25 Feb Throwback Thursday: LePage’s Gripspreader Mucilage
When I was a kid my parents had a bottle of what looked like to me like maple syrup with a weird orange applicator in their bedroom wardrobe. I mean I knew it was glue because my dad used it to seal all of his business correspondence, but it was the strangest glue I’d ever seen and it was unlike anything we used in school back then. To my young eyes It looked like something from decades ago that my parents should have long since discarded of, but perhaps had a fond memory and/or liking of that made them hang on to it.
I distinctly remember trying to get the glue to flow from the cap was an interesting and sometimes time awkward process (perhaps it only seemed that way because I was often sneaking to do it without permission), that required you to press down and drag the applicator. The glue would then ooze through the slit in the top and you could glide the applicator across to smooth it out. As a kid, I think I did a wee bit more oozing and sliding than was necessary.
I’m not even sure If the bottle my parents had even had a label on it (it was just that old), which is why it wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned the true name of this amber-colored concoction, Lepage’s Gripspreader Mucilage. From what I can find online, the 145-year-old company no longer manufactures this particular glue, and split into an American and Canadian company back in the 40’s, but is still in business.
- The glue was made from fish skin and was often referred to as fish glue
- Wilson Nelson Le Page (the inventor of LePage’s) was ahead of his time when it came to marketing and is reported to have “spent a fortune” advertising his many inks, glues and lubricants
- It is reported between 1880-1887, more than 50 million bottles of LePage’s was sold around the world
For a more extensive look at the history of this company and their glue, visit here.