DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A young scientist was doing research in 1952 when he put a glass plate into an oven and it accidentally overheated.
S. Donald Stookey expected to find a molten mess. Instead, he found an opaque, milky-white plate that was shatter-resistant and able to withstand extreme temperatures.
Stookey, the inventor of CorningWare, died Tuesday in Rochester, New York. He was 99. His breakthrough led to the development of the durable ceramic glass used to make millions upon millions of baked lasagnas, tuna casseroles and other potluck-dinner dishes.
Although he was never a household name, Stookey's best-known invention found a home in most American kitchens in the form of white dishes decorated with small blue cornflowers.
The space-age material was so strong that the military used it in guided missile nose cones.