Corning, Erastus(1794–1872) businessman, U.S. representative; born in Norwich, Conn. He moved to Albany, N.Y. (1814), where he began to manufacture iron. He bought a foundry and eventually founded a partnership with metallurgy genius John F. Winslow; their product became renowned throughout the U.S.A. He promoted an extension of the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad and was the president of the Utica and Schenectady Railroad (1833–53); he took the lead in consolidating the various New York railroad lines into the New York Central and served as its first president (1853–64). He founded the Corning Land Company (1853) and served four terms as the mayor of Albany (1834–37). He served in the New York state senate (1842–45) and in the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem., N.Y.; 1857–59, 1861–63).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.