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Is Glue Made From Horses? -Facts you should Know before Assuming

In the history of discovery and invention, there is one common trait found that discoveries are found in the most unexpected places. For example, cocoa beans were used as currency in the Aztec empire at one point, then made into liquor, and finally, we have our modern-day chocolate. This article will lead to an answer to your question “Is glue made horses?” The below information has some most uncharted facts and assumptions that you all should know.

Is Glue Made From Horses?

History of Glue

Similarly, the history of glue is one such exciting journey that has been going on since the start of modern mankind. About 4000 years ago, the residents of ancient Egypt boiled the animal tissues, hides and hooves for an extended period of time to get an adhesive which we call glue. Alternatives like tree sap from species like birch, tar, and others were also used to make glue, but the most common method was to use animal parts to get the sticky substance.

Animals are the Glue Producers

Frequently used animals for making glue are cows, pigs, horses, and surprisingly, fish. The usage of glue made from different animal parts also varies accordingly. Fish glue was generally used in paintings and illuminating manuscripts while the glue procured from the hooves of animals was used for binding and water resistance purposes. All over the world, from Greece to China, people made glue using different animal parts. Chinese used fish, ox, and stag horns to manufacture adhesive pigments. Now, you must be wondering about the connection to animal parts with the adhesive, which we all commonly use in our everyday life and might probably be feeling mildly disgusted. But, the main reason for using animals to make such a sticky substance is due to collagen, which is found in large quantities in the hooves and bones of animals. The word collagen itself means ‘glue’ in ancient Greek. 

Yes, Glue is made from Horses

One of the animals most suitable for making glue is a horse. This is due to a lot of collagen found in the four-legged runners. Collagen is basically a type of protein found in the connective tissues like tendon, cartilage, and ligament. Horses that were not able to perform well in races or which had any ailing predicament and were supposed to be put down were used to make glue. That’s why it was said that dying or dead horses were ‘sent to the glue factory.’ As the horses are large muscled animals, the availability of collagen is excessive as compared to other animals like pigs, etc. The primary objective of glue was its property of being sticky when wet and hard when dry, so it was used to bind utensils, metals, books, and other products. The glue made from horses is not necessarily better in quality; the only purpose of using horses was due to the quantity of collagen found.

Uses of Horse Glue

Horse glue is mainly used for antique items that need to be repaired, glass art, woodworking, bookbinding, and other such processes. Especially in the bookbinding method, animal glue is beneficial as it takes longer to dry, which gives time to the workers to finish off their work correctly. Many violin makers around the world prefer to use animal glue for their instruments as it gives off a better finish compared to synthetic adhesives.

Bottom Line:

Since the 1700s, horses have been actively used to manufacture glue when the ranchers used to dispose of the dead bodies to glue factories. In 1932, a US-based company called Elmer’s produced a product called ‘all glue,’ made from synthetic and plant-based substances, which also resulted in uniformity and better shelf life. Since then, many governments have implemented strict laws and regulations regarding the use of animals for the production of glues, and it is illegal in many countries.

Shirley Campbell

Hi, I am Shirley Campbell. I am an animal lover and love to take their photographs as well. I like writing, reading and knowing more about animals and science. I have researched a lot about horses, cats, and dogs. I love writing articles about horses. In my leisure time, I like to play with my cat or sip my long americano reading my favourite book.

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