Super Glue

This passage discusses the "accidental" invention of superglue.

Lexile Level: 990L

Categories: Science & Technology


Some of the world's most useful inventions are the result of failures. That's certainly the case with a popular instant glue. In 1942, a scientist working at Kodak Laboratories discovered a chemical substance called cyanoacrylates. His goal was to make a clear plastic that could be used in gun sights. It turned out that cyanoacrylates didn't work in that application, so he set his formula aside. Years later, he tested his formula again, this time to see if it could be used to make airplane canopies. Once again, he found that it didn't perform as needed. But, while testing cyanoacrylates, the scientist realized that the substance could be used as a super-strong, fast-drying glue. Not long after the discovery of the substance's remarkable adhesive properties, Kodak introduced the first "super glue." Today, there is an entire family of adhesives based on the chemistry that started out as a failure, but turned into a super success.


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