Corning Incorporated held its annual Service Awards luncheon on Wednesday afternoon.

The reception was at the Corning Museum of Glass where Chief Executive Officer Wendell Weeks personally congratulated each retiree, some he used to work under. 

The reception recognizes former employees who began their careers with the company 50 and 75 years ago.

Sixteen retirees started work for Corning in 1942 while 253 retirees began in 1967.

Weeks expressed his appreciation for the crowd.

“You’ve all played a key role in the company’s success, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to recognize you for your service,” Weeks said.

A big screen showed those in attendance how much has changed since the year they began by displaying movie debuts such as Bambi to new laws such as the drafting age dropping to 18. 

Closing out the event, the CEO personally handed out checks to every retiree in the room, briefly chatted with them, then posed for photos.

Every 1967 service member received a check for $1,000 and those from the class of 1942 received a check for $2,500.

Rose DiMaggio is 93 years old and says the ceremony brought her back in time.

“It was quite a memory lane,” DiMaggio said. “Probably the best part of my life was working for Corning Glass.”

She started as a secretary and was with the company for 45 years. She retired 30 years ago.

Paul Kingsbury, a 50-year service member, was with Corning for 27 years.

“Corning made my life and my retirement,” Kingsbury said. “I’ve been retired for 24 years, so Corning is a great place to work.”

Weeks also brought the crowd back in time mentioning that in 1942 a loaf of bread was 12 cents, a gallon of gas was 15 cents, a new car was about $900 and a new house was roughly $4,000.