Putting glue in stick form was a big innovation in the world of glue. So, while 1969 was a notable year in history for a number of reasons, including the first lunar landing, let’s consider another technical wonder from that year, the invention of the glue stick. The story goes that a researcher in the adhesives division of the German company Henkel watched a woman putting on lipstick and thought how handy the format would be for glue. They went on to release this glue under the Pritt Stick brand name. I have one in their medium size (22g) that is made in Mexico. They also make 11g and 43g sizes and have factories all over the world. The designs for the tubes are slightly different depending on region but they all are red and white and usually feature the jolly “Mr. Pritt”.
As well as a Pritt Stick, I also have a smaller glue stick in my usual brand, the UHU, with its bright yellow tube. Both brands must use almost the same formula as it is amazing just how similar the two glue sticks are. The virtually odorless glues are white in the tube and dry clear with pretty much the same amount of stickiness (this cannot be said for some of the generic brands which I have found to be useless). UHU is also originally a German company and it is still made in Germany, although they are now owned by a multinational, Bolton, with a strangely diverse product line. UHU started manufacturing adhesives in 1932 but I am not sure when they began making their version of the glue stick. Because their glue stick works so well, I can’t figure out why they introduced the UHU liquid glue pen with its gooby, sticky top. Even though they claim it glues wrinkle-free, I have not found that to be the case. It is just messier than a glue stick.
If glue sticks were people they would definitely have Germanic roots. No smelly cologne for them, these guys have good posture and are unobtrusively great connectors at a party. They are efficient and handy to have them around.