Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Harry Coover, Super Glue inventor, dies at 94

By the CNN Wire Staff
Harry Coover got the idea for Super Glue during a lab accident at Eastman Kodak.
Harry Coover got the idea for Super Glue during a lab accident at Eastman Kodak.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • He hit upon the idea of Super Glue during a lab accident
  • Coover was 94
  • He is survived by his three children and four grandchildren
RELATED TOPICS
  • Obituaries
  • Technology
  • Tennessee

(CNN) -- Harry Wesley Coover, best-known as the inventor of Super Glue, has died at his home in Kingsport, Tennessee, a funeral home there said Sunday.

He was 94.

The cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Coover got the idea for Super Glue during a lab accident while working for Eastman Kodak, said Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes.

He was studying compounds for use in optically perfect gun sights and impact-resistant jet canopies when an assistant complained that new refractometer prisms were wrecked because they got glued together, according to the funeral home.

In fact, cyanoacrylate -- the chemical name for the glue -- was rejected by researchers at first because it bound everything together. But Coover saw its potential.

The glue was first sold as a commercial product in 1958, according to the Super Glue Corp.'s website. It has since become synonymous with curiously powerful adhesives.

Coover was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation last year for his work.

He is survived by two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren.

 
Quick Job Search