CNBC traveled to Harrodsburg, Kentucky to get a rare look inside Corning’s oldest glass factory where it makes Gorilla Glass for iPhones and a variety of other devices. The factory runs 24/7 and human hands never touch the glass — only air and robots. Take a look inside to see how it's made.
In the middle of bluegrass and bourbon country in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, is Corning's oldest glass factory. It was built in the 1950s to create lenses for glasses and then in the 1980s it transitioned into making LCD glass panels.
But about six months before the first iPhone was released in 2007, Steve Jobs made a call to the CEO of Corning and asked the company to create glass that could withstand scratches and breakage for a new Apple product. Before that, phones were typically covered in plastic. Corning quickly developed Gorilla Glass, and this factory went through a complete transformation.
The same company that developed the glass for the Edison bulb in 1879, is now making the glass that covers 6 billion smartphones, tablets, screens and wearables worldwide for Apple, Samsung, LG, Sony and Huawei and a variety of other manufacturers.