Why Pyrex is the most interesting 'antique' dishware in your kitchen

Pyrex is a staple in many homes in the U.S. The American-made glassware is revered for its durability, affordability and usefulness. We use measuring cups, mixing bowls and bakeware bearing the famous brand name without batting an eye or thinking twice, but the unique dishware comes with a fascinating history.
The brand has been with us for more than 100 years and still remains somewhat of a staple in many homes. Its interesting history shows how improvements in the industrial realm often make their way to the home consumer. Here’s the scoop on “America’s favorite dish.”
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How was Pyrex invented?
Early in the 20th century, Corning Glass Works began developing a new type of glass. The temperature-resistant glass was to be used for railroad lantern globes. In 1909, Corning began selling the glass as Nonex and CNX, according to the Corning Museum of Glass.
Corning decided to enter the home consumer goods market based on the tests of one of its scientists Jesse Littleton, according to the Kitchn. Littleton’s wife, Bessie wanted to know if Nonex would be good for cooking. Littleton brought Bessie a sawed-off battery jar. She cooked a cake in the dish, according to CMG. She discovered that her cooking times were short, the glass was easy to clean and that she could see the cake baking, which was a distinct advantage over metal bakeware and other casserole dishes.
What is the price of Pyrex?
New Pyrex sets in the U.S. are available on retailers such as Amazon and Walmart for less than $25. According to PyrexLove, Vintage Pyrex pieces are available on auction sites such as eBay for less than $20.
Why did Pyrex sales heighten and then fall?
Pyrex was a hit when it entered the consumer market in the mid-1920s. However, after initial success, sales began to plummet due to inefficient production processes and marketing, according to CMG. Corning was able to streamline its production of Pyrex by switching from having glass blowers creating each Pyrex piece to an automated machine process that substantially lowered prices. The company also refocused its marketing efforts to more effectively target potential customers. The company improved its customer service office and set up a test kitchen where they could test and design new products with the consumer in mind. This led to more successful products and more sales.
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What are the distinguishable features of Pyrex?
Pyrex glass is durable and nonporous. It is microwave, oven, dishwasher, fridge and freezer safe. The material won’t warp or absorb stains or odors. Because it doesn’t absorb stains and odors, food baked in a Pyrex dish won’t pick up flavors from previous meals. Pyrex dishes are also very easy to clean. Unlike opaque or metal cooking dishes, Pyrex cookware is see-through, so you can easily monitor the food you are cooking.
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