NY's Steuben Glass company closes lone factory

November 29, 2011 - 4:50 PM
Steuben Glass

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2003 file photo, Dave Robenolt works on a glass bowl at the Steuben Glass factory inside the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y. It’s the end of the line for Steuben Glass, an American icon of handcrafted crystal for more than a century. The company’s lone factory shut down Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, ending a high-end glassmaking tradition dating back to 1903. Most of the 60 workers were axed, but a few found jobs at glass pioneer Corning Inc., Steuben's former owner. (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — It's the end of the line for the Steuben Glass company, an American icon of handcrafted crystal in western New York for more than a century.

The company's lone factory in Corning shut down Tuesday, ending a high-end glassmaking tradition dating to 1903. Most of the 60 workers are being axed.

The matchlessly transparent lead crystal is still being sold at Steuben's flagship store in New York City. Columbus, Ohio-based owner Schottenstein Stores says sales are brisk enough to keep the store open until at least the end of the year.

Schottenstein bought 80 percent of the ailing business from glass pioneer Corning Inc. weeks before the financial crisis hit Wall Street in September 2008. The operator of Value City Furniture says it tried to appeal to more economically diverse markets but Steuben never turned a profit.