PYREX® borosilicate glass was originally developed in 1908 by Corning Glass Works for use on the American railroads to overcome a problem with train lanterns requiring a glass that could handle changes in temperature. The heat of the lantern flame conspired with the cold air of winter to shatter traditional glass lanterns.
Corning quickly realised that the superior thermal and chemical resistance properties of PYREX® borosilicate glass made it the ideal material for use for laboratory glassware. In 1915 Corning registered the PYREX® brand name and went on to produce the first PYREX® laboratory glass items – beakers and flasks – in the same year.
The origins of U.K. manufactured PYREX® laboratory glassware date back to 1921 when James A. Jobling and Co. Ltd. signed an exclusive licencing agreement with Corning to produce PYREX® glassware. Jobling & Co. started producing the first U.K. manufactured PYREX® glassware at its Flint Wear Glass Works in Sunderland two years later in 1923.
In 1973 James A. Jobling and Co. Ltd. was acquired by Corning Inc. and became part of Corning’s European Laboratory Division. The company changed ownership and company name a number of times over the subsequent years, becoming DWK Life Sciences Limited in 2008, following the break-up of Barloworld Scientific Ltd.
DWK Life Sciences continues to produce PYREX® laboratory glassware in the U.K. at our glass manufacturing facility located in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire under licence from Corning Inc., using traditional glassblowing techniques and the latest glass production technology.
With a low coefficient of expansion, PYREX® glass is ideal for use over a wide working temperature range. It is also highly resistant to chemical attack and can be used with most acids, alkalis and organic solvents. PYREX® glass possesses all of the qualities necessary for use in the most demanding laboratory environments.
Thanks to its well documented thermal and chemical resistance properties, PYREX® continues to be a trusted tool of scientists around the globe. There are very few products made so well that the brand becomes a generic name for everything similar. PYREX® is one of these.
Over 100 years of PYREX® innovation
Since it was first developed in 1908, PYREX® borosilicate glass has advanced the research and development of science, medicine and space exploration; playing a pivotal role in many historic achievements through its reliability, strength, performance, safety and chemical resistance.
PYREX® glass has been used in many diverse applications including the use of PYREX® Fernbach flasks to grow the original cultures for the polio vaccine in the 1950’s, PYREX® glass was used on the early NASA space missions and the first radio message from the South Pole was transmitted over radio antennas using PYREX® insulators.