All Purpose Adhesives in the 1800's
What did pioneers use as an all-purpose adhesive? Today,
we use duct tape. What did the pioneers use?
There were natural materials available that were sticky... pine tar, pitch,
and other resins from plants come immediately to mind. There is evidence of
man using amber as glue as much as 11,000 years ago. In ancient Egypt, man
knew how to boil fish or animal skins to make glue as well, although to
pioneers that might be more difficult. It might be difficult to maintain the
fires, carry the pots, and catch the animals/fish while driving a wagon
across the prairie.
Hope this helps,
They had several recipes of 'home-brew' pastes that were usually made from
baking goods - such as flour and water, or milk based pates for indoor
use. Hide glue (made from animal hide - hence the name) could be used
for projects that needed a bit more strength and weather resistance.
David Brandt, P.E.
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Update: June 2012