Monday, November 22, 2010

Little Joe Tower

I've always been fascinated by the size, shape and history of the Little Joe Tower. At 196 feet, it's always visible from any location in Corning.

The Corning Area Chamber of Commerce questions and answers about 'behind the scene' aspects of Corning include a bit of history about the tower...

Q. What is Little Joe Tower?

A. "Little Joe" Tower facilitated the production of thermometer tubing by using a "vertical draw" process. Hot glass was pulled by cable 196 feet to the top, creating a continuous tube. It was then cooled and cut to length. Today, thermometer tubing is made automatically in a "horizontal draw".

Imagine pulling hot glass 196 feet straight up in the air. Thermometer tubing? The kind we take our temperature with?


Standing at the base of the tower, looking straight up...


Click any picture to see an enlarged version.


At the base of the tower...

Above a parking garage...

Across the Chemung River, from the far side of the YMCA...

I often stop and take a second, and third, look, noting the contrasts in this scene...

From the west end of Market Street...


  1. Love these pics~~~I've taken a few also, mostly from the Patterson Bridge coming into Corning. It's in my thoughts for a future painting. Does your mom email? Missed her this summer.

  2. My favorite view always includes the Little Joe Tower, Corning HQ building and the towers on the hill. Such great contrasts in angles.

    My mom? Are you mistaking me for someone else?

    Hope you have a chance to look at the previous blogs, too. Lots of potential for paintings.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

  3. I see my truck in the ymca pic!
    (red one)
    awesome pics!

  4. Dreamster...

    I'm glad you were able to see your truck. Isn't it great to be able to enlarge the pics and see so much detail? I can actually click a second time on my computer and make them even larger. Wonder if everyone can do that.


  5. My great-grandfather William Zellers is the model in the painting that became the Corning Logo. He was a glass-blower for MacBeth-Evans Glass in Charleroi, PA.

  6. Diana ~ Welcome to my blog. Thanks for sharing more of Corning's history and your great-grandfather's connection. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to an even better New Year!

  7. Is anyone every allowed in the tower? I'm working on a photo history of glass making and I would love to get some shots.

    1. I don't know if anyone is allowed in the tower. You might want to contact Corning Inc. and see if they can put you in touch with the right person/office. Good luck with your photo history and if you're in the area, hope you visit the Rakow Research Library... "the world’s foremost library on the art and history of glass and glassmaking. Its mission is to acquire everything published on the subject of glass, in every format and in every language." (


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