Another one I missed last week – Harry Coover Dead at 94

Perhaps you have never heard of Harry Coover, but I can almost guarantee he has had an effect on your life.

In 1951, Coover, a chemist then working for Eastman Kodak, discovered the adhesive properties of certain cyanoacrylates, leading to development of a quick-drying and strong-bonding paste now known as Super Glue. At the time he was attempting to make an improved eye shield for precision gunsights, when, to determine the refractive index of ethyl cyanoacrylate, he placed the material between the two prisms of a refractometer — permanently sealing the prisms together and ruining the expensive lab instrument.

Kodak originally marketed Coover’s discovery in 1958 as “Eastman 910” (according to Coover because you could put the glue between 2 items, count 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 and it was sealed. It has also been marketed as Loctite Quickset and, of course, Krazy Glue.

During the Vietnam War, Coover developed a cyanoacrylate spray based on the same compound, which was sprayed onto soldiers’ serious wounds to quickly halt bleeding, so the injured could be transported to medical facilities instead of morgues.

Coover was admitted to the Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at www.897wshc.org) and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on March 30, 2011, in Announcement, creativity, history, News, Obits, Science, Technology, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Another one I missed last week – Harry Coover Dead at 94.

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