Are you as perplexed as I am about the difference between Pyrex, Corelle and Corning Ware (now called Corningware)?
I first became familiar with the Corelle brand through my mother, who really liked the dinnerware products because they were light, and for its chip-resistance, and durability.
Over the years, I’ve also purchased Corning Ware casserole dishes in the French White line, and like many, own several Pyrex products (who doesn’t have a classic Pyrex brand measuring cup, right?)
Now that I am selling some of my pieces on my Etsy Vintage Shop, I am finding that these brands seem to blend into one another.
It was easy enough to post my large Corelle bowls and saucers in the Spring Blossom Green pattern (introduced in 1970), as it was a popular one, and still collectible.
I found a wonderful website run by a a dedicated collector, called Corelle Corner, which is full of terrific information.
I highly recommend this informative site as a starting point to identify your pieces. It is an amazing repository of all things Corelle, from an avid fan.
I’ve bookmarked the site and know that I’ll be going back to read more (you can click here to visit site).
But listing my white, vintage Corning Ware casserole dishes is another story…
It turns out that my old Corning Ware (two words) is now called CorningWare®, and owned by the World Kitchen company.
World Kitchen also owns the Pyrex brand (which turned 100 years old this year!) and the Corelle brand.
So for the basics, I’m posting a bit of history about these product lines for my 3rd blog post.
THE CORNING GLASS COMPANY – The Parent Company
The original company that created the Pyrex, Corning Ware and the Corelle brands started out in 1851 as Corning Glass Works in Massachusetts and later moved to New York.
They specialized in glass, ceramics and related materials for industrial and scientific uses.
Corning developed one of the first optic headlamps (photo above), the glass for the Palomar Observatory’s telescope, and worked on creating new automobile glass windshields in the 1960s.
An excerpt from a Wikipedia article on Corning (now called Corning, Inc.):
The company was known as Corning Glass Works until 1989, when it changed its name to Corning Incorporated.
You can read the full article, here.
The Pyrex brand and line of specialty glass for laboratory and kitchen use was introduced by Corning in 1915.
Here is interesting information about the history of Pyrex from the World Kitchen website:
Corning Ware / CorningWare®
Corning introduced the CorningWare brand in 1958, as cooking ware resistant to heat and shock.
Interestingly, it was a material discovered by accident by a researcher working in Corning’s R&D division.
Excerpt from a Wikipedia article:
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 °C (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.
The material was used in the ballistic missile program as a heat-resistant material for nose cones. (More here)
The Corelle brand of tempered glass dishware and glassware was introduced by Corning in 1970. Made from a material called “Vitrelle”, it consisted of glass laminated into 3 layers.
Again, from the World Kitchen website:
I certainly learned a lot more about the differences between the terms CorningWare, Pyrex and Corelle through writing this blog post.
What can add to the confusion between the product lines is that many of the patterns used for the Corelle brand was also used for the CorningWare brand.
But at least I now know the difference!
Was this blog post helpful to you? I’d love to know, and would appreciate your input in the comment section.
Related: A great visual / information resource for the Corning Ware Blue Cornflower pattern — called (what else?) Bluecornflower.com