Strange though it might seem, Corning and its famed glass center is the third-most-popular tourist destination in New York State . Any surprise might be due to the misconception that visitors to the Corning Museum of Glass  are in for a history lesson on the world’s oldest baking pan rather than an extremely well designed museum dedicated to the art of decorative glass, with nary a Pyrex measuring cup in sight. Crowd control is down to a science here, so don’t be put off by the sight of a tour bus or two in the parking lot.
Corning, current population 11,000, became a one-industry town not long after 1868, when the Flint Glass Company of Brooklyn relocated here. The company chose Corning largely because of its strategic position on the Chemung River and Chemung Canal, which would allow for the easy delivery of raw materials.
In 1875, the company began to produce specialized types of glass, such as railway signal lenses and thermometer tubing. In 1880, the lightbulb division was developed in response to Edison’s invention, and by the early 1930s, Corning was manufacturing 1,250,000 bulbs a day. In 1915, the company’s research and development department invented Pyrex. In the early 1970s, a fiber optics division was established.
Today, about 6,000 Chemung County residents still work for Corning, Inc. Many others are involved in the tourism industry, servicing visitors who come to town to visit the Corning Museum of Glass .