The Little Joe Tower

(1912), Corning Inc. Campus

Look north, towards the Chemung River, to see this striking landmark. This 200-foot tower is the centerpiece of historic Corning and once served a very practical manufacturing purpose. The company, then known as Corning Glass Works, manufactured various household and scientific products, including thermometer tubing until 1973. The tubes were produced by using the "vertical draw" process. Skilled technicians and glassworkers formed molten glass batches, and then stretched them to the top of the Little Joe Tower using a cable system. This formed a long, continuous tube of hot glass. After cooling, the tubes were cut to desired lengths for thermometers. Local legend traces the name of the landmark back to a prominent glassworker who spent his days devoted to making glass thermometer tubing in the tower.