The year was 1944, and the scientists at Eastman-Kodak were tasked with an important project (per the Michigan Institute of Technology ). Their goal was to create a clear plastic that was sturdy enough to be used in a military weapon's gunsights. But like many scientific creations, their invention didn't have quite the usage they were (literally) aiming for.

    A scientist named Dr. Harry Coover joined Eastman Kodak, located in New York, where he joined their chemical research team in 1944. Instead of making a gunsight plastic, Coover created a see-through liquid that had a powerful reaction with any amount of moisture. The liquid would react on almost any surface. It was outrageously sticky — Coover was unsure what to do with it. It wouldn't be suitable for a gunsight, so he put it aside and began experimenting with other options for the time being, per The New York Times .

    But Coover didn't forget about the invention, and he got another chance to experiment with the liquid, called cyanoacrylate, later in his career. In 1951, Coover began a new position at a different Eastman Kodak branch, which allowed him to keep experimenting with cyanoacrylate.

    Testing the power of super glue


    Coover and the research team basically spent a lot of time gluing things together with the super glue to test its properties (via the  Michigan Institute of Technology ). According to The New York Times , as Coover was testing the substance one day, he ruined a $3,000 machine in his science lab when he realized he couldn't get the super glue off a refractor. 

    Aside from being super sticky, the glue also didn't need to be heated up or pressed on in order to work (via the Michigan Institute of Technology). This was a positive for Coover, who began researching a heat-resistant substance to hold the canopies onto jet planes in extreme flying conditions.

    According to Military Times , doctors later figured out other uses for the glue: It could hold severe wounds closed so that soldiers wouldn't bleed out before they could receive medical treatment. The company named the substance "Eastman 910," but later changed it to the more catchy name, "Super Glue."

    The many uses of super glue

    Pool/Getty Images

    Some of the first versions of the substance were too harsh on human skin, so later versions were tweaked for medical use (via Michigan Institute of Technology ). Doctors were able to piece together arteries during surgery using the substance, and dental surgeons used its strength on human teeth.  Military Times  reports that you might know it by its other names, Traumaseal and Dermabond. These are safer versions of super glue for use by doctors, surgeons, and dentists. The inventor, Coover, said of the new achievement, "That's something I'm very proud of — the number of lives that were saved."

    People continue to find inventive new uses for the substance, like morticians, who use it to glue shut the lips or eyes of the deceased (per Britannica ).

    The Kingsport Times-News reports that Coover even got to show off his invention to the world on the show "I've Got a Secret," when he and the host hung from metal bars after applying just one drop of super glue each. Coover would go on to hold more than 460 patents, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his significant scientific breakthroughs.

    What was super glue originally invented for?
    One if its inventors, Dr. Harry Wesley Coover, accidentally created a new compound while attempting to make clear plastic gun sights for Allied soldiers. The compound, cyanoacrylate, was incredibly durable but way too sticky to use. (Imagine getting Krazy Glue anywhere near your eye. more
    Is super glue and Krazy Glue the same?
    Krazy glue has the same formulation as super glue it is just another brand name for it. These adhesives work very similarly based on the ingredients. They both fall under the category of cyanoacrylates adhesives. more
    Is Krazy Glue the same as Super Glue?
    Krazy glue has the same formulation as super glue it is just another brand name for it. These adhesives work very similarly based on the ingredients. They both fall under the category of cyanoacrylates adhesives. more
    What company invented super glue?
    Eastman Kodak Superglue was first developed by scientists at Eastman Kodak who were trying to design gun sights for the military after they found that some of their failed attempts had other useful properties. more
    Which is the strongest super glue?
    Loctite cyanoacrylate adhesive Super glue creates an incredibly strong adhesive bond. Because of cyanoacrylate glue's unique properties, the bond formed is nearly unbreakable. It's so powerful, Loctite cyanoacrylate adhesive broke the Guinness World Record by lifting a car weighing more than 5 tons with just 9 drops of adhesive. more
    What will dissolve super glue?
    acetone Blot the glue with acetone or rubbing alcohol and let this substance break down the glue. Clear away with a damp cloth. For fabric: Use acetone, but test sparingly first to avoid potential damage. more
    Can Super Glue change fingerprints?
    Cyanoacrylate or super glue fuming uses the vapors of super glue to develop latent fingerprints. Super glue fuming is an easy and effective way to make fingerprints visible. Super glue fuming can be performed on old or new fingerprints and can then be further enhanced by using dyes or powders. more
    Is Loctite Super Glue flammable?
    This product is highly flammable having a flash point of 16°C. Keep unaffected containers cool with water spray. If product is involved in fire extinguish with dry powder, foam or carbon dioxide. Self contained breathing apparatus should be worn when dealing with fire. more
    Does WD 40 remove super glue?
    If you've ever wanted to know how to remove super glue quickly and easily, just reach for the can of WD-40 Multi-Use Product you probably have in your cupboard. Simply spray it on, wait a minute to allow it to penetrate the adhesive, and either scrape the sticker off or wipe the residue away with a soft cloth. more
    Can vinegar remove super glue?
    While not as effective as acetone, the acidic nature of distilled white vinegar will also break the bonds of super glue. Dab the area with a cotton ball saturated with vinegar. Let it work for a few minutes and then rinse. Use your fingernail or the edge of a credit card as a gentle scraper to help loosen the glue. more
    What is the main difference between Super Glue and Gorilla Glue?
    Gorilla glues are made from a polyurethane mix while superglues contain cyanoacrylates. These are the two main groups of adhesives and these active ingredients affect the durability and strength of each glue. This is what makes Gorilla Glue much tougher, and a preferred choice for external repairs. more

    Source: www.grunge.com

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