A breakthrough came when company scientists tweaked a recently developed method of reinforcing glass that involved dousing it in a bath of hot potassium salt. They discovered that adding aluminum oxide to a given glass composition before the dip would result in remarkable strength and durability. Scientists were soon hurling fortified tumblers off their nine-story facility and bombarding the glass, known internally as 0317, with frozen chickens. It could be bent and twisted to an extraordinary degree before fracturing, and it could withstand 100,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. (Normal glass can weather about 7,000.) In 1962 Corning began marketing the glass as Chemcor and thought it could work for products like phone booths, prison windows, and eyeglasses...
After pitches to Ford Motors and other automakers failed, Project Muscle was shut down and Chemcor was shelved in 1971. It was a solution that would have to wait for the right problem to arise.
And that problem was the touch-screen slab smartphone.
It's a fascinating mix of chemistry, industry, start-ups, Steve Jobs, and continued innovation. Definitely one for over coffee on your morning break!