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24-Apr-2015  Düsseldorf / Germany

A Düsseldorf invention conquers the world

The Pritt glue stick – a genuine success story

It was over 40 years ago that the first-ever glue stick from Pritt began its conquest of the world. It took just two years from the idea put forward by Henkel researcher Dr. Wolfgang Dierichs in 1967 to the manufacture of the first Pritt glue stick in the form of a twist-action lipstick: small and convenient, clean to use and always ready to hand.

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Open Slideshow First Pritt stick in 1969

It was lipstick technology that inspired Henkel Researcher Dr. Wolfgang Dierichs to develop a similarly extensible glue stick – small and convenient, clean to use and always ready to hand.

Open Slideshow 1969: The first-ever glue stick from Pritt begins its conquest of the world

1969: The first-ever glue stick from Pritt begins its conquest of the world, reaching annual global sales figures of currently around 100 million units.

Open Slideshow 1969 Pritt stick advertisement

Prior to the invention of the Pritt stick, the only glues on the market were liquid in form. Henkel’s adverts for this Düsseldorf invention are a common sight.

Open Slideshow 1972: Pritt “Alleskleber”

1972: Pritt “Alleskleber” or “All Purpose Glue” joins the Pritt family.

Open Slideshow 2011: The disposable Pritt ECOmfort correction roller

2011: The disposable Pritt ECOmfort correction roller is launched as a world innovation – as the first correction roller with a case made of almost 89 percent plant-based plastics.

Open Slideshow 2001 Prit stick space - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev

With the adhesive prowess of the glue stick having been confirmed in space by the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev in 2001, Pritt products were awarded the mark of “Space Proof Quality.”

Open Slideshow Pritt stick production in Düsseldorf

Each year in Düsseldorf alone, Henkel manufactures more than 90 million Pritt sticks for sale in 30-plus countries.

Open Slideshow Products from the Pritt family are ideally suited to kids’ art and craft activities.

Products from the Pritt family are ideally suited to kids’ art and craft activities.

Open Slideshow The Pritt stick since 1969

The Pritt stick since 1969: – a genuine success story.

Open Slideshow 2015 Pritt stick

The latest Pritt stick.

Prior to the invention of the Pritt glue stick, the only glues on the market were liquid in form. “The trick was getting the glue to stiffen,” remembers a current Henkel product developer, Nils Hellwig. “This was eventually achieved through a combination of a soap gel and a water-soluble adhesive. The soap has the effect of making the substance solid while masking its adhesiveness. However, once the stick is rubbed on paper, say, the adhesive components of the water-soluble glue compound are released to work their sticky magic. The material becomes soft enough to create an adhesive film on the substrate.” The adhesive prowess of the product was even confirmed in space by the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev in 2001, resulting in the Pritt glue stick being awarded the mark of “Space Proof Quality.”

The product range has been steadily extended since with the advent of Pritt All Purpose Glue (1972), Pritt correction and adhesive rollers (1989), the ECOmfort correction roller (2011) with its casing made from 89 percent plant-based plastics, and Pritt Kids’ Craft Sets (2015). Equally important, the Pritt glue stick formulation has undergone continuous further development since it first came onto the scene. The focus here is on sustainability – and thus product safety and environmental compatibility. Consequently, the entire range of Pritt adhesives has long been free from solvents. Around 90 percent of the adhesive substance contained in the glue stick is made from natural raw materials. “In 1991, Henkel started the process of switching from petroleum-based PVP glue sticks to plant-based solutions. And Pritt has been fully committed to this environmentally compatible alternative since the year 2000, with PVP having been completely removed and replaced by natural starch compounds. Moreover, since 2012 we have been using a home-grown industrial potato in order to avoid unnecessary transportation,” Hellwig explains.

Each year sees global sales of 100 million units of this Düsseldorf invention with its striking red casing, twist-action stick extension and screw top. And each year in Düsseldorf alone, Henkel manufactures more than 90 million Pritt glue sticks for sale in 30-plus countries.

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