1 Super Glue Was Invented By Accident
Taking the lead in our list of surprising facts about ordinary things is this surprising little fact about one of the most commonly used items in the house. Super glue was invented by accident! The amazing household glue that can be used for a multitude of uses, both good and evil, was discovered by accident when scientists at KODAK were trying to manufacture a clear plastic for use in precision gun sights during World War II. The scientists were experimenting with chemicals known as cyanoacrylates. The problem was that the chemicals kept sticking together making them impossible to work with. In the end they had to abandon the project completely due to its unworkability.
Super glue invented by accident, and abandoned, so how did it rise from the ashes?
In 1951, nine years after its initial discovery, one of the KODAK scientists working on the project, Dr. Harry Coover, recognised that the cyanoacrylates could be used as an adhesive, and an extremely strong one at that. Dr. Coover and a team of scientists worked on using the cyanoacrylates to make a glue that they dubbed “super glue”. In 1958, sixteen years after its initial discovery, and seven years after its rediscovery in the KODAK laboratory, the new wonder glue went into mass production. It made Dr. Coover a celebrity, appearing on television programs where a single drop of the substance could lift a grown adult from the ground.
In November 2010, then 93 year old Dr Coover gained recognition for his discovery and became a recipient the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for inventing super glue, albeit by accident.