Stanley Donald Stookey (May 23, 1915 – November 4, 2014) was an American inventor.
He had 60 patents in his name related to glass and ceramics, some solely his while others are jointly with others. His discoveries and inventions have affected considerably the development of ceramics, eyeglasses, sunglasses, cookware, defense systems, and electronics.
He was a research director at Corning Glass Works for 47 years doing R & D in glass and ceramic development. His inventions include Fotoform, CorningWare, Cercor, Pyroceram and Photochromic Ophthalmic glass eyewear.
CorningWare, also written Corning Ware, was originally a brand name for a unique pyroceramic glass cookware resistant to thermal shock. It was first introduced in 1958 by Corning Glass Works. CorningWare can be used directly on the stovetop.
In 1953 S. Donald Stookey of discovered Pyroceram, a white glass-ceramic material capable of withstanding a thermal shock (sudden temperature change) of up to 450 °C (840 °F), by accident.
He was working with photosensitive glass and placed a piece into a furnace planning on heating it to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. When he checked on his sample the furnace was at 900 degrees and the glass had turned milky white. He reached into the furnace with tongs to discard the sample and it slipped and hit the floor without shattering.
The material was used in the ballistic missile program as a heat-resistant material for nose cones.