E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The condition of the market with respect to a commodity which has been largely bought up, in order to create a virtual monopoly and enhance its market price; as a salt-corner, a corner in pork, etc. The idea is that the goods are piled and hidden in a corner out of sight.
The price of bread rose like a rocket, and speculators wished to corner what little wheat there was.New York Weekly Times (June 13, 1894).