Eingeschaltetes Ceranfeld


From space to the stove

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans cooked their food over open fires. Today, instead of fires, stoves are available in many variations – and since 1971, the ceramic hob from the company Schott.

For a long time, soot and smoke were simply a part of cooking. As late as the 19th  century, food was prepared on cast-iron stoves, equipped with various grates, ovens, and hearth rings. It was only when the gas stove was developed in the second half of the 19th century that soot and smoke were finally a thing of the past. In Germany, gas stoves then enjoyed growing popularity at the turn of the century. The first electric stove became established in Germany after the Second World War.

Revolutionizing the kitchen: the first ceramic hobs

A minor revolution followed in the 1970s: the first stoves with glass ceramic tops were produced. With their flat, easy-to-clean surface, they replaced the conventional iron tops. But the physical principle was the same: heat was generated by red-hot metal wires under the stovetop. The heat emitted by the heating element passed through the glass ceramic, heating up the bottom of the pot or pan – without losing much heat along the way.

The idea was the brainchild of Schott AG. In the early 1960s, the Mainz-based company developed glass ceramic to produce mirror substrates for space telescopes. The company soon got the idea to expand into other applications with its heat-resistant material. In 1971, Schott showcased the first black glass ceramic cooktops under the “Schott Ceran” brand at the Domotechnica trade fair. The product went into series production in 1973. According to statements by Schott, this soon made the company the world market leader in the field. Today, ceramic hobs are available with both electric and modern induction technology. Glass ceramic is now used in other kitchen products as well, including grills, wok cooktops, or as front panels for ovens.

(Image: Sonja Haja – AdobeStock)

Place of invention

Hattenbergstrasse 10, 55122 Mainz