Corporations: Built on Glass

Summoned five years ago to the office of William C. Decker, then president of Corning Glass Works, Research Director William H. Armistead listened wide-eyed to a short but characteristically pithy discourse. "Glass is a very good material," mused Decker. "It's transparent, it's inert [non-corrosive]—but it breaks. Why don't you fix that?" Last week Corning announced that its scientists had come remarkably close to filling Decker's improbable order with a chemically strengthened glass called Chemcor. In a demonstration session at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, Corning executives bent, twisted and banged panels of the glass. But the...

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