The glass innovation that made a revolutionary impact on a century of scientific exploration
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the PYREX® brand, representative of an innovation that has become one of the world’s most trusted names. For a century, Corning’s PYREX glass has been at the heart of groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in medicine, chemistry, space exploration, and other fields.
“PYREX glass is a great example of Corning’s expertise in materials science and our legacy of translating science into life-changing products that benefit the world. PYREX glass demonstrates Corning’s sustaining technology and product life cycles,” said Dr. David L. Morse, executive vice president and chief technology officer.
The PYREX brand has been trusted by scientists for 100 years and remains the leading brand of glassware found in labs around the world today.
“From large research facilities to medical centers to local high school labs, PYREX labware is there,” said Dr. Richard Eglen, vice president and general manager, Corning Life Sciences.
The same qualities that made PYREX glass ideal for its initial application of cookware – transparency, strength, and chemical resistance – were also qualities that met the demands of laboratory chemists and scientists from its inception. The outbreak of World War I had prevented American scientists from accessing specialty European glass common in laboratories at the time.
The introduction of PYREX glass in 1915 gave American scientists a replacement that was not only suitable, but superior to the products they had been importing from Europe in terms of chemical stability and heat resistance. Indeed, in 1918, the U.S. Bureau of Standards gave PYREX glass a higher rating than any other known glass for labware.
Today, Corning’s PYREX laboratory glassware has become the accepted standard in chemistry labs across the globe, ideal for most laboratory glass applications. With more than 2,400 products now available, Corning’s PYREX labware remains a keystone product in important global industries such as chemical research and vaccine production.
Over the last 100 years, PYREX glass has played a key role in a variety of innovative, historic and life-changing achievements and applications:
- In 1913, Bessie Littleton, wife of Corning physicist Dr. Jesse Littleton, baked a cake on a piece of heat-resistant glass being developed at the time – which laid the foundation for the PYREX brand. Corning excelled in the consumer products market for more than 80 years, before selling the business in 1998.
- The first radio message from the South Pole was transmitted over radio antennas using PYREX insulators – which helped preserve maximum strength and clarity of radio impulses, critical to safety in the development of air travel and exploration.
- In 1935, the Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain in California was made from a 200-inch, 20-ton disk of PYREX glass and was, at the time, the largest glass disk ever manufactured.
- In 1937, PYREX glass was made into tiny bottles to store doses of insulin since the glass was less likely to react with its contents.
- PYREX glass products played an important role in enabling the mass commercialization of penicillin during World War II.
- In the 1950’s, Dr. Jonas Salk grew the original cultures for his polio vaccine in PYREX Fernbach flasks.
For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products, including PYREX glass that has transformed people’s lives. By fine-tuning the formulation and fabrication of glass, Corning scientists will continue to unleash a nearly limitless stream of new capabilities for the future.
For more information on the 100th anniversary of PYREX glass, go to:
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995), which are based on current expectations and assumptions about Corning’s financial results and business operations, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include: the effect of global political, economic and business conditions; conditions in the financial and credit markets; currency fluctuations; tax rates; product demand and industry capacity; competition; reliance on a concentrated customer base; manufacturing efficiencies; cost reductions; availability of critical components and materials; new product commercialization; pricing fluctuations and changes in the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; new plant start-up or restructuring costs; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, armed conflict, political or financial instability, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, or major health concerns; adequacy of insurance; equity company activities; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the rate of technology change; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; retention of key personnel; stock price fluctuations; and adverse litigation or regulatory developments. These and other risk factors are detailed in Corning’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning ( www.corning.com ) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. Corning’s businesses and markets are constantly evolving. Today, Corning’s products enable diverse industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, transportation, and life sciences. They include damage-resistant cover glass for smartphones and tablets; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for high-speed communications networks; trusted products that accelerate drug discovery and manufacturing; and emissions-control products for cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.