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Giving Thanks for S. Donald Stookey

Legacy.com / Nick Ehrhardt

Giving Thanks for S. Donald Stookey

Over his decades-long career as a researcher and inventor, S. Donald Stookey pioneered new technologies using glass and ceramics. He held 60 patents and helped to advance everything from eyewear to military defense systems, but this week we are giving thanks for his incredible contributions to the Thanksgiving holiday. Stookey, who died earlier this month at 99, was the man behind CorningWare and the millions of casseroles it made possible.

According to a 2000 profile in the American Ceramic Society Bulletin, the ubiquitous casserole dishes were actually the result of a laboratory accident. Made of a durable new ceramic capable of withstanding quick changes in temperature, CorningWare ushered in a new age of fridge-to-oven cooking that made it possible for large meals to be prepared in advance, refrigerated and baked at the last minute. Even more amazingly, CorningWare evolved out of Stookey's research on heat shielding for ballistic missiles, according to EdgarOnline.

This month, as millions of families pass those white dishes with blue cornflower designs, remember to give thanks to Stookey and his happy lab accident that has made Thanksgiving such a delicious tradition. Share this article with your friends and relatives and then view and sign his Guest Book.