Mixed Batch - July 1958 page 37-46

Mixed Batch – 37 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958
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Pyrex Oven Table Glass

At the end of the last century, Corning of America were looking into the problem of railroad brakemen’s lanterns. With a hot wick inside and cold rain or snow outside, lantern globes were apt to crack from the contrast in temperatures, and when this happened behind a train held up in open country, tragic wrecks were the result.

Here was one of the two great weaknesses of glass: its structural rigidity. So Corning produced a glass of very low expansion; and because of its great resistance to heat they called it Pyrex. Thus was the Pyrex trade mark born.

‘Bake me some cookies’ said the scientist

Pyrex Brand glass was looked upon as a technical glass — for laboratory ware, test tubes and so on. But a laboratory worker cut off the bottom of a glass battery jar made from the new composition, and asked his wife to bake a ‘batch of cookies in it’. She did. The cookies were fine, and the glass served well. The Pyrex line of oven-table glass was born.

Success for Joblings — from the very beginning

From the moment Ernest Jobling Purser visited America, the life of Jobling’s and of Pyrex has been an exciting, almost fairy-tale story of growth and success. Casseroles were one of the first Pyrex successes (they still are of course), and they proved without doubt the wonderful qualities of this product for oven-table uses. They cooked quicker and better — working on the same principle as the glass of a greenhouse; they were easier to clean than traditional casseroles because of the resistance the hard, smooth surface put up to baked-on foods and grease generally; they stood up to heat (the understandable prejudice the housewife had against putting glass in the oven was surprisingly easy to overcome), and finally because they were glass — and attractively designed — they looked very well on the table.

Mixed Batch – 38 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958
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In cottage and castle

The value of this last feature was most apparent when Pyrex casseroles made their first successful entry in the country’s more monied homes. The taking of dishes straight from the oven to the table was not then socially acceptable: it had a distinct link with the table set with newspaper, rice pudding in a chipped enamel dish and the meat still in the blackened baking pan. But the qualities of Pyrex were soon established by Jobling’s with housewives in every walk of life, and many new pieces in the range were introduced . . . pie dishes roasting dishes, dinner sets, fruit sets — mostly in clear Pyrex oven-table glass, some in a form of coloured decorated Pyrex.

By 1949 the original small factory site had been increased to a closely built-up area of about six acres. The expansion had come partly as a result of scientific production during the war — for radar tubes, penicillin flasks, precision-bore tubing, hypodermic syringe barrels, glass pipe-lines and other specialized laboratory and industrial glassware — and partly because oven-ware production had increased to several times the pre-war figure.

The introduction of coloured Pyrex

Then, in 1952, Jobling’s introduced the first of the current range of coloured oven-glass — Pyrex Colourware. It went to housewives who already used clear Pyrex; and it was welcomed. It had all the properties of heat-resisting clear Pyrex plus the colour that satisfied the post-war clamour for more and more colour in the home. Any quarrel that the colour-conscious housewife had with Pyrex was now settled most amicably. She liked cooking and serving in Pyrex — and she liked colour on her table and in her kitchen. Now she could have both; she took to it eagerly — and another Pyrex success was established.

Almost everything the housewife wants

There is now, in the range of clear and coloured Pyrex (in all, no fewer than 127 items!) almost everything the housewife needs for preparing, cooking, serving, chilling and storing food of all kinds, for every meal — a range offered by no other kitchen and tableware. Tumblers, rolling pins, mixers, measure jugs, mixing bowls, babies’ feeding bottles — as well as, among other things, 3 different shapes and 7 different sizes of casseroles, 10 different types of dishes and platters and 10 complete dinner services: all made in Pyrex.

Mixed Batch – 39 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958

Now — British Pyrex is exported to the world

British Pyrex is now in homes all over the world. Everywhere — in India, Malaya, British East Africa, West Africa, Sudan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong — even in Scandinavia where they have their own ovenware — Pyrex is popular. More, Pyrex is used in the most unlikely places — in countries for instance where they seldom use ovens! Coloured Pyrex has a new meaning abroad: to the Chinese, for example, red is a lucky colour for weddings — and red coloured Pyrex finds great favour among brides in the Chinese Communities.

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Mixed Batch – 40 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958
©2007 Glass-Study.com

Pyrex Scientific and Industrial Glassware

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Pyrex glass began as a technical glass — for laboratory test tubes and dishes, a use for which its outstanding features of resistance to heat, chemicals and acids, and its unusual mechanical strength, made it ideally suitable.

