The Generations of Corning: The Life and Times of a Global Corporation

The Generations of Corning: The Life and Times of a Global Corporation

by Davis Dyer
     
 

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This engrossing history of an extraordinary company, Corning Incorporated, chronicles how one of the oldest business enterprises in the world maintained its place as a global leader in technology for over 150 years. In the nineteenth century, Corning developed colored signal lights for railroads. In the twentieth century, it created Pyrex and color television tubes;… See more details below

Overview

This engrossing history of an extraordinary company, Corning Incorporated, chronicles how one of the oldest business enterprises in the world maintained its place as a global leader in technology for over 150 years. In the nineteenth century, Corning developed colored signal lights for railroads. In the twentieth century, it created Pyrex and color television tubes; today, it is a Fortune 500 company leading the international marketplace in areas such as fiber optics and photonics.

If you use the Internet, drive a car, or simply turn on a light, then Corning is a part of your life. The Generations of Corning tells the fascinating stories of its founding family--the Houghtons, the inventors, and the adventures, behind Corning's remarkable achievements--from unexpected discoveries, like the laboratory mishap that led to Corning Ware, to the years of painstaking, often frustrating, research that led to its breakthrough in fiber optics.

From 1851 to 1996, five generations of Houghtons made Corning a company that combined a culture of continuous innovation with a sense of loyalty to its employees and their community. Davis Dyer and Daniel Gross show how the critical changes in organization and leadership that accompanied each new generation helped Corning not just survive, but to prosper, and push itself to the cutting edge of materials technology in decade after decade. The Generations of Corning is a classic success story and a triumph of the inventive spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These two books, along with a third volume (the forthcoming Corning Through the Ages), were commissioned by Corning to mark 150 years in business. While such an endeavor is inevitably self-serving, the authors have been allowed to present both the accomplishments (and they are numerous) and the sticking points and warts. In The Generations of Corning, Dyer and Gross detail the history of the organization from its inception to the current day. From a business perspective, it is intriguing to learn how a company was able to take a fundamental material glass and both develop its particular formulation and engineer the industrial process to expedite manufacturing. This was true for the electric light bulb, fiber optics, and a host of other industrial and consumer products. The history also shows how Corning leveraged its competencies through large-scale partnerships. In Corning and the Craft of Innovation, history is subjugated to more specific topics. Hence, Gross and Shuldiner deal with glassmaking as both an art and a science, the realm of processes, and military applications. Perhaps the greatest value of the book is in showing how Corning came to embody what in today's jargon is a "learning organization." As a result, an organization that made its living off the mundane (e.g., the light bulb) was able to create the spectacular (e.g., the 200" telescope mirror). While each work covers much the same material, the scientist may prefer Craft and the social economist, Generations; both books are recommended. Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198032311
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/21/2001
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
4 MB

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