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Corning, New York: The Crystal City: J. Hoare & Company

This guide focuses on the glass-related history of the Corning, New York, and surrounding area, including local resources, special collections, and topics unique to Corning's glass history.

John Hoare: “Father of the Cut Glass Industry in America”

John Hoare, known as Captain Hoare, was born in Cork, Ireland, on April 12, 1822. He learned glass cutting from his father and worked at various glass houses in England from 1842 until 1853 when he emigrated to New York. He owned interests in several cutting firms there. In 1855 he formed the glass-cutting department of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company and purchased their equipment.

He established a cutting shop in Corning, NY, in 1868 at the request of Amory Houghton, Sr. It was housed on the second floor of the new Corning Flint Glass Works factory. Houghton agreed to sell blanks exclusively to Hoare. It is believed that the cut glass blank business was crucial to the Flint Glass Works’ success. In the 1870s and early 1880s, J. Hoare & Co. was one of the largest cut glass concerns in the country. By 1873, Captain Hoare moved all of his business operations and family to Corning. They expanded with another cutting shop in Wellsboro, PA, operating from 1906-1914.

John Hoare was a master cutter. He won awards at various exhibitions in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and in 1893 won four medals at the Columbian Exposition including the gold medal. The Hoare shop furnished cut glass to the White House during President Grant’s administration in 1873, believed to be in the Lincoln pattern.

Captain Hoare died in 1896 and his son James continued the business, joined by his brother John S. Hoare. The J. Hoare & Co. firm closed in October 1920 with the decline of the cut glass industry.

Books about John Hoare and His Company

J. Hoare & Company Archives

J. Hoare & Co. Scrapbook Collection

The J. Hoare & Co. Scrapbook Collection is comprised of seven scrapbooks compiled by company employees with photographs of glassware from Hoare and other companies; clippings gathered for reference and design inspiration; and templates for ware.

Most of the scrapbooks have been digitized. Find those records here.

Articles About John Hoare and His Company

Find Answers to Your Glass Questions

Examples of J. Hoare & Co. Objects

Bowl in "Crystal City" or "Wedding Ring" Pattern, J. Hoare & Co., 1891-1895, 83.4.149, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Sisk.

Design: ornamentation of glass or other ware, J. Hoare, 1891, CMGL 119141.

Ruby Cased Wineglass in "Eleanor" Pattern, J. Hoare & Co., 1895-1900, 2002.4.61.

Punch Bowl on Stand, J. Hoare & Co., about 1890-1910, 74.4.142, gift of Maynard T. Allen.

Electric Light Radiator in "Russian" Pattern, J. Hoare & Co., about 1887, 64.4.46.

Electric light radiator: made of rich cut flint glass, J. Hoare & Co., 1887, CMGL 93928.

Engraved Inkwell, J. Hoare & Co., 1892, 2003.4.4.

Mustard Jar with Wooden Scoop, J. Hoare & Co., 1895-1910, 84.4.234, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford G. Maynard.

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Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative library service that allows you to borrow materials through your local library.

For more information visit our ILL page or e-mail ILL@cmog.org.