Pyrex was founded in 1915 by Corning Incorporated as a separate brand for clear, low-thermal-expansion borosilicate glass used for laboratory glassware and kitchenware. Borosilicate glass was first made by German chemist and glass technologist Otto Schott, founder of Schott AG in 1893, but in 1908 Corning improved the glass. They managed to reduce breakage and experimented with shock-resistant lantern globes and battery jars. Jesse Littleton of Corning discovered the cooking potential of this new glass by giving his wife a casserole dish made from a cut-down battery jar. They removed the lead, developed it as a consumer product and Pyrex was born.
Pyrex will also feature in the baking dish category, but its most iconic design is made in the 1980s: the Pyrex measuring cup, featuring graduations in both metric and U.S. Customary systems. Corning then stopped manufacturing Pyrex-branded borosilicate glass kitchenware and bakeware in the US. Instead he allowed various other companies to sell and manufacture it under license, making the Pyrex measuring cup the benchmark cup in kitchens all over the world.
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