Not long after Ernest Jobling Purser had established the domestic range of Pyrex oven-table glass in this country, the scientific and laboratory uses for Pyrex were explored. The outlook was promising. The only real competition that Pyrex had to face was from Flint glassware, and the inherent qualities of Pyrex were so much in its favour that it seemed bound to succeed ... as indeed it did.

From simple test tubes and beakers

The earliest Pyrex scientific ware used in this country was fairly simple, mostly test tubes and beakers. The results were so satisfactory that the range was widened and more complicated kinds of apparatus were made: for example, distillation assemblies and fractionating columns. Eventually more than 800 varieties of Pyrex apparatus were available to scientists. In fact, broadly speaking, Pyrex could equip any laboratory on its own.

As the new market grew, developments and improvements naturally followed. Study of actual laboratory work showed that much time and trouble could be saved if pieces of apparatus could be designed to be interchangeable; if joints and stoppers were ground so exactly that any one could replace another. The result was the Pyrex Gripseal interchangeable joint, by means of which large assemblies could be put together, altered at wish, and dismantled in a far simpler and quicker way than before.

Mixed Batch – 41 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958

— to highly intricate manipulated glass

Another development was the ‘manipulated’ use of Pyrex — the bending and twisting of heated glass to make special apparatus for particular experiments. This is common laboratory practice, but the toughness and adaptability of Pyrex not only makes it easier and safer to treat in this way, but allows much more elaborate constructions. A special service was established at Jobling’s for customers needing highly specialized or highly intricate manipulated glass apparatus. Experts from the customers and from Jobling’s co-operated in solving individual problems. This co-operation has become typical of Jobling’s attitude to specialized markets: ‘know-what’ and ‘know-how’ are brought together.

Pyrex in almost every industry

The industrial uses of Pyrex have also widened continually. From railway signal lamps to light globes, lamp shades and lamp chimneys was a short step. Wireless insulators followed. But it was Pyrex tubing, in its many forms, that turned out to be an almost revolutionary newcomer to industry. As piping, its advantages were unique. It. could be tailor-made to suit most processes and it stood up to strenuous working conditions; above all, it made much of the process visible. It has been adopted in almost every industry: milk, mineral water, brewing, wine and bottling; light and heavy chemical, essential oil and petroleum, bleaching, tanning, dyeing and textile; gas; pharmaceutical. From a tiny micro-pipette to a 45-ft. fractional column, Pyrex has found a welcome place in industry.

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Into the electronic age

As the science of electronics grows, new opportunities for Pyrex arise and new plans are made to meet them. The multiform process for pre-fabricating articles in powdered glass is one of these whose application is still being explored.

Pyrex makes dreams become realities

This new process makes possible something long dreamt of by engineers — a direct and instantaneous glass-to-metal seal. Multiform is glass made from small uniform particles pressed to shape in a die and fired at high temperature to

Mixed Batch – 42 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958
©2007 Glass-Study.com

volatize the binder and fuse the tiny glass particles into a non-porous, vacuum-tight structure. Multiform allows intricate shapes, close tolerances, holes and smaller radii to be formed economically in glass. By its use the desirable characteristics of glass can be incorporated in designs having physical shapes and sizes impractical for molten glass technique. Its future value in saving time and labour seems boundless, and it may well uncover new production methods. Other recent discoveries — new ways of coating glass with an electrically conducting surface layer, are suggesting adventurous possibilities in many branches of electrical work and already resistors, capacitors and heating tubes in glass are nearing the production stage.

Imaginative research — plus close co-operation
with industry and science

From fairly modest beginnings in the industrial and scientific field, Pyrex has grown to a dominant, and still expanding, position. Its success has been due not to the unique virtues of Pyrex glass, but to imaginative research and continual co-operation with those industrialists and scientists whose needs Pyrex helps to satisfy.

The world-wide use of Pyrex
Scientific and Industrial Glassware

The Pyrex tubing, the Gripseal joints, the test-tubes and beakers — many of the 800 or so varieties of Pyrex scientific and industrial apparatus made by the men in the Jobling factory — are exported. The scientists — in medicine and industry — in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Yugoslavia, are almost as familiar with Pyrex glassware in their work as are our own. Most of the Scandinavian countries — Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland — are increasing their demands for Pyrex for scientific use. Further afield in the Commonwealth — New Zealand and Australia, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Burma, Malaya, Hong Kong and the West Indies — Pyrex is helping to fight disease and to aid and improve industrial development. China, Egypt, West Africa, Iran and Iraq — Pyrex is used by them all. It should indeed be a source of pride to the men who make Pyrex that the glassware they fashion is exported by Britain to each of the five continents.

