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Who Accidentally Invented Super Glue?

Welcome to the accidental discovery of Super Glue, the surprise invention that changed the world forever!

Who Accidentally Invented Super Glue?

Who Invented Superglue

The First Adhesive

The use of adhesives or glues can be traced back to prehistoric times, where early humans used tree resin as a form of glue for their tools and weapons. The sticky substance, which acted as an adhesive, was also used for attaching decorative materials to various artefacts.

Over time, humans began experimenting with other materials such as tar, beeswax, and animal collagen, to create more effective adhesives. The development of adhesives was crucial in the advancement of humanity, as it allowed for the creation of new tools and materials that humans previously would not have been able to construct.

The Birth of Superglue

In 1942, a chemist named Dr. Harry Coover discovered cyanoacrylate, the base ingredient of superglue, while he was working for Kodak. Dr. Coover was attempting to make a clear plastic material to be used for gun sights. However, during the process, he discovered that the substance he created became an extremely strong adhesive when it came in contact with moisture.

Despite this discovery, cyanoacrylate was not immediately used as an adhesive due to its strong bonding properties. In fact, its strong adhesive properties were seen as a disadvantage, especially in industrial settings, as it often caused equipment to become fused together. However, its strength caught the attention of some researchers, who saw its potential in the field of medicine.

The Evolution of Superglue

Superglue made its first appearance in the medical field in the 1950s, where it was used to close wounds in soldiers on the battlefield. This was a game-changer, as it allowed for an effective and quick method of closing wounds without causing discomfort to the patient. Since then, superglue has been used in various medical procedures, such as stopping bleeding or securing medical equipment to tissue.

As superglue's uses expanded, it was finally brought to the consumer market in the 1950s. Initially, it was marketed as a quick adhesive for household repairs, which proved to be a success, as it became a popular household item. Superglue's popularity only grew as its strength and versatility became widely known. Over the years, superglue has been widely used in various industries, such as automotive and woodworking, and has even found new applications in the field of electronics.

In Conclusion

Superglue, a substance accidentally discovered by Dr. Harry Coover, has come a long way from its humble beginnings. What started as a rejected chemical has now become one of the most popular and versatile adhesives in the world. Its unique properties have made it an essential tool across various industries and have even helped save lives in the medical field. And to think, it all started with a chemist trying to create a clear plastic.

Who Invented Superglue?

The discovery of superglue is a fascinating story that dates back to the early 1940s. Dr. Harry Coover, a chemist working for Kodak, was attempting to create a clear plastic gun sight to be used during World War II. The project was not successful, but the adhesive that Coover created while testing various compounds caught his attention. In 1942, he put the formula aside, thinking it had no practical use.

Several years later, while working on a different project, Coover stumbled upon the adhesive formula again. This time, he recognized the potential of the compound as an industrial adhesive. In 1951, Coover and his team at Eastman Kodak Company formally developed the chemical formula for cyanoacrylate, the adhesive now known as superglue.

How Superglue Works

Instant Bonding

Superglue works by the chemical reaction of cyanoacrylate with trace amounts of moisture in the air. It creates heat, which causes the cyanoacrylate to cross-link, forming a polymer chain that creates a strong bond in a matter of seconds.

Multiple Uses

Superglue is known for its versatility. It can bond a wide range of materials, including metal, plastic, rubber, and even skin. Superglue is commonly used in industries such as automotive, electronics, and medical.

Safety Precautions

While superglue is a powerful adhesive, it is important to use it safely. Superglue should not be used on or near eyes, mouth, or fingers. Skin bonding may occur and can result in skin irritation. Always use in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhalation of fumes. In case of accidental skin bonding, soak the affected area in warm soapy water and consult a physician if needed.

Despite the potential risks, superglue is a reliable adhesive that has become an essential tool in many fields. And we have Dr. Harry Coover to thank for its invention.

