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History of Innovation


Who would have predicted that an 1851 investment in a glass company would help revolutionize the 21st century? Corning's remarkable innovations over the past 157 years are largely the result of the company's unwavering commitment to the art of discovery; the highest standards of quality, consistency and performance excellence; and our Values.

From light bulbs, television tubes and cookware…to ceramic substrates, optical fiber and active-matrix liquid crystal displays, Corning has developed products that change the way we live – for the better. Corning's sustained success stems from its ability to constantly reinvent and evolve its products and processes to meet the demands of current and future markets.

Corning Incorporated

  • 1879 – Corning produced bulb-shaped glass encasement for Thomas Edison's new incandescent lamp
  • 1912 – Developed a heat-resistant, low-expansion glass able to withstand sudden jolts of heat and cold for the railroad signals
  • 1915 – Created an improved glass formula under the Pyrex® brand. Pyrex becomes synonymous with a line of highly durable cookware and laboratory glass products still available today
  • 1934 – Developed silicones - an engineered material that is a cross between glass and plastic. Lab experimentations led to a nearly pure silica compound which was later used by Corning to produce spacecraft windows, optical lenses, optical fiber and telescope mirrors
  • 1947 – Revolutionized the television industry by inventing a process to mass produce TV picture tubes
  • 1952 – Developed a new glass-ceramic — CorningWare®
  • 1961 – The Mercury spacecraft makes the first successful American-manned flight equipped with heat-resistant windows manufactured by Corning
  • 1970 – Developed the first optical fiber capable of maintaining the strength of laser light signals over significant distance
  • 1980s – Corning's "fusion" makes glass that aids the LCD industry in making large, high-quality flat panel displays possible for various new applications
  • 1997 – Created the glass for the Subaru Telescope mirror, one of the largest pieces of glass ever made
  • 2007 – With the introduction of nanoStructures™ technology, Corning is the industry leader in optical macrobend performance

Corning Optical Communications

  • 1977 – Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) and Siemens AG establish equity venture Siecor Corporation
  • 1978 – Developed loose tube fiber optic cable design – which has become the industry standard; Manufactured and installed first single-mode optical fiber cable; Pioneered the tight-buffered cable design and was the first to manufacture high fiber-count, UL-approved tight-buffered cables
  • 1983 – Installed first single-mode cable for commercial telephone traffic in the U.S; Developed and manufactured first Network Interface Devices (NIDs) for commercial use in the U.S.
  • 1986 – Pioneered the development of prestubbed optical hardware; Became the first non-Japanese fiber optic cable manufacturer to sell commercially in Japan; First to deliver cable with more than 216 working fibers
  • 1989 – Developed first true field-installable connectors with innovative UniCam® Connector technology
  • 1996 – Introduced LANscape® Solutions for Private Networks fiber optic applications; Introduced loose tube fiber optic cable with state-of-the-art water blocking technology for outside plant applications
  • 2000 – Corning Incorporated purchases Siemens’ interest in Siecor Corporation as well as Siemens’ global telecommunications businesses. The expertise and capabilities of these businesses and Corning Cables (formerly BICC) are combined to form Corning Optical Communications, one of the world’s leading telecommunications manufacturers
  • 2002 – Introduced Evolant® Solutions for metropolitan and access networks; First to offer outside plant products designed specifically for the Fiber-to-the-X (FTTx) market; Introduced the first field-installable, no-epoxy/no-polish 12-fiber connector (UniCam® MTP® Connector)
  • 2004 – Introduced leading product family of gel-free outdoor ribbon cables; Introduced the OptiTap®  connector and adapter, a U.S. standard in outside plant hardened connectors for FTTx deployments; Introduced LANscape Pretium™ Solutions, the Premier data center solution
  • 2006 – Invented the ground-breaking FlexNAP™ Terminal Distribution System, a factory-terminated outside plant solution for FTTx installations which changed the industry by dramatically reducing the installation time and cost of FTTx deployments
  • 2007 – Developed revolutionary ClearCurve® product solution, offering a bend-insensitive solution for Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) deployments