Martin Nordberg joined Corning in 1929 as a research chemist, hired by Dr. William C. Taylor, after receiving his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.
One of his most important contributions to the science of glassmaking was the development of Vycor brand glasses, the 96% pure silica “incredible shrinking glass”. Vycor had amazing resistance to heat and sudden temperature change and was impervious to acids; it has been used for spacecraft windows, sun lamps and nosecones for heat seeking missiles among other products.
Martin Nordberg worked closely with Harrison Hood on many projects, Vycor, “strong Pyrex” aluminosilicate glass for stovetop use, and the final composition for the 200” Disk for the Hale Telescope at the Mt. Palomar Observatory.
As Manager of Exploratory Chemistry Research, and as a consultant after retiring, Dr. Nordberg continued working through the 1960’s, providing a strong element of continuity as a mentor and guide to Corning’s unique innovative culture.
In 1952, Dr. Nordberg, with Harrison Hood, received the John Price Wetherill Medal from the Franklin Institute for the discovery of the 96% Silica Glass, and was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists in 1968.