Superglue Innovations

Superglue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, is a powerful adhesive that has become a household staple. It's used for bonding various materials such as wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, leather, and many others. The adhesive was invented by accident and has since become an essential tool for many professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

Over time, superglue has undergone several innovations to improve its bonding capabilities and usability. Let's take a closer look at some of these innovations:

Flexible Super Glue

The early days of superglue saw the adhesive being used for rigid surfaces that were not subject to movement or flexing. However, this changed when researchers developed flexible superglue that allowed bonding of materials that bend or twist, such as plastic bags or rubber tires. The flexible superglue contains rubber particles that create elasticity, allowing bonded materials to move without breaking the bond. This innovation was a game-changer, opening up a new range of uses for superglue.

Gel Formula

Another innovation that has transformed superglue is the gel formula. Traditional superglue has a water-thin consistency which is not always easy to apply precisely, resulting in accidental spills and drips. The gel formula was developed to address these issues. The thicker consistency of the gel formula allows for precision application and reduces the risk of unwanted spills and drips.

The gel formula has made it easier to use superglue for intricate work such as jewelry repair, electronic component bonding, and even model building. The gel formula has made the adhesive more accessible to people who were previously hesitant to use it.

Specialty Superglues

As with many other products, the demand for specialty superglues has grown over time. These are superglues that have been formulated for specific uses such as high heat, underwater bonding, or even medical applications.

High-temperature superglues are designed to withstand extremely high temperatures without melting or breaking down. They're widely used by mechanics and other professionals who deal with high-temperature machinery or engines.Underwater superglue is designed to bond effectively even underwater and has become a go-to adhesive for aquarium enthusiasts and pool repair professionals.Medical superglue is used for surgical procedures as a replacement for sutures and staples. Medical superglue can also be used to close wounds in emergency situations and has become a key tool in many first-aid kits.

The development of specialty superglues has opened up new possibilities for the use of cyanoacrylate adhesive. It's no longer a one-size-fits-all adhesive but rather a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of purposes.

In conclusion, the invention of superglue was an accident, but its journey has been marked by steady innovations that have improved its bonding capabilities and usability. Flexible superglue, gel formula, and specialty superglues are some of the notable milestones in the development of this adhesive. It'll be interesting to see what other innovations await us in the future.

Who Invented Superglue?

Superglue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, was invented in the late 1940s by a chemist named Harry Coover, who was trying to find a way to create clear plastic gun sights for the war effort.

During his experiments, Coover found that a substance he was working with, cyanoacrylate, immediately stuck to everything it touched, including his own skin. At the time, Coover thought the substance was useless, but years later he realized its potential as a strong adhesive.

In 1951, Coover and his team developed the first cyanoacrylate adhesive, which they called "Eastman 910". The adhesive was eventually marketed as "Super Glue" in the 1960s by the company he worked for, Eastman Kodak.

Impacts and Controversies

Positive Impacts

Superglue has revolutionized the world of DIY repairs and manufacturing processes, allowing for stronger and faster bonding than traditional adhesives. It can be used to bond a wide range of materials, from wood and plastic to metal and glass. Its fast-drying properties make it ideal for quick fixes, and it's often used in medical settings to close wounds or seal surgical incisions.

Superglue's ability to bond materials quickly and securely has also led to its use in space exploration, where it has been used to repair spacecraft and equipment. And in the automotive industry, superglue is used to bond parts and seal cracks in windshields.

Negative Impacts

Despite its impressive bonding abilities, superglue does have some downsides. If not used carefully, it can damage surfaces, clothing, and even skin. Ingesting superglue can cause serious health problems, and it has been used in crimes such as kidnapping and theft.

Superglue fumes can also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory problems. In addition, some people may be allergic to the chemicals in superglue and experience skin rashes or other allergic reactions.


Due to the potential dangers of superglue misuse, many countries have regulated its sale and use. Some countries have age limits on who can purchase superglue, while others require labeling that includes warnings and instructions for safe use.

In the United States, superglue is considered a hazardous substance and is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The commission requires that superglue products be labeled with cautionary warnings and instructions for safe use.

Some states in the US also have additional regulations on superglue, such as placing it behind the counter in stores or requiring a license to use it in certain applications.


Despite its potential dangers, superglue has become a powerful tool in many industries, from DIY repairs to space exploration. Its fast-drying and strong-bonding properties have led to countless applications, but it's important to use it safely and responsibly. With proper regulation and education, superglue can continue to provide innovative solutions and advances in technology.

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