Superglue, the extra strong adhesive, was initially dismissed when first discovered but later became a popular household product.
Where would we be today without the glue so strong it will stick your fingers together? Did you know that this super sticky adhesive was a 1950’s invention? The chemical name of the actual glue itself is cyanoacrylate and Super Glue is a brand name, as is Krazy Glue. Cyanoacrylates are generically known as instant glue or superglue. It was actually discovered in 1942 when scientists were trying to make clear plastic gun sights during World War II. They stumbled upon a formulation that stuck to EVERYTHING. But it was rejected for this use because they didn’t want it to be so sticky. In 1951 cyanoacrylates were re-discovered by Eastman Kodak researches Harry Coover and Fred Joyner. These men recognized the commercial value of the adhesive. It was first available on the market in 1958.
Back when superglue was first released a radio station heard about their strength and decided to put them to the test in a junkyard by seeing which brand could hold a hanging car from a crane. Eastman Chemical’s Super Glue won the competition and held a 3,000 pound vehicle for 10 seconds once the steel bonded to the glue.
There is an urban legend that says superglue was invented to close up wounds on the battlefield, but obviously the origin of the glue wasn’t so dramatic. Today superglue is used in a variety of applications from electronics to woodworking, medical uses and even as nail glue when you get artificial fingernails.