Cuban Missile Crisis glass finally has a use

While a tanked-up steroid-filled John F Kennedy nearly ended the world over his drug fuelled obsession with Cuba, a boffin working for the glass maker Corning hit on a brilliant idea to make really tough glass.

According to AP the glass did not bend, or scratch, could be laid out super-thin and was generally seen as a brilliant breakthrough.

They thought it would be the material for windshield glass but got a rude shock when the British came up with Pilkington Safety Glass which could be made a bit cheaper.

To make the glass Corning ran the sheets through a “tempering” process that set up internal stresses in the material. It is the same idea used in Pyrex glass, but the glass was tempered in a chemical bath, not by heat treatment.

Beaten by the British, no one could really think of a use for it and the blue-prints and patents sat around gathering dust.

Now however someone has remembered they invented it and think it could be the new face of touch-screen tablets and high-end TVs.

According to Reuters, Gorilla picked up its first customer in 2008 and has quickly become a $170 million a year business as a protective layer over the screens of 40 million-plus cell phones and other mobile devices.

Now Corning hopes that frameless flat-screens tellies that could be mistaken for chic glass artwork on a living-room wall, if your artist paints Italian games shows, will take off.

A sheet of Gorilla would add $30 to $60 to the cost of a set but many analysts think it could be worth it.

However the other place it could end up are the Motorola Droid smart phone and LG Electronics‘ X300 notebook.