When was super glue invented?
Today is the start of the second half of the Daily Doodle book. I was advised by a few friends and family members I was "overthinking" this Daily Doodle Book, and then a sweet friend reminded me it's ok to give something you're passionate about your all. I [finally] made the decision yesterday to go ahead and add another sheet of paper to my signature so the halfway point in the doodles was the actual halfway point in the book as well. Somehow it mattered to me. Go figure... this year long project is starting to matter! That being said, I've given the book a lot of thought in the past 36ish hours and it seemed fitting since yesterday's Doodle (Velcro) was a fastener, I'd stick (pun intended) to the same thought, only this time I'm going with a bit stronger one, to help me adhere to my goal and finish out this year of Daily Doodles... so today we are going to learn about super glue!
Unlike Velcro Brand's hook and loop fastener, super glue was invented by accident (as so many fun things are... looking your way Silly Putty)! In fact, It actually took two accidents to create super glue. In the 1940's, Dr Harry Coover was attempting to create crystal clear, plastic based gun sights during World War Two while working for Eastman Kodak in their chemical division. It was during one of his earlier attempts that the plastic he created did not work well for creating the sights, but was exceptional at bonding things together. Dr. Coover quickly abandoned his discovery as it did not serve a purpose for the project at hand.
It wasn't until a few years later (1954) that Dr Coover's second accidental discovery of this super adhesive substance led to the creation of modern day super glue. Coover was working as a supervisor on a project to create heat-resistant jet canopies alongside Fred Joyner. Joyner discovered the previous glue Coover had created and decided to test it by spreading a layer between two refractor prisms which quickly became bonded, permanently. Coover finally realized the potential of "super glue" and moved forward with his invention.
In 1959, super glue was introduced to the public. During an interview in 1986 Coover remembered how he introduced super glue. "I went on the old Gary Moore show, `I`ve Got a Secret.` My secret was that I could lift Gary Moore off the floor with one drop of liquid. We glued two metal cylinders together, screwed a crossbar into one of them, suspended the cylinders from a hoist and raised him into the air.'' That was how the adhesive entered the market. Initially it was called "Eastman 910" before coining the name "super glue" shortly after. The product was licensed to Loctite who renamed it to "Loctite Quick set 404" followed by a slightly altered version they branded as "super bonder". By the time the 1970's rolled around there were many manufacturers selling their own versions of super glue using Coovers Cyanoacrylic formula.
Super glue was used during the Vietnam war to help close the wounds on soldiers as a battlefield option not FDA approved. Unfortunately, applying super glue to cotton wool can actually cause enough heat to cause burns if applied to the skin. Super glue can actually produce enough heat to catch on fire. This trick has even been used by people in survival situations.
Super Glue only requires water to activate it, and since many products already contain residual moisture from the air, the use of an activator is not normally required. Through the discovery of super glue, the medical grade glue that is used in place of (or in conjunction with) stitches was created. Many of the medical grade super glues also contain healing inducing additives that can help prevent scarring and promote wound healing at a faster rate than stitches alone.
Dr. Harry Coover was given a National Medal of Technology and Innovation by Former President, Barack Obama. Coover held over 460 patents when he died in 2012. His daughter, Dr. Melinda Coover Paul, is quoted but the New York Times for his obituary saying, "I think he got a kick out of being Mr. Super Glue," Created in the United States, super glue quickly became a worldwide phenomenon and had reached all 7 continents by the 1970's. Since its creation, the formula has remained much the same, however, stronger versions have been created that hold enough strength to attach chairs to the ceiling! Pretty impressive.