The %%Crystal%% City Gallery is devoted to glass made in Corning, New York. This glass dates from 1868, when the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works moved to Corning and changed its name to Corning Flint Glass Works, to 1962, when the city’s last glass cutting shop closed.
Brooklyn Flint Glass moved to Corning to escape the high costs of doing business in New York City. A local inventor, Elias Hungerford, had patented a design for colored glass window blinds, and, with other local investors, he persuaded the company to relocate and to manufacture the blinds.
But the blinds were not a commercial success, and the company’s most important product quickly became glass blanks used for making cut glass tableware. John Hoare’s cutting shop, which had occupied space in the Brooklyn factory, also moved to Corning. The firm cut its glass on the second floor of the first Corning factory.
Within a few years, several other cutting shops had opened in Corning, and by 1905, the city contained three large shops—Hoare, T. G. Hawkes and Company, and H. P. Sinclaire and Company—and more than a dozen smaller shops. Corning became one of the principal locations for the manufacture of cut glass in the United States. In 1903, Steuben Glass Works opened to make blanks as well as colored glass.
Newspaper accounts nicknamed Corning “The Crystal City,” and its cut glass was sold all over the United States and abroad. The Crystal City Gallery shows the history of this local production, presenting glass from a variety of cutting companies.