

Box 078 / Folders 05-06: Price Lists, Assorted Ware (Ledger Sheets)

Box 081: Orders, C. Dorflinger & Sons Blanks

Boxes 084-085: Workmen's Records (Notebooks), Circa 1880-1896

Box 091 / Folder 02: Production Entries (Ledger)

Box 091 / Folder 03: Payroll (Ledger)

Box 093 / Folders 04-11, 13: Workman's Notebooks and Supplications for Increased Wages

Box OV 102 / Folder 03: Design Drawings: Candlesticks

Box OC 102 / Folder 07: Design Drawings: Unidentified

Box OV 103 / Folder 05: Frottages: Lamp

Box OV 103 / Folder 07-10: Frottages: Picture Frames

Box OV 133: Portrait of T. G. Hawkes [?], Photographic Print on Canvas

Box OV 139: Frottages: Monograms

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was acquired through a number of gifts and purchases from various donors and vendors. For more detailed information regarding the collection's provenance, contact the Acquisitions Librarian.

Existence and Location of Copies

Portions of this collection were microfilmed prior to processing and added to the library's microform collection. Arrangement and description of the microfilmed materials does not correspond to the current arrangement and description of the collection.


At one time, a separate collection of Samuel Hawkes Family Correspondence was maintained (MS-0062). That material was incorporated into this collection in 2020.

Processing Information

Processed by Amanda LaLomia and Hannah D. Cox, 2019-2020.

T. G. Hawkes & Co. Records, 1880-1977
A Guide to the Collection
Hannah D. Cox and Amanda LaLomia
December 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
The arrangement and description of the T. G. Hawkes & Co. Records was made possible in part by a grant from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department.

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA