Harry Coover, who has the distinction of being the father of Super Glue, cyanoacrylate, died at the age of 94 on March 26 at his home in Kingsport, Tenn. His accidental discovery led to a myriad uses — from practical to practical jokes — and has even helped shape our hobby.
As hobbyists we have seen ethyl cyanoacrylate help push coral propagation techniques to new areas allowing a safe and non-toxic way to secure coral frags to rocks and other porous surfaces instead of rolling around the aquarium like a tumbleweed. For everyone who has glued a quarter to the floor or run around the house with a tube of glue or their fingers attached together, Super Glue has also provided some funny and harrowing memories as well.
Like many inventions, Super Glue was accidentally discovered as Coover and a team were looking to find a new plastic suitable for gunsights during World War II. The product was durable but stuck to everything and was scratched. Later he had the major epiphany that he did not have a casting agent — but a super glue.
For more information on Coover, his life and his inventions, the Los Angeles Times is one of many publications with a very informative obituary. Thank you Mr. Coover from reefers everywhere!