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Corning Glass


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(established 1851)

This American glassmaking company has become widely known for its ovenware and development of heat resistant materials such as Pyrex and Pyroceram. Pyrex, a form of transparent, heat‐resistant glass invented in 1913 by Jesse T. Littleton at Corning, was itself developed from an earlier strong, glass‐based material called Nonex (‘non‐expansion’). The latter was the result of work undertaken in 1908 by Eugene Sullivan, the first director of research at Corning, in order to reduce breakages. The first Pyrex ovenware range was launched in 1915 and, in the same year, was also used for Silex coffeemakers made by the Frank E. Wolcott Manufacturing Co. In 1941 Corning Glass produced the Chemex paper filter coffeemaker with its flask (patented by Peter Schlumbohm in 1938) manufactured from Pyrex. Other developments involving Pyrex took place at Corning in the 1930s, including Range Top Ware (1930) and Flameware (1934), the latter's pressed‐glass cookware products including frying pans and saucepans. The range was expanded and further developed over 40 years, being discontinued in 1979. The company had established its own design division in New York in 1948, directed by John B. Ward, with an early brief to revitalize the appearance of Pyrex ovenware and Flameware products. In 1973 the design division was decentralized alongside the company as a whole, with the establishment of seven design centres and a design team of 23. Other important Corning Glass innovations included Pyroceram (1953), a white heat‐resistant material with a ceramic appearance used for the Corningware oven‐to‐tableware range launched in 1958. Notable Corning product ranges included design award‐winning Terra bake‐serve products (1965), Store ‘N’ See ware (1968), and Corelle Living Ware (1970). The latter was a break‐resistant dinnerware that proved a tremendous sales success, selling more than 2 billion pieces by the end of the 20th century.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design — Industrial and Commercial Art.


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