Mixed Batch – 43 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958
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The part played by Jobling’s Flint Glass

The flint glass workers at Jobling’s have through the years produced an enormous variety of domestic and industrial articles. Some of those in the domestic range were embraced by the term ‘fancy glassware’ and were purely ornamental— lineal descendants of the Victorian glass dishes and doorstoppers. Most, however, were considerably utilitarian and, since they bore no brand mark, were unknown as Jobling products. They included a great deal of drinking glassware, from the ordinary straight or bowed tumbler to the more decorative Jacobean range — and the pint pot.

Flint glass for many industries

On the industrial side are headlamp lenses for motor cars — most British cars use lenses made by the flint glass section of Jobling’s — and lenses of as many designs, types and colours as to serve practically any kind of railway, road, or other signalling system. Well glasses, bulkhead lamps and meter lenses are manufactured by Jobling’s; and bottles, jars and pots are made for various industries often to their special specification.

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WHAT NEXT? for the Company, and for you—

Running parallel with the development of the Company’s products and prestige (which would have been impossible without it) has been the introduction of modern ideas of management and staff relations. The over-riding concept of this, to Jobling’s, is that every single department and group — engineering shop, foundry, mould shop, offices, everyone, from the man who is responsible for the mix to the salesman who puts Pyrex ovenware into the shop, or Pyrex scientific glass into the laboratory — every man and woman in the Company’s employ is important. For each has a part to play in the chain of events that leads to the ultimate purpose of the Company’s existence: that a meal is cooked and served in Pyrex products; that a child’s life can be saved by the use of a Pyrex hypodermic syringe barrel; that an industry’s efficiency can depend in part on Pyrex industrial glassware.


Mixed Batch – 44 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958

The Company has thus grown to the status of a modern industrial concern, with modern machinery, modern equipment and new buildings; with modern organization, adventurous research plans and, with 2,700 people now in its employ, the reputation for being to the forefront in its welfare and staff facilities, in its industrial outlook — and its development programme. And one of these developments may well be in a most remarkable new kind of glass . . .

One of the adventurous research plans

Have you heard of Pyroceram? This is an entirely new basic material made from glass and developed by the Corning scientists of America (who first made Pyrex). Even in the research stage, its possible range of uses are hard to imagine, since it is so versatile... not just one material but a new class of material; some 400 have already been melted experimentally, and each has quite different properties! To give you some idea of this, Pyroceram can be mass-produced to close tolerances by conventional methods — drawn into sheets, rods or tubing, or blown, cast or pressed. Some kinds of Pyroceram are harder than hardened steel, flint or granite; some can be heated to 2,ooo°F. and remain rigid; some kinds have greater tensile strength than cast iron, brass and some bronze — yet are as lightweight as aluminium!

One of the benefits of modern organisation

When such products as Pyroceram are developed — or when a new market for an existing product is established — Jobling’s speed and ease the manufacture and delivery of the product by building a special organization to deal with it, within the framework of the Company. This method of modern organization is best instanced by the relationship between Jobling’s and the Pallion factory and Q.V.F. Co. Limited. When the use of large-bore Pyrex tubing for specialized industries began to make major demands on the Company’s tube output and welding facilities, the Pallion factory was acquired to take over this growing part of the Company’s business. Q.V.F. Co. Limited, who handle pipeline work for breweries, dairies and other specialized industries, and in whom Jobling’s have an interest, work closely in conjunction with the Pallion factory as its selling and handling organization.

What next ? The immediate future

The full development of specialized markets for Pyrex in the electronic and electrical fields, and the organizations to feed them (much as Pallion and Q.V.F. Co. Limited cater for specialized industrial requirements) has yet to be reached. The latest and most important line which is expected to develop fast is double-decorated Opalware (the Gaiety casserole shown on page 46 is the first of this range to be made and marketed in this country — a revolutionary kind of cooking and serving dish for British homes). It is a development of the Pyrex product whose history is told in the following pages.


Mixed Batch – 45 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958
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Thick or thin, precision or electrically coated Pyrex tubing — drawn here in Sunderland by the mile every year.
Pyrex pipeline — used to-day in a wide variety of industries — is sold through our associate company Q V F Ltd.
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Mixed Batch – 46 – James A. Jobling & Co. Ltd. July 1958
©2007 Glass-Study.com

The new newest Pyrex products — tableware and Gaiety casseroles.

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