Super glue creator Harry Coover, RIP

Harry Coover, creator of Super Glue, died on Saturday at age 94. Coover stumbled upon the chemical, called cyanoacrylate, in 1942 while developing gun sights for Eastman Kodak. From the Washington Post:
Uperglu “The damn problem was everything was sticking to everything else,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2005. “We had a hard time using it in molds.”

In 1951, Dr. Coover was testing a heat-resistant polymer for use in aircraft windshields when he remembered his encounter with cyanoacrylate. <

When a colleague permanently bonded the lenses of an expensive optical instrument with a droplet of the liquid, Dr. Coover had an epiphany.

He found that the compound solidified after coming into contact with trace amounts of moisture, creating an extremely strong polymer layer between two surfaces.

“It suddenly struck me that what we had was not a casting material but a super glue,” he said in 2005.

"Harry Coover, Super Glue inventor, dies at 94"


  1. Maybe they’ll superglue him upside down to the lid of his casket, and we can check if he’s still up there in 1000 years.

  2. Sorry to be a buzzkill, but this guy is also responsible for organophosphate development as well.

    (nerve gas and pesticides…)

  3. The next time I’m putting together my tabletop miniatures, I’ll think of him and hope I don’t glue my fingers together (again).

  4. Outside of columbus ohio is west jefferson ohio, and outside of west jefferson is the superglue factory. I’ve never bothered to stop in to see if they have a tour and free samples.

  5. Useful tip: baking soda accelerates the drying time of super glue, which can come in handy as a filler. It forms an almost plastic surface that you can sand down and is pretty strong. It’s not easy to work with, but has been useful to know a few times when I needed a quicker way to bind things.

Comments are closed.