Bainbridge, New York Is The Home Of An Iconic Childhood Arts And Crafts Staple
I live about a half hour away from Bainbridge and I travel to that area all the time. I've done it all: officiated basketball at the high school and played softball at the General Clinton Park. I've stopped into the Old Antique Center and eaten ice cream from Country Classics.
But it wasn't until recently that I took a close look at the sign that welcomes you to Bainbridge.
Bainbridge: Home OF Elmer's Glue
The sign says "Welcome to Historical Bainbridge, established 1786. Home of Elmer's Glue since 1947." Wait, what? You mean to tell me that Bainbridge is the home of Elmer's Glue?
That's correct. The history of Elmer's Glue and Bainbridge are intertwined. Elmer's Glue is no longer in production in the village, but The Borden Company, who mass-produced Elmer Glue, began their business in Bainbridge in 1929.
How did it happen? According to the village's website, a company called The Casein Company invented the forerunner of Elmer's Glue by taking casein, a produced by-product that can be used in several different ways, and making it into a wateproof glue called Casco.
In 1929, The Borden Company bought The Casein Company, along with two other companies and part of a third company who all utilized casein in making their products, and started making the glue that became Elmer's Glue.
It's no longer there but it was the village's largest employer at the time, all the way up through the early 2000s.throughout its history, the glue became a classroom staple. You likely made arts and crafts with it. You may have even eaten some if it (if you were that kid in your kindergarten class.
There is evidence of the glue that "sticks with us" at the Bainbridge Museum. There are many, many products from the last nearly last 100 years on display.