Rogers Fish Glue - Yep, FISH glue!

This may come as a surprise, but glue used to be made from animals. You know the old expression wherein an old, tired  horse was sent to the "glue factory"? Yeah, well, that's because at one time, that's the only kind of glue that there was.
I knew that before I came across this tiny ad in the back of Popular Mechanics, but I'd never heard of "fish glue". In college, I was a work-study laborer in the theater, and the paint used for scenery had animal glue in it. It helped it hang onto the various surfaces better. Normal house paint doesn't have animal stuff in it, generally, because you're almost always painting on a properly prepared surface. In theater, you could be painting metal or almost any kind of surface. So, apparently it's still a good idea to use hooves or connective tissue for improved adhesion in "less than ideal situations".I'm pretty sure that most commercial glues these days are made from synthesized materials. At least Elmer's glue claims that none of their products have animal parts.

 Well, if I think back to my theartical days, the animal paint smelled decent right out of the can, with a little less "edge" than house paint. However, because of the biological material in it, it could spoil! Paint was often left in buckets  in the corner of the shop (with wooden covers on them) for several weeks at a time. After a week or four in those buckets, the smell was impressive. It smelled like paint with rotting beef carcasses in it, strangely enough. Spoiled or not, it was still useable. So, the tech director woul just use a stick to lift off the moldy skin on the surface of the paint, stir the remainder, and the show went on. Rogers is the best liquid fish glue? Was there fish glue that came in a powdered form? Was there glue gas? Some glue came in solid form and you had to melt it to make it liquid. I now recall that we also used that in the theater. Some days you wished you had no nose.

Yeah yeah. History lesson over. Frikkin FISH? Ick! Modern, normal, syntho-glue can be smelly stuff. How bad would fish glue smell? I can't imagine Maybe any chair fixed with fish glue would have to be retired from kitchen use?

Also not to be missed were Rogers' other animal products...

Rogers Stoat Paste
The best stoat paste you can buy!

Rogers Gazelle Slurry
Add to your cement for super gazelle power!

Rogers Extra-Humane Baby Harp Seal Muck
Why use monkey muck when there are seals?

Rogers Elephant Brooms (extra curvy style)
The broom that never forgets!

Rogers Experimental Worm Rope
Now with less grossness than our previous worm rope!

Rogers 4'x8' Eagle Boards
Proud... majestic... rectangular!

Rogers Clammy Shamois
Remember how to pronounce "shamois" with our rhyming clammy shamois!

Rogers Turtle Wax
We put turtles in the wax! Don't ask why!


Anonymous said...

...as I just finished dusting off the "glue pot", this funny, interesting, and I don't get it thing popped into my mail. Perhaps scene shops for the theatre are the only places where such materials may still be found--and sometimes used. I'm sure more viewers would be attracted to "animal" glue, since fish glue is about as obscure as it gets. Even old-timers like me never heard of it. Till now.

Anonymous said...

I bought a box of Roger's Fish Glue at an auction about 40 years ago. It didn't smell bad, and its neatest thing was that you could apply it to paper, let it dry, then lick it as you would an envelope and it stuck! It came in little (2 ounce?) bottles and reminded me of LePages Mucilage. Now I gotta look THAT up.

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