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The History of Adhesives and Glue

From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
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What Sticks?

Around 1750, the first glue or adhesive patent was issued in Britain. The glue was made from fish. Patents were then rapidly issued for adhesives using natural rubber, animal bones, fish, starch, milk protein or casein.

Superglue - Synthetic Glue

Superglue or Krazy Glue is a substance called cyanoacrylate that was discovered by Dr. Harry Coover while working for Kodak Research Laboratories to develop an optically clear plastic for gunsights in 1942. Coover rejected cyanoacrylate because it was too sticky.

In 1951, cyanoacrylate was rediscovered by Coover and Dr Fred Joyner. Coover was now supervising research at the Eastman Company in Tennessee. Coover and Joyner were researching a heat-resistant acrylate polymer for jet canopies when Joyner spread a film of ethyl cyanoacrylate between refractometer prisms and discovered that the prisms were glued together.

Coover finally realized that cyanoacrylate was a useful product and in 1958 the Eastman compound #910 was marketed and later packaged as superglue.

This to That

A nifty site that tells you what to use to glue anything to anything else. Read the trivia section for historical information.

Continue > Office Innovations

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