Inventor and glass scientist S. Donald Stookey, inventor of CorningWare and photosensitive glass, among other things, died in Rochester on November 4th. While a young glass scientist at Corning, Stookey mistakenly overheated a glass plate to 1,600 degrees. He was surprised that it hadn’t melted, then shocked when he accidently dropped it and it didn’t shatter. He had invented glass ceramics, a material prized for its durability, that has been used in everything from CorningWare to missile nose cones.
Stookey went on to earn 60 U.S. patents, receive the National Medal of Technology and be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is another in a long line of WNY innovators, some well-known, some unknown, whose inventive spirits spawned products and companies that have shaped our region for over a century. Today, Corning remains an industrial success story while WNY’s ceramics leadership continues from TAM Ceramics in Niagara Falls to the Center for Advanced Ceramics at Alfred University. Learn more here.