Pyrex and Glassware

Before the invention of Pyrex, glass was used mainly in a scientific setting. It was used as a container to quickly heat liquids. In 1915, the use of glass became relevant to home life. The American company, Corning Glass, marketed glassware that could be used for cooking or storing food under the name Pyrex.1

The name Pyrex was said to be chosen due to the intention of the glassware to be used as pie pans. This company used borosilicate glass rather than something known as lime glass, which was popular at the time. This new glassware was more resistant towards breaking as a result of temperature fluctuations and more regulated for high heat.

Pyrex became wildly popular, according to a study, “Of the various borosilicate glasses, Pyrex received the highest rating with respect to its ability to sustain mechanical shock.”2 Pyrex and glassware can easily be viewed as an alternative to Tupperware. This type of food storage does not come without its own drawbacks. Pyrex was still very susceptible to shattering due to extreme changes in temperature or a moment of clumsiness.

Fig. 1: American Cookery. 1914. Boston Public Library, New York.



1. [William B, Jensen, “The Origin of Pyrex,” Journal of Chemical Education 2, no 12. (May 2006): 2. ]]

2. [Ibid]]

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