The glass factory operated for 72 years before closing in 2002, costing the jobs of 150 workers. At the time the plant was shuttered, it was making glass tubing for the television industry. Corning Inc. said it could no longer compete with similar operations in Asia and Eastern Europe.
The closing came as part of a companywide restructuring following the collapse of the telecommunications market in 2001. Telecom had generated 70 percent of Corning Inc.'s revenue in 2001, but now accounts for less than 40 percent as the company has stepped up the manufacture of liquid crystal display glass.
Corning Inc. also has important environmental and life sciences units, and remains one of the state's leading companies, with $4.6 billion in annual sales and 26,000 employees worldwide.
Historian Thomas Dimitroff said Fall Brook — named for the former Fall Brook Railroad, which brought coal from Pennsylvania for use in Corning's factories — was among the last of the local glass factories that once stretched along the Chemung River.