We use glue on a daily basis, but how many of us are aware of the history behind glue? Did you know that it has been in use ever since the prehistoric times? There are five types of glue that are used not only in homes but also in a plethora of industries. Prehistoric hunters, however, used it for binding stone arrowheads or ax stones to wood.
What is the glue? It is an adhesive substance that is employed when you want to stick objects or materials together. Adhesives have been used for over 200,000 years now. Allow us to take you into the history of the glue and learn how glue has transformed over the course of years.
The very first written record of glue comes from Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs depict casket of Pharaoh Tutankhamun glued together using a compound that was made from animals. Glue or adhesives have played a monumental role in the creation of products, tools, weapons, and other inventions that have helped the human race to progress. Glues have also been used for religious ceremonies throughout the course of history.
Researchers have also learned that a civilization from six thousand years ago used glue for ceremonial and decoration purposes. Civilizations dating back to 5,200 years ago had axes and arrows that were held together using glue. Egyptians used glue for the sake of record keeping and for the creation of papyrus.
Historians have also discovered that glue was commonly used during the Roman and Greek empires. It was used for tackling daily tasks and was quite extensively used in construction projects. Roman civilization also used glue for keeping the mosaic floors and tiles in place. The substance used for keeping them in place so good that they are still in place and intact today. Glues from
So, how did they create glue? They made use of animal hides, hooves, and connective tissue for creating the glue. The above-mentioned parts were slowly cooked until they turned into a jelly-like substance. This substance was dried and then stored as a powder. If you wanted to use it, you simply had to water to it and get busy. Glues underwent a resolution during the 20th century.
It was during the WWI that different iterations of glues were invented including nitrocellulose glues that were flammable and milk glues. Glues improved drastically during the 1930s. It was during this time that the industrial glue was introduced. Scientists relied on their experience from the ‘plastic revolution’ to create synthetic resin glues.
Further development of glue happened during WWII. Newly discovered compounds such as neoprenes, epoxies, and acrylonitriles were used for the next-generation glues. Glues played a critical role in performing temporary repairs in and out of the battlefield.
The modern age of the superglue was made possible because of the accidental discovery that was made by Harry Coover Jr. In 1942, Coover and his team at Eastman Kodak were experimenting to come up with means of creating clear plastic gun sights for the war. The team was focused on cyanoacrylates. These materials were famous for their sticky properties. Coover was able to foresee the potential uses of these materials beyond war, and by the 1950s, he released the very first consumer-ready superglue.
Superglue soon find its applications not even in households but also in the aerospace industry, medicine, construction, and engineering. It has been estimated that the consumption of glues will reach $50 billion in 2020.