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

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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; 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195140958
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/21/2001
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Davis Dyer is Founding Director of The Winthrop Group. Daniel Gross is a Business Writer and Associate of The Winthrop Group.

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Table of Contents

Houghton Family Tree
List of Chairman and Presidents
1 Corning and Glass 1
2 Founding and Foundering, 1851-1875 19
3 The Rise of Corning Glass Works, 1875-1908 51
4 Pyrex, the Ribbon Machine, and a Wider World, 1908-1928 93
5 Surviving and Thriving in the Depression Decade, 1928-1939 131
6 Corning Goes to War, 1939-1945 173
7 A Decade of Unbounded Opportunities, 1945-1954 209
8 Ambitious Expansion: TV Glass, Pyroceram, and Corning Ware, 1954-1960 233
9 Encountering Limits and Diversifying, 1960-1966 259
10 International Growth and the Roots of Fiber Optics, 1966-1971 283
11 Digging Out and Tough Economic Times, 1972-1975 311
12 Cutting Costs and Changing Direction, 1975-1983 337
13 Emphasizing Performance, Quality, and Diversity, 1983-1989 369
14 Refocusing and Reengineering, 1990-1996 413
15 Growing in the New Economy, 1996- 435
Notes 455
Index 491
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  • Posted December 31, 2008


    I ordered a book on Dec.15,2008 thru Eurobooks for my son for Christmas. He would have loved this book - if he had ever gotten it. They supposedly ship from 30 minutes from where I live. Order status says it shipped same day - so I can't cancel the order. I got orders from 2000 miles away which I ordered a day later. It's been 15 days, no book, and no response to my emails, on Dec 23rd, 27th, or 30th. They have my money. B&N hasn't responded to my emails either, except to say they got them.<BR/> <BR/>B&N finally responded with a flimsy excuse - no help until after January 6, 2009. Maybe I'll get the order in time for my sons birthday in 6 months.<BR/>Sorry about the rating - not for the book. ZERO stars for EuroBooks!!!!

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