Some Interesting Facts About the World of Adhesives

We thought we would take time out from talking all about cyanoacrylates to deliver a more light-hearted message, AAcyanoFamily_2-1-216x300for fun of course.  Even if you are actively involved in the adhesives industry, our guess is that you likely aren’t familiar with the comprehensive history of adhesives. We don’t want to go too deep into the complete details of how one of the greatest inventions known to man came to be, so we thought we’d break it down into a whole bunch of fun, interesting and lesser-known facts about adhesives.

  • Five basic types of glues are, animal glues, water-based glues, solvent glues, two-part glues, and Cyanoacrylate glues (super glues).
  • One-Part Adhesives Discovery– 200,000 years ago, give or take, stones and stone flakes discovered in Italy point to the earliest hint of adhesives use. While obviously primitive compared with today, these stones used a type of tar as their adhesive.
  • One square inch of super glue can hold around one ton.
  • Adhesives can be separated into several groups – adhesives by origin(natural or synthetic), and adhesives by types of reactiveness (drying, pressure sensitive, contact, hot…).
  • Today, the industry of adhesives turns more than 11 billion dollars just in United States.
  • Prehistoric hunters used natural glue to bind stone arrowheads or axe stones to wood.
  • Adhesives based on natural rubber helped inventors to develop the mixture that creates one of the most important inventions of modern time – the car tire.
  • Superglue works better if the surfaces that it touches have a small amount of water on them.
  • The first written record of glue comes from  Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs showed that the casket of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was glued together with a compound made from animals.
  • Glue was commonly used in Europe during ancient roman times, medieval times and the renaissance.
  • The first commercial glue plant was established in 1690 in Holland.
  • Economists are forecasting that the adhesives industry will reach yearly turnover of almost $50 billion around 2020.
  • Glues are compounds that are part of the adhesive family. Glues have natural origin, while adhesives are synthetic.
  • The most popular modern example of rubber-based glue is Rubber Cement.
  • The most eventful time in glue history was in 1st half of 20th century. During that time many scientists and chemist invented new forms of synthetic adhesives with countless properties.
  • One of the most important moments in the history of glue happened in 1942, when American inventor Harry Coover managed to accidentally create the substance cyanoacrylate.  Today we know it as superglue.  He released it for commercial use in 1958.
  • Superglue has countless use cases, from binding surfaces that are placed underwater, forensics (lifting fingerprints from surfaces), woodworking, cosmetics, and even medicine (a variation of superglue was used in the Vietnam war as a tool for closing open wounds).
  • Some estimates show that each year 18.2 kg of glue is used for every person in America.
  • Two-Part Adhesives Discovery– South Africans first discovered two-part adhesives.  This was attributed to a 70,000 year old stone segment. This stone segment had an adhesive combination on it made of plant gum and red ochre.

So there you have it.  All the interesting facts of the wonderful world of adhesives that you can share with friends and family.  If you have any other interesting facts that you would like to share, please email us directly and we will post to our blog.  Thank you again for taking time out to read our blog. 

For more information on selecting the right cyanoacrylate industrial adhesive and how you can improve your productivity in your assembly process, contact us at 1-800-338-5192 or email us at  You can also visit us on the web at


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