Stories from the Past and Present: PYREX Part 1: Made From Love

At Past and Present Home Gallery we get to hear all sorts of heartwarming stories about the items which remind you of your grandmother. That dresser set with the mother-of-pearl on the back, she had one just like it that you used to play with when she wasn’t looking. Or that sewing basket that always sat right next to her chair. And then there are all of those family dinners with that special bowl that held your favorite potato salad or mixed your favorite cookies. Well, chances are, that favorite bowl was PYREX.

PYREX has been a household name since 1915 and has made kitchen ware in all sizes, shapes, and colors. These beloved dishes have been passed down from generation to generation and have served in kitchens around the world. Now we also consider PYREX as a highly collectible item and we search high and low for those rare patterns and shapes. But where did these glass measuring cups and mixing bowls come from to give us all of these fond memories? The story goes something like this:

PYREX: Made From Love

A long time ago, there was a man named Jesse Littleton who worked for a company in New York called Corning, Inc. which manufactured glass products for various industrial applications. One day, Mr. Littleton’s wife broke her casserole dish and requested her husband bring home something from work that she could use in its stead. He settled on a sawed-off glass battery jar and Mrs. Littleton baked a cake in it. And just like that, in 1908, PYREX was born.

The glass that Corning Inc. specialized in was used for industrial applications, such as railroad signal lanterns, where an intense difference in temperature (a flame inside and a cold night outside) would make regular glass crack and shatter. Jesse Littleton had stumbled on something quite amazing when he brought that sawed-off battery jar home. The same qualities needed in industrial glass were also needed in consumer glass and Corning Inc. knew it, too. The formulas were tweaked slightly to make the finished product more consumer friendly and by 1915 their clear glass ovenware was a staple in American households under the name PYREX.

The amazing history of PYREX continues so make sure to like our Facebook page so you can find the next part of this story. Also, come and visit us at Past and Present Home Gallery to check out our PYREX collection and many other collectibles and vintage kitchenware.

Can’t wait to see you at Past and Present Home Gallery, the antique store with character!