Crazy Invention

Krazy Glue

This crazy invention bonded with anything it contacted. Harry Coover accidentally invented a glue while working for Eastman Kodak.

He was experimenting with various adhesives to make plastic lenses for rifle sights.

He created a substance that was impossible to work with because it stuck to everything.

It wasn't any good for making lenses but "cyanoacrylate" was an amazing glue. You could glue something instantly.

The bond was also very strong and permanent.

The glue was originally known as "Flash Glue" and then as "Eastman 910" adhesive, which was patented in 1958.

It was discovered that cyanocrylate could be used in forensics.

Fumes from the adhesive reacts with fingerprints and forms a white residue that reveals fingerprints on smooth surfaces.

These various applications of Krazy Glue demonstrates how specific uses for an invention can be discovered after it has been patented.


Kodak and a pharmaceutical company (Ethicon) got together to research how cyanoacrylate glue could be used for bonding skin.

During the Vietnam war, a cyanoactylate spray was used by medics to prevent wounded soldiers from bleeding to death.

According to Coover, soldiers suffering open wounds during battle would often bleed to death before they got to a base hospital.

"Many, many lives were saved," said Coover.

An application was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to use the glue for closing wounds. However, the compound wasn't approved because of the occurrence of skin irritation.

An improved formulation called "2-octyle-cyanoacrylate" (Dermabond) was subsequently developed that was more effective and safer. The FDA approved Dermabond in 1998 for use in closing wounds and surgical incisions.

In 2001, the FDA also approved Dermabond as an effective barrier against common bacterial microbes.

Dermabond can be used for simple cuts on most parts of the body. It works best on cuts that have straight edges that can be pulled together.

It's not recommended for uneven or jagged cuts, deep or infected wounds, or areas of the skin that are tight such as knees, knuckles or elbows, or skin that is exposed to constant moisture or friction.

Dermabond can be applied with a pen style applicator.

The waterproof glue is syrup-like, bonds instantly, and provides a protective barrier to bacterial infection.



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