Glass works

Steuben Glass Works

Steuben Glass Works is an American art glass manufacturer, founded in the summer of 1903 by Fredrick C. Carder and Thomas G. Hawkes in Corning, New York. Hawkes was the owner of the largest cut glass firm then operating in Corning. Carder was an Englishman (born 18 September, 1863) who had many years experience designing glass for Stevens and Williams in England. Hawkes purchased the glass blanks for his cutting shop from many sources and eventually wanted to start a factory to make the blanks himself. Hawkes convinced Carder to come to Corning and manage such a factory. Carder, who had been passed over for promotion at Stevens and Williams, consented to do so.

The Carder Period (1903-1932)

Steuben Glass Works started operation in October 1903. Carder produced blanks for Hawkes and also began producing cut glass himself. Carder's great love was colored glass and had been instrumental in the reintroduction of colored glass while at Stevens and Williams. When Steuben's success at producing blanks for Hawkes became assured, Carder began to experiment with colored glass and continued experiments that were started in England. He soon perfected Gold Aurene which was similar to iridescent art glass that was being produced by Tiffany and others. Gold Aurene was followed by a wide range of colored art glass that eventually was produced in over 7,000 shapes and 140 colors.

Steuben Glass Works continued to produce glass of all sorts until World War I. At that time war time restrictions made it impossible for Steuben to acquire the materials needed to continue manufacture. The company was subsequently sold to Corning Glass Works and became the Steuben Division. Carder continued as Division manager without any real change in the company's operation except that he now had reporting responsibilities to Corning Glass Works' management. Corning's management tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to limit the articles that Steuben made to only the most popular. Production continued until about 1932.

In 1932 there was a major change in Steuben management. The nationwide depression had limited the sale of Steuben and there was also a lessening of public interest in colored glass. In February 1932, John MacKay was appointed to Carder's position and Carder became Art Director, Corning Glass Works. Steuben then produced primarily colorless art glass whose production continues to this day.

Steuben still produced colored art glass mostly to fill special orders; a few new colors were added after Carder lost control of the company. The last known sale for colored art glass by Steuben was in 1943.

The Houghton Period

Corning Glass Works appointed Arthur Houghton, Jr. as President in 1933, and under his leadership Steuben changed artistic direction toward more modern forms. Using a newly formulated glass developed by Corning (referred to as 10M) which had a very high refraction index and unsurpassed transparency, Steuben designers developed designs that defined a new look in glass art. Pieces such as Gazelle Bowl, designed by Sidney Waugh incorporated Art Deco and modernist themes into glass.

Recently celebrating its hundredth year of operation, Steuben Glass remains the premiere art glass manufacturer in the United States.

In July 2008, Steuben was sold by Corning Incorporated to the Schottenstein Stores Corp. for an undisclosed price. Production will continue in Corning-owned facilities with the same staff; the management is the only factor to change.

Steuben Designers

Many highly-respected glass designers have worked for Steuben Glass, including:

  • Kiki Smith
  • Peter S. Aldridge
  • Lloyd Atkins
  • Robert Cassetti
  • David P. Dowler
  • Peter J. Drobny
  • Eric G. Hilton
  • James Houston
  • Dante Marioni
  • Ted Muehling
  • Taf Lebel Schaefer
  • Paul Schulze
  • George Thompson
  • Sidney Waugh

Notable appearances

The glass egg featured in the film, Risky Business (1983), was designed by Steuben.


  • The Glass of Frederick Carder - Paul V. Gardner (1971)
  • Frederick Carder and Steuben Glass - Thomas P. Dimitroff (1998)
  • A Guide to Colored Steuben Glass (Book 1) - Eric Erickson (1965)
  • A Guide to Colored Steuben Glass (Book 2) - Eric Erickson (1965)
  • Steuben Glass - James S. Plaut (1971)
  • Frederick Carder's Steuben Glass - Marshall Ketchum (2002)
  • Carder's Steuben Glass - John F. Hotchkiss (1964)
  • Steuben: Seventy Years of American Glassmaking - Perrot, Gardner, Plaut (1974)
  • Asian Artists in Crystal - Steuben Glass (1956)
  • Poetry in Crystal - Steuben Glass (1963)
  • The Art of Steuben - Steuben Glass (1972)
  • A Primer of Glass Design - Steuben Glass
  • Steuben Glass:An American Tradition in Crystal (first edition)--Mary Jean Madigan (1981)
  • Steuben Glass: An American Tradition in Crystal (Second Edition) - Mary Jean Madigan (2003)
  • Steuben Design: A Legacy of Light and Form--Mary Jean Madigan (2004)

See also


External links

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