I sometimes think Wikipedia gets a bad rap, because even though virtually anyone with a computer has the power to edit a page to his or her liking (however temporarily), I’ve found that the Wikipedia community more or less keeps its facts within hailing distance of what’s historically right. Take the Beatles’ Wikipedia page, for example: The very first sentence of the entry includes the words “pop,” “rock,” “Liverpool” and “1960.” Good enough for me. Wikipedia is a bona fide font of information. It may not always be 100% accurate, but it will usually point you in the right direction.

Anyway, I was cruising Wikipedia’s adhesives page today (as I am wont to do), and I came across the following fun facts:
  • In medieval Eurasia, egg whites were used as glue to decorate parchments with gold leaf.
  • The first actual glue factory was founded in Holland in the early 1700s.
  • Paul E. Cope is reputed to have invented thermoplastic glue [circa 1940] while working for Procter & Gamble as a chemical and packaging engineer. His invention solved a problem with water-based adhesives that were commonly used in packaging at that time. Water-based adhesives often released in humid climates, causing packages to open and become damaged.
See what I mean? Even if the first glue factory wasn’t founded in Holland in the early 1700s, it at least seems plausible. And should an incorrectly stated fact rear its ugly head from time to time on Wikipedia, so be it. Isn’t that the whole point of academia, anyway - to promote debate as one of the many steps on the road to a greater truth?

Click the link below to visit Wikipedia’s adhesives page. And be sure to let us know if you think Wikipedia is a worthwhile resource by posting a comment.