A few hours ago, it was put to me that superglue was developed for the express purpose of providing surgical sutures. He assured me that that is what he had heard, although he couldn’t tell me anything more authoritative than that. So I got curious, did some research, and offer now for your edification, the following:
Superglue was discovered by accident — twice!
Superglue is used for just about anything, including surgery.
Here are the facts. (According to Popular Science, February 1989 article by A. J. Hand)
Superglue (cyanoacrylate) was discovered by accident! During WW II Dr. Harry Coover (president of Loctite Corp’s new Business Development Group as of February 1989) was working for Kodak Research Laboratories to develop an optically clear plastic for gun sights. To quote him, according to Hand, “I was working with some acrylate monomers that showed promise. But everything they touched stuck to everything else. It was a severe pain.”
Well, in 1951 Coover was supervising research at the Tennessee Eastman Co. to find a “tougher, more heat-resistant acrylate polymer for jet canopies” according to Hand. There was a fellow named Dr Fred Joyner (!) who spread a film of ethyl cyanoacrylate between a couple of prisms of a refractometer. Of course, he discovered that he couldn’t pry the prisms apart again. So Coover realized that he was onto something. A good thing, too, since those prisms were a pricey thing to ruin…
The stuff hit the market in 1958 as Eastman #910. That year, according to Sterling, Dr Coover appeared on TV’s “I’ve Got a Secret,” where he hoisted host Gary Moore off the floor with a drop of the stuff.
a year ago – old english rudolph, looking at the sky, 9 of wands, aunt jemima creepy, sealab 2021.
two years ago – not french-canadian, angry beavers, a deal link I can’t remember, cookie mah jongg, and an oliveresque welcome .