A Brief (200,000) Year History of Adhesives

history - colosseum

We are now well into the 21st Century, and at Evans Adhesive we know that our heritage of sticking things together goes way back.

But how far back might surprise you…

200,000 Years Ago

The earliest use of adhesives is discovered in central Italy when two stone flakes partially covered with birch-bark tar and a third uncovered stone from the Middle Pleistocene era were found.

70,000 Years Ago

The first use of compound adhesives is discovered in Sibudu, South Africa. Stone segments that were once inserted in axe hafts were discovered covered with an adhesive composed of plant gum and red ochre to prevent disintegrating under wet conditions.

6,000 Years Ago

Tribesmen had buried their dead together with food found in broken clay pots repaired with tree resins.

5,200 Years Ago

Pitch, which require heating of tar during its production, used to connect the stone or metal parts of spear and copper hatchet to the wooden shafts.

4,000 Years Ago

The use of bituminous cements to fasten ivory eyeballs to statues in Babylonian temples.

2,000 Years Ago

Romans began using pozzolanic cement in the construction of the Roman Colosseum and Pantheon.  Greeks began the use of slaked lime as mortar, while Egyptian paintings depict wood gluing operations and a casket made of wood and glue in tombs.

1,000 Years Ago

Mongols construct bows with laminated lemonwood and bullhorn bonded by an unknown adhesive.

500 Years Ago

World-renowned cabinet and furniture makers such as Thomas Chippendale and Duncan Phyfe began to use adhesives to hold their products together.

329 Years Ago

The development of modern adhesives began in 1690 with the founding of the first commercial glue plant in Holland. This plant produced glues from animal hides.

269 Years Ago

In 1750, the first British glue patent was issued for fish glue. The following decades of the next century witnessed the manufacture of casein glues in German and Swiss factories.

189 Years Ago

Natural rubber was first used as material for adhesives starting in 1830.

172 Years Ago

The first US postage stamps used starch-based adhesives when issued in 1847.

152 Years Ago

The first US patent (number 61,991) on dextrin (a starch derivative) adhesive was issued in 1867.

143 Years Ago

 In 1876, the first US patent (number 183,024) was issued to the Ross brothers for the production of casein glue.

106 Years Ago

The pressure-sensitive tape industry is born.   Today, sticky notes, Scotch tape, and other tapes are examples of PSA (pressure sensitive adhesives.)

108 Years Ago

By 1927, solvent-based thermoplastic rubber cements for metal to rubber bonding come into vogue.  Two World Wars in the 20th Century would also push advances in the development and production of new plastics and resins even further.


Evans Adhesive is proud and determined to carry on the tradition of helping people stick things together long into the future.  To learn more about how we can help you, or to request a free adhesive sample, simply contact us.