Initially, Sani Onyx was produced for utilitarian purposes such as refrigerator linings. Manufacturers valued the glass as a practical, easily cleaned, and sanitary product. Its uses, however, expanded rapidly. By the second decade of the 20th century, consumers viewed pigmented structural glass as an inexpensive substitute for marble counter tops, table tops, wainscoting, and restroom partitions.
The first large-scale interior architectural application of pigmented structural glass was in the Woolworth Building (1912-1913) in New York when Architect Cass Gilbert sheathed the restrooms with Carrara Glass. Later in the decade, the decorative possibilities of the glass received even more attention.