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Iconic Steuben Glass Closes Rochester Crystal Plant

Tue, 11/29/2011 - 3:55am

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — It's the end of the line for Steuben Glass, an American icon of handcrafted crystal for over a century.

The company's lone factory in Corning in western New York shuts down Tuesday, ending a high-end glassmaking tradition dating back 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. Ohio-based owner Schottenstein Stores says sales are brisk enough to keep the store open until at least year-end.

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.

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