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Corning Ware, also written CorningWare, was originally a brand name for a unique glass-ceramic (Pyroceram) cookware resistant to thermal shock. It was first introduced in 1958 by Corning Glass Works (later Corning Inc.) in the United States. The brand was later spun off with the sale of the Corning Consumer Products Company subsidiary (now known as Corelle Brands of Rosemont, Illinois). Glass-ceramic based Corning Ware can be taken from the refrigerator or freezer and used directly on the stovetop, in an oven or microwave, under a broiler, for table / serving use, and when ready for cleaning put directly into a dishwasher. CorningWare is sold worldwide, and it is popular in North America, Asia, and Australia.
In 1953 S. Donald Stookey of the Corning Research and Development Division discovered Pyroceram, a white glass-ceramic material capable of withstanding a thermal shock (sudden temperature change) of up to 450 K (840 °F), by accident.
He was working with photosensitive glass and placed a piece into a furnace planning on heating it to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. When he checked on his sample the furnace was at 900 degrees and the glass had turned milky white. He reached into the furnace with tongs to discard the sample and it slipped and hit the floor without shattering.
Corelle Brand's (then known as "World Kitchen") 2001 annual report indicated that the stove top and dinnerware product lines were halted at the end of the century "as part of a program designed to reduce costs through the elimination of under-utilized capacity, unprofitable product lines, and increased utilization of the remaining facilities." Facilities in Charleroi, Pennsylvania and Clinton, Illinois were closed.
In December 2008, the stovetop line of CorningWare was reintroduced by Corelle Brands. The cookware is manufactured by Keraglass/Eurokera (a subsidiary of Corning also specialised in vitroceramics for cooktop panels and equipment for laboratories) in Bagneaux-sur-Loing, France. This is one of the only factories in the world still manufacturing Pyroceram-based cookware. At the time it restarted the production of CorningWare, Keraglass/Eurokera was able to abandon the use of arsenic in the manufacture of their products, thanks to the modern technology of their newly built oven.
Patterns and products
Corning Ware's range/oven-to-table service first featured the blue 'Cornflower' pattern decoration, designed by Joseph Baum, an artist at the Charles Brunelle Advertising Agency in Hartford, Connecticut. It became the trademark of Corning consumer products for three decades. Following the 'Cornflower' pattern, many additional patterns were offered by Corning over the years.
Corelle Brand's Pyroceram based Corning Ware is popular in the Asia–Pacific region. Additional patterns have been created specifically for this market, including Bliss, Blue Elegance, Cool Pansies, Country Rose, Dainty Flora, Dandy Blossoms, Elegant City, European Herbs, Herb Country, Lilyville, Lush, Petite Trio, Plum, Salad Seasons and Warm Pansies among others.
The lids of CorningWare and Pyroflam (Europe) are typically made of Pyrex. Though some early lids were made of Pyroceram, most subsequent lids have been made of tempered borosilicate or soda-lime glass. Unlike the cookware, these lids have a lower tolerance for thermal shock and cannot be used over or under direct heat.
More than 750 million pieces of Corning Ware's range/oven-to-table service have been manufactured since its inception. A partial product list includes: browning skillets, cake pans, casserole dishes, coffee pots (drip), dinner service (Centura by Corning), Dutch ovens, frying pans, grab-it bowls, loaf pans, percolators, pie plates, ramekins, restaurant ware (Pyroceram), roasters, sauce pans, skillets, souffle dishes, and teapots.
Corelle Brands sells similar looking products under the CorningWare brand name (including a copy of "French White") that are made of glazed stoneware, rather than Pyroceram. The packaging for these newer CorningWare branded cookware products say specifically that they are not for stovetop use.
Visions, a brand of transparent stove top cookware originally created by Corning France and still being produced today, is made of a transparent version of Pyroceram, called Calexium in some regions of the world. It features thermal traits similar to Corning Ware plus improved resistance to staining and the detrimental effects of acids and detergents.
Corelle, a brand name for break-resistant glass dishware also originally created by Corning Glass Works, has offered matching designs to many Corning Ware patterns. Care must be made to distinguish between Corning Ware cookware and tableware marketed under the Corelle or Pyrex brand names, as the thermal properties of each product are quite different.
Arc International, Europe, sells equivalent cookware to Corning Ware under the name Arcoflam and, in the United States, through Princess House as Nouveau cookware with a slightly different design. Since 2009, Arcoflam and Nouveau have been manufactured in the same French factory as Corning Ware.
- William Yardley (November 6, 2014). "S. Donald Stookey, Scientist, Dies at 99. Among His Inventions Was CorningWare". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
When I came back, the temperature gauge was stuck on 900 degrees, and I thought I had ruined the furnace ... When I opened the door to the furnace, I saw the glass was intact and had turned a milky white. I grabbed some tongs to get it out as fast as I could, but the glass slipped out of the tongs and fell to the floor. The thing bounced and didn’t break. It sounded like steel hitting the floor. ...
- WKI Holding Company, Inc. (2001-04-13). "Annual Report: 10-K (Securities and Exchange Commission Filing)". Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
- WKI Holding Company, Inc. (2001-04-01). "Quarterly Report: 10-K SEC Filing". Retrieved 2007-03-26.
- History | Corelle.com Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
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