Corning's journey from cookware to Gorilla Glass
Corning is probably best known in American homes for its classic CorningWare. The company doesn't make unbreakable cookware anymore, but you might just have its super-tough, consumer electronics glass around the house.
We filed a report on Corning that aired this morning on NPR's Morning Edition, which included a visit to one of the company's research labs in Corning:
Don Clark, who works in a lab that runs performance tests on Gorilla Glass, has a particular demonstration he likes to show off: He has rigged up a device to shoot a Wii remote control into a pane of Gorilla Glass. The remote hits the glass at around 60 mph, and it bounces right off. Demonstrations like this one seem to have convinced manufacturers of everything from cell phones to televisions to buy Gorilla Glass. The glass was used on some 200 million phones last year. Though managers at Corning coyly say they can't confirm what Apple uses in its products, it is widely reported that much of the Gorilla Glass went to iPhones.
The bulk of Corning's glass manufacturing now happens overseas, closer to where flat screen televisions and cell phones are assembled. But the company still conducts most of its back-office functions and research and development onshore. Manufacturing of new, environmentally-friendly ceramic filters has recently begun in upstate New York.