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The History of Elmer’s Glue

Elmer’s glue was first introduced by the Borden Company in 1947. It was created by a team of chemists headed by Ashton Stull, the VP of the company’s chemical division from 1938 – 1968. The Borden Company was originally a dairy business, which is fitting because one of the prime ingredients in this early form of glue was casein, the protein in dairy milk. Borden called their original product Cascorez Glue. Consumers liked the white glue for its ability to spread easily, dry clear, and be washed off school desks and hands. The company had been using Elsie the Cow on their milk products for many years, and she had an established husband named Elmer the Bull. In advertising campaigns, Elmer was frequently fixing things for Elsie, so the company realized he was a perfect fit as the mascot for their glue. By 1951, the company had repackaged the former Cascorez Glue in a white squeeze bottle with an orange twist cap and renamed it Elmer’s Glue-All; the new logo featured Elmer’s face and name prominently. The easy-to-use packaging and strong marketing campaign helped Elmer’s Glue-All pull ahead of the competition. Today, the product is known simply as Elmer’s Glue and is now made with non-animal products. And while the product line has been expanded to include many specialty glues, the familiar white squeeze bottle with the orange cap and Elmer’s face on it can still be seen in nearly every household and classroom.

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