Inventor of Super Glue Dies
The man who invented Super Glue has died.
Harry Coover, 94, was an industrial chemist whose powerful adhesive – also known as cyanoacrylate – made him a friend to many a woodworker who did not know his name. Woodworkers use the glue for fast-setting repairs of joinery mistakes, to fix cracks and splits in workpieces or even to reattach small slivers of broken wood. Cyanoacrylate type glues are also useful for stabilizing weak or “punky” material in spalted wood.
Mr. Coover died Saturday at his home in Kingsport, Tenn. According to his obituary in The New York Times, he discovered the strong adhesive properties of cyanoacrylate during World War II, while working on a high-strength clear plastic for use in gun sights He helped develop the substance as a commercial glue – and for medical use – in the late 1950s and early 60s. He was most proud of its use by battlefield medics in Vietnam as a spray to help stop bleeding.
You can hear Coover tell the story of his invention in this video, which was presented in 2009, when Coover received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama.