"The medics used the [super glue] spray, stopped the bleeding.... And many, many lives were saved."
In 1942 Harry Coover (b. 1919), a chemist working for Eastman-Kodak, was seeking a way to manufacture ultra-clear plastic gunsights. The group of chemicals his team were investigating, the cyanoacrylates, proved not very useful. They were very sticky, and contact with even a tiny amount of water (such as is found on virtually every surface) caused them to bind.
It was not until several years later, when he revisited the cyanoacrylates while working on another project, that Coover realized they had stumbled upon something special. The prototype glue stuck together everything they tried, without requiring any heat or pressure. The substance, marketed as "Eastman 910"in 1958, became popularly known as super glue.
As well as being a powerful and useful adhesive, super glue has been put to a number of other uses. more...