James W. Giffen joined Corning Glass Works in 1944, after many years spent honing his skills experimentally with all manner of engineering endeavors, working with electronics, engines and welding processes—as a poultry farmer and toolmaker. A combination of a world-class engineer and innovative thinker, Mr. Giffen helped revolutionize the glass industry.
His creative genius revolutionized the forming of glass articles, and his conception and development of new manufacturing processes accounted for thousands of jobs and better products at lower prices for millions of people.
With only a high school education, Jim Giffen taught himself the trades and sciences that applied to his work. As Director of Machine Research at Corning, Giffen was granted 24 patents. Giffen felt the inventor needed to work alone because the creative function is a solitary one.
Mr. Giffen’s significant contribution was the centrifugal casting process for television tubes—first round tubes, then rectangular tubes, going against established concepts. He felt that the outstanding achievement of his career at Corning was the development of the “Hub machine” -- the revolutionary Corelle® process of producing laminated glass.
An honorary Doctor of Science Degree was conferred on him in 1973 by Alfred University for having made significant contributions to the quality of modern life.