The master craftsmen of the industry’s heyday (or their descendants) were interviewed, fragile old newspapers exhaustively researched, flood –damaged salesmen’s catalogs photographed, and long-ago business records reexamined. A result of this research, The Complete Cut & Engraved Glass of Corning, offers hundreds of illustrations and pattern names. It also provides an in-depth account of all of Corning’s most famous firms – Hoare, Hwakes, Hunt, Sinclaire, Egginton, and Steuben, for example - and of the home shops as well as of companies elsewhere that were founded by Corning-born or Corning-trained cutters.
Of special interest is the extensive information discovered about a great many previously unknown shops and about the so-called “ghost” companies – firms that have been mentioned in some earlier books but that never existed. A concluding chapter, “Corning Today,” brings the story up to date.
In his book, the emphasis throughout is on the great craftsmen who made possible the city’s achievements, among them the Bohemian’s master engravers whose expertise made Corning the engraving center of the United States. The complete story is told: the techniques of glassmaking and of cutting and engraving; the companies and their personnel; the craftsmen and artists and their training; the problems and hazards of the industry; and the awards and achievements.