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How super glue was invented | Moments of Vision 8 - Jessica Oreck

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Today, super glue is a nearly indispensable household item — but its incredibly sticky nature almost caused it to be abandoned in the development phase... twice. In the eighth installment of our ‘Moments of Vision’ series, Jessica Oreck shares the wartime origins of this sticky substance.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Jessica Oreck
  • Director Jessica Oreck
  • Animator Jessica Oreck
  • Composer Eli Janney, Nate Shaw
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Jessica Oreck

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
To learn more about the creator of super glue, read Harry Coover's obituary in the New York Times. Coover's work didn't end with the idea for super glue; he still had to get the product from the lab to  stores. You can read more about how super glue is made and manufactured here

From battlefield wounds to household repairs, super glue has had many uses. Super glue has even been used as a crime-fighting tool in fingerprint analysis. Find out how to use super glue fumes to reveal fingerprints here.  

Super glue has also inspired many adhesive innovations. Though Coover's cyanoacrylates have been used to treat wounds on the battlefield and even in the operating room, they have side effects that should make you think twice about using it on your own cuts. Surgical glue serves the same purpose, but doesn't carry these side effects. Similarly, super glue has been used underwater in aquariums to glue corals to rocks. Now, scientists are on their way to an even better underwater adhesive based on the way mussels attach to rocks. 

Check out this timeline for a brief summary of 70,000 years of glue. 

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Jessica Oreck
  • Director Jessica Oreck
  • Animator Jessica Oreck
  • Composer Eli Janney, Nate Shaw
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Jessica Oreck

Share

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