Discover the History of Pyrex®

22 May 2023

Pyrex® - One of the most famous names in science

There are very few products made so well that the brand becomes a generic name for everything similar. Pyrex® is one of the few.

Pyrex® laboratory glassware has been at the forefront of advances in scientific and medical research for more than 100 years!

Here is where it all began.

History in the making

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.


Over 90 years of production in the UK

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 Glass Works to manufacture Pyrex® borosilicate glassware under license.

After returning to the UK with the rights to supply Pyrex® brand glassware for the British Empire, Jobling & Co began production

in 1923 after successful trials of the Pyrex® formula at the Flint Wear Glass Works in Sunderland. Within a few years the Pyrex® 

ascent towards its status as a globally recognised brand was well underway. In 1962 manufacture began at the company's

new purpose built factory in Stone, Staffordshire, after merging with a local jointed glassware manufacturer Quickfit & Quartz Ltd.

The site became the headquarters for the laboratory division of James A Jobling & Co. After several acquisitions and a number of

changes in ownership the company became the widely recognised name of Barloworld Scientific.

In 2008 the glassware and reusable plastic labware part of the business began trading as DWK Life Sciences. In 2013 DWK Life Sciences

relocated to new facilities in the city of Stoke-on-Trent where the company continues to produce Pyrex® laboratory glassware under

licence from Corning Inc. using traditional glassblowing techniques and the latest in glass production technology.

After first receiving its registered trademark in 1915 the Pyrex® name has become a world famous brand in science thanks to its well documented

thermal and chemical resistance properties. Pyrex® continues to be a trusted tool of scientists around the globe.