Erastus Corning (1794-1872) got his business started in Troy and made the bulk of his fortune in railroads, including the production of iron tracks and hook-headed railroad spikes. Corning and his partner, John Flack Winslow, received the contract to make the deck and skirt armor for the USS Monitor and at least eight additional monitor class ironclad warships.
Born in Connecticut, Corning began his business career working in a relative’s hardware shop. His interest in the iron trade would eventually lead him to establish the New York Central Railroad which, during his lifetime, was the largest corporation in the United States. He served as Mayor of Albany, founding a political dynasty that continued into the 20th-century with Mayor Erastus Corning II. [Read more…] about Erastus Corning & His Ironworks