Vessels Gallery

Innovation Center

A fiberglass shell cups the Vessels Gallery and sets the stage for the story of containers—everyday containers, containers for electronics, containers that resist heat and chemicals. 

Glass makes an ideal container, and, so, glass bottles have long been popular. You can see through glass. It isn't porous, so a glass container can be made airtight. Glass doesn't add an "off" taste to a container's contents. People wanted more and more glass bottles. But until the end of the 19th century, bottles and jars were made by hand.

In the Vessels Gallery, meet the unsung hero who started the bottle industry on the road to mechanization. Find out how the search for an accurate thermometer led to heat-resistant glass, and about the housewife whose broken casserole was the start of Pyrex® glass bakeware. Experiment with glass chemistry. Learn how a scientist's fascination with crystals—the glassmaker's enemy—led to tough, break-resistant cookware and glasses that react to light.

The Vessels Gallery is about glass containers of all kinds. From the lowly bottle to light bulbs and television picture tubes, from fiberglass insulation to missile nose cones—you'll see glass containers in a whole new light.


New Glass for a New Era: Borosilicate Glass

Explore the discoveries that took glassmaking from a centuries-old craft to a modern material.