Super Glue Inventor Harry Coover Dies Aged 94

(c) Sky News 2011

Harry Wesley Coover, best-known as the creator of Super Glue, has died at the age of 94 at his home in Tennessee.

Born in Newark, Delaware, Mr Coover came up with the idea of Super Glue when he was working as a chemist for Eastman Kodak (Xetra: 850937 - news) , when an accident led to the discovery.

According to his grandson Adam Paul, an assistant at the company was annoyed that some brand new refractometer prisms were ruined when they were glued together by the substance - more formally known as cyanoacrylates.

In 1951, Mr Coover and another researcher, Fred Joyner, recognised its true potential, and it was first sold as a commercial product in 1958.

Although the glue was first uncovered in 1942, in a search for materials to make clear plastic gun sights for World War Two, it was rejected by researchers because the compound was too sticky, according to the Super Glue Corporation's website.

Barack Obama honoured Mr Coover in 2010 with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

After receiving a degree in chemistry from Hobart College in New York (Xetra: A0DKRK - news) , Mr Coover went on to complete a master's degree and PhD at Cornell University in New York.

He worked his way up to the position of vice president in the chemical division for development for Eastman Kodak.

Mr Coover and the team of chemists he worked with became prolific patent holders, achieving more than 460.

The work included polymers, organophosphate chemistry, the gasification of coal and the now-famous Super Glue - cyanoacrylate.

Mr Coover also had a part in early television history, appearing with Garry Moore in I've Got A Secret, they were hung in the air on bars that were stuck to metal supports with a single drop of his glue during a live television broadcast.

The Industrial Research Institute, for which he served as president in 1982, honoured Mr Coover with a gold medal and the US Patent Office inducted him into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron (MCX: AKRN.ME - news) , Ohio in 2004.

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