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Did You Know Super Glue Was Invented By Accident?

Surprise! Super Glue was actually invented by accident – you won't believe how it happened!

Did You Know Super Glue Was Invented By Accident?

The History of Super Glue: When Was it Invented?

Super glue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, has become a common household item because of its exceptional adhesive properties. But have you ever wondered how this wonder product was invented? When was super glue invented?

The Beginnings of Super Glue

Super glue was first discovered in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover, a chemist working for Kodak. Dr. Coover was actually trying to develop an optically clear plastic that can be used for gunsights during World War II. In the course of his research, he and his team developed cyanoacrylate, a type of adhesive that stuck to everything it came into contact with. The team later abandoned the new compound and moved on with their project, thinking it was of little use to them.

Accidental Discovery

Several years later, in 1951, while Dr. Coover was conducting experiments with heat-resistant polymers, he came across cyanoacrylate again. Under certain conditions, the compound produced a strong and durable adhesive. This time, instead of being discarded, he and his team conducted further studies on the adhesive. It was then that they realized that cyanoacrylate could be a revolutionary product if it could be made to work consistently, and wouldn't bond to everything it came in contact with.

The potential uses of the adhesive were quickly recognized by the team, but more research was necessary to make it manageable. One of the biggest challenges was finding a way to make the adhesive work without becoming viscous too quickly after exposure to moisture, so that it would not make a glue mess of everything that it came in contact with. Dr. Coover and his team continued to develop the cyanoacrylate adhesive, and it wasn't long before they had a more efficient version of the compound.

Commercial Success

Dr. Coover's invention of cyanoacrylate adhesive was initially regarded as a novelty item. However, the adhesive was soon met with commercial success after it was marketed in 1958 by Kodak as a product called "Eastman 910". Initially, it was only available to industrial buyers; however, its popularity soon grew, and it was released to the public the following year. After the release of super glue to the public, it quickly became a beloved household item that is now a staple of many toolboxes.

The invention of cyanoacrylate adhesive revolutionized the adhesive industry. Today there are many brands of super glue or cyanoacrylate adhesive that are widely available on the market. Super glue has become an invaluable product in homes, schools, and even in medical practice. In modern medical procedures, surgeons use surgical grade super glue as an alternative to sutures.

The Future of Super Glue

The cyanoacrylate adhesive market is expected to continue to grow in the future, with some researchers exploring ways to make it an even stronger and more durable adhesive. Other researchers are actively experimenting with ways to make eco-friendly products using cyanoacrylate and other natural materials. With such continued growth and innovation, we expect that super glue will remain a useful and popular household item for generations to come.

In a nutshell, we can clearly see how super glue has come a long way from being discovered by chance to becoming a widely-used household item. Who knew that a little bottle of glue could be so amazing?

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The Science Behind Super Glue

Super glue has been a popular household adhesive since its invention, but have you ever wondered how it works? Let's dive into the science behind this adhesive miracle.

How It Works

Super glue works by utilizing cyanoacrylate molecules to form a bond on the surface of an object. The molecules react with the moisture present on the surface and form long polymer chains that harden instantly into a solid bond. When the moisture from the atmosphere comes in contact with the super glue, it initiates a reaction that releases heat. This heat speeds up the formation of the polymer chains, resulting in a strong bond that can withstand high impact and tensile forces.

Chemical Properties

The strength and versatility of super glue is attributed to its unique chemical properties. Cyanoacrylate, the main chemical component of super glue, is a colorless liquid with low viscosity, which means it can flow easily. Its fast curing time is another significant factor for its strength, bonding surfaces within just a few seconds.Aside from its strength, the chemical properties of super glue make it an excellent adhesive for a wide variety of surfaces, including metal, plastic, ceramic, rubber, and even skin. However, it is not recommended to use super glue on cotton, wool, and leather as it can damage these materials.


Super glue is a versatile adhesive that has a wide range of applications, from household repairs to medical treatments.In woodworking, super glue is used for bonding intricate joints and replacing nails or screws. It is also popular in jewelry-making, allowing for precise bonding of small, delicate parts.The fast-acting nature of super glue makes it an ideal adhesive for repairing household items, such as toys, glasses, and ceramics. Similarly, it is also used by mechanics to fix small cracks in windshields.Aside from its applications in the crafts and household repair industry, super glue is also used in medical procedures, such as sealing small cuts, wounds and incisions. Due to its cyanoacrylate properties, the glue forms a strong barrier, preventing bacteria from entering the wound and allowing it to heal quickly.In conclusion, super glue is a powerful adhesive that has proven to be a versatile solution for various applications in the household, healthcare, and automotive industry. Its fast-acting nature and strength make it a popular and reliable choice for all adhesive needs.

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Advancements in Super Glue Technology

Super glue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, was first discovered in 1942 by Harry Coover, a scientist who was looking for materials to make clear plastic gun sights for the military. However, its adhesive properties and uniqueness were not recognized until much later. Today, super glue has become a household name and has undergone several advancements since its discovery.

