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Name: Shelley
Status: educator
Location: CA

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,
Burr Zimmerman

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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