Illustration of CorningWare

1953 CorningWare

The book of science

Tom Sharp

S. Donald Stookey materials science Illustration of CorningWare


The kiln malfunctioned. The glass turned white. Dr. Stookey dropped it. It didn’t break. Thus CorningWare. Thus missile nose cones. Thus space-shuttle windows. Thus cell-phone screens.

Class of glass

Impurities in a Fotoform plate provided nuclei for crystalization. Stookey had created the first ceramic-glass material for over seven hundred fifty million pieces of CorningWare.


Space-age material is nothing new. We are all living in the space age.

Stookey’s first invention for Corning was Fotoform, a glass that could be chemically etched. Although Stookey discovered CorningWare accidentally, he followed the discovery with years of careful research. Other accidental discoveries include the electric battery, first asteroid, synthesis of urea, and penicillin.

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