Dow Corning is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Originally established as a joint venture between the Dow Chemical Company and Corning Incorporated, it specializes in silicone and silicon-based technology, and is the largest silicone product producer in the world. Dow Corning was formally established in 1943 as a joint venture between the American conglomerates Dow Chemical and Corning Glass to explore the potential of silicone and was a manufacturer of products for use by the U.S. military in World War II. The company began operating its first plant, in Midland, MI, in 1945. Dr. E. C. Sullivan was named president, and Dr. William R. Collings was named general manager in 1943. Dr. Collings later became president from 1954 until 1962. It expanded into Canada and Europe in 1948, and into South America and Japan in 1961. A large, majority-owned subsidiary of Dow Corning Corporation is the Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation. It is one of the worlds largest producers of high-purity polycrystalline silicon, which is sold in varying purity grades for use in both semiconductor silicon wafer manufacture and photovoltaics applications as solar cells.