Quiz: Name that Corning innovation
Play the game and discover decades of Corning ingenuity.
Over past year, The Progress Report has highlighted recent Corning innovations including: advanced optics technologies used in the James Webb Space Telescope, nuclear fusion laboratories, and augmented reality devices; a bioprinter transforming cancer research; data center connectivity solutions; a virus-killing, antimicrobial additive for paint; and next-generation architectural windows.
What do these progress-promoting inventions have in common?
All draw upon the materials science expertise Corning has accumulated since our 1851 founding. Each discovery feeding the next. Advancing the way people work, learn, and live.
But how well do you know Corning’s milestone discoveries?
We dug into our archives and uncovered 10 fundamental (and fun) Corning innovations that improved the world.
Based on these clues, how many can you name?
Have a think, then scroll down for the answers.
About the Corning Corporate Archives
After a devastating 1972 flood destroyed many of Corning’s paper records, the company formalized its commitment to preserving its heritage by establishing the Corning Corporate Archives. Today, professional archivists oversee its vast collection of original documents, images, and objects including materials samples and prototypes, preserving Corning’s storied history for generations to come.
1877 - CLEAR SIGNALS
Corning improves railroad safety by designing a revolutionary lens for signal lanterns. Corning follows that innovation with colored lenses that increase visibility and low-expansion glass that resists shattering. Corning’s durable glass later enhances safety for automobiles, boats, airplanes, and submarines.
1879 - LIGHTING THE WAY
Corning helps make electric light a reality by developing a glass encasement for Thomas Edison’s carbon filament. Corning later invents the high-speed ribbon machine, providing an economical way to mass-produce the bulbs, making them affordable for the general population.
1915 - COOKING UP PROGRESS
An unconventional baking experiment results in Corning’s development of PYREX® glass, leading to a successful line of laboratory products. Later, PYREX labware is key to penicillin production during World War II and Dr. Jonas Salk’s work creating the polio vaccine, among many life science advancements.
1935 - GALAXY GAZING
Corning produces the world’s largest piece of glass to date for the groundbreaking Hale Telescope. The 200-inch mirror helps astronomers determine that the universe is made of billions of galaxies. Later, Corning technology helps reveal more celestial wonders via the Hubble, Gemini, and Subaru telescopes as well as the James Webb Space Telescope.
1939 - PICTURE THIS
Corning’s 9-inch circular cathode ray tube goes on display at the World’s Fair in New York City as part of RCA’s futuristic demonstration of television. Within the decade, Corning invents a process to mass-produce TV picture tubes, helping to make televisions affordable for millions. Later, Corning’s fusion process for making flat glass enables liquid panel display (LCD) televisions.
1940s - BUTTONING UP
During wartime shortages and import restrictions, Corning develops glass buttons as an alternative to South Pacific shell-based buttons. The company also crafts popular glass clothing irons and thimbles. Experiments with glass bullets, however, do not succeed.
1961 - SHOOTING FOR THE STARS
Corning helps propel the first Americans safely into space by supplying heat-resistant windows for Project Mercury. Corning goes on to create window glass for every crewed American spacecraft and the International Space Station.
1970 - COMMUNICATING AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT
Corning invents the first low-loss optical fiber and ushers in a communications revolution, expanding the bandwidth of human potential. Corning remains the industry leader in optical fiber, shaping the broadband networks that connect us to each other today, and to the boundless possibilities of tomorrow.
1972 - POLLUTION SOLUTION
Corning helps automakers comply with the 1970 Clean Air Act’s tough new emissions regulations by inventing the cellular ceramic substrate that underpins catalytic converters and remains the worldwide standard today.
Timeless - MAKING MERRY
Nurturing creativity, Corning invites its 20th century glassblowers to experiment with leftover materials in their free time. Glass Santa Claus figurines and other artisanal works are given away as gifts. Such artistry continues today via collaborations with institutions like the Shanghai Museum of Glass.
Whether you scored 10 out of 10 or found some surprises along the way, you can stay apprised of Corning’s innovations and the people behind them by bookmarking The Progress Report home page and checking in regularly. Thanks for playing!