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Amory Houghton Sr. (1812-1882) article


Houghton, Amory Sr. (2)

Corning's enterprising spirit is our founder's legacy.

Amory Houghton was a talented and ambitious man who sought and seized opportunity. Just into his 20's, he embarked on his first business venture, establishing his own contracting business after a successful apprenticeship as a carpenter and builder. In the following years, Houghton dabbled in real estate and trading, which eventually led to a wharf in Cambridge where he traded coal, wood and other materials. He pursued this until shortly after 1851 when a chance meeting with British glassmaker "Gaffer" Teasdale inspired him to see his future in glass.

Houghton's ownership in the small glass companies Cate & Phillip (later called Bay State Glass) and the Union Glass Works led to his eventual purchase of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works in Brooklyn, N.Y. By this time, Houghton's oldest son, Amory Jr. (1837 – 1909), was involved in the family business and the idea of moving upstate -- where materials and real estate were cheaper -- was taking shape. In 1868, a small-town banker with big ideas approached Houghton with a plan. Soon after, Houghton moved his company to Corning, N.Y. and changed the company's name to reflect its new home.

Houghton left the business in 1870, and retired to his farm in Westchester County. He eventually returned to his home in Brooklyn, where he died in 1882 at the age of 70.


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