New Formulations

Over time, different formulations of super glue have been developed to suit specific bonding needs. Manufacturers have come up with no-run, gel, and ultra-thin versions of the adhesive to ensure a stronger and more durable bond between materials. No-run super glue, for example, clings to surfaces without dripping and is perfect for vertical surfaces.

Gel super glue, on the other hand, can fill gaps in materials and provide a stronger bond. The ultra-thin formulation of super glue penetrates deep into materials, making it ideal for fixing cracks and chips. The different formulations of super glue offer consumers the flexibility to choose the right product for their needs.

Medical Uses

Super glue has also found new uses in the medical field. Medical-grade super glue, otherwise known as Dermabond, is a sterile and non-toxic adhesive that is used to close surgical incisions and small wounds. It is preferred over traditional methods like staples or stitches because it is faster and easier to apply, and it does not leave scarring.

Although it is not a replacement for stitches in all cases, it is useful in closing small cuts and tears in the skin. Super glue can also be used to stop bleeding from minor wounds in emergency situations. Medical professionals have found that Dermabond allows wounds to heal quickly and reduces the risk of infection.

Future Developments

The field of super glue technology is constantly evolving, and researchers are continuously exploring new uses for the adhesive. In recent years, new breakthroughs have been made in the development of super glue for dental and electronic applications.

Dental super glue is used to bond dental fillings and for orthodontic purposes. The adhesive is safe and strong, and it is slowly replacing traditional dental bonding agents that are less effective. In the electronics industry, super glue is used to bond components and protect delicate electronic devices from damage.

In conclusion, super glue is a miracle invention that has revolutionized the way we bond materials together. Over the years, it has undergone several advancements to create different formulations catering to specific needs. Its use in the medical and electronics fields continues to grow, and it is likely that future developments will extend its reach even further. With its versatility and strength, super glue is here to stay.

When Was Super Glue Invented?

Super glue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, was invented in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover, a chemist working for Eastman Kodak. Coover was actually attempting to create a clear plastic material to be used in gun sights for the military during World War II, but instead, he stumbled upon a clear, fast-drying adhesive that would later become known as super glue.

The Development of Super Glue

Coover initially dismissed his discovery, believing it to be too sticky and difficult to handle. However, years later, in 1951, Coover and his team rediscovered the adhesive while working on jet canopy bonding for the aerospace industry. This time, they recognized its unique properties and saw the potential for it to be used as a commercial adhesive.

In 1958, Coover's team introduced the first commercial super glue under the brand name "Eastman 910." However, it was not an instant success, as consumers were unsure of how to use the fast-drying adhesive. Eastman Kodak marketed it heavily, first promoting it in industrial applications such as automotive manufacturing and then later in household applications, such as bonding metal, plastic, and wood in DIY projects.

Advancements in Super Glue Technology

Since its invention, super glue has come a long way. Today, it is available in various viscosities and application methods, such as spray cans and precision applicators. Super glue can bond to a wide range of surfaces, including glass, metal, wood, plastic, and even some fabrics.

In addition, there are now different types of super glue designed for specific applications. For example, some are formulated to work on porous materials such as wood or paper, while others are designed to have high-temperature resistance for use in automotive or aerospace applications.

The Impact of Super Glue

Applications in Manufacturing

Super glue has had a significant impact on the manufacturing industry, allowing for faster production times and stronger bonds. Its ability to bond quickly and securely makes it a popular choice for a range of applications, from assembling electronics to securing automotive components. In addition, it can be used to bond dissimilar materials, making it an ideal adhesive for composite materials.

Applications at Home

Super glue has also had a significant impact at home. Its versatility has made it a popular choice for DIY repairs, including fixing broken ceramics, reattaching loose chair legs, and repairing jewelry. Its fast-drying properties have also made it a go-to adhesive for quick fixes.

Medical Applications

Super glue has even found applications in the medical field. Medical-grade super glue is used to seal small cuts and incisions, reducing the need for stitches and decreasing healing time. It has also been used in dental procedures, such as filling cavities and repairing chips in teeth.

The Future of Super Glue

As technology continues to advance and new materials are developed, we can expect to see even more uses for super glue. Researchers are currently exploring ways to use super glue to create new materials, such as adhesives that can be switched on and off with light. With its versatility and strength, super glue is likely to remain a popular choice for adhesives and bonding applications for years to come.


In conclusion, super glue has made a significant impact on the world of adhesives and manufacturing since its invention in 1942. From its initial use in jet canopy bonding to its widespread use in DIY repairs and medical procedures, super glue's versatility and strength have made it a popular choice for bonding a variety of surfaces. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more new and innovative uses for this versatile adhesive.

Super glue was invented by accident in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover. To learn more about accidental inventions, check out this article on the first tractor in history.

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