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American Sealants Company collection

Identifier: WLM-2019-001

Scope and Contents

The American Sealants Company collection comprises an oversize scrapbook, loose and framed photographs, and publications. As explained in a letter attached to the inside front cover, the scrapbook was a celebratory gift to Nan and Bob Krieble from Barb and Don Correll, commemorating twenty-five years of the company's growth and their work together. The scrapbook pages provide a historical narrative of the early years of the company (1956-1963) and include advertising bulletins and publicity, price lists, letters, memos, lists of sales representatives, application case histories, and at least two photographs.

The photographs series includes additional loose photographs and two framed items. The publications series includes copies of Drop by Drop: The Loctite Story, 1953-1980 by Ellsworth S. Grant, and The Loctite Story by Kenneth W. Butterworth. A newspaper, Loctite Sealant News, as well as an article about Trinity professor Vernon Krieble from The Hartford Courant Magazine are here as well.


  • Creation: 1956-1988

Biographical / Historical

In December 1953, Dr. Vernon K. Krieble, Professor of Chemistry at Trinity College, established American Sealants Company (not to be confused with currently operating American Sealants Inc., out of Fort Wayne, Indiana). Krieble, who had become Trinity College's Scovill Professor of Chemistry in 1920 and served on the faculty until his retirement in 1955, had discovered a way to make anaerobic permafil from tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether in the Clement Chemistry Lab on Trinity's campus. The product of this process was a compound known to harden in the absence of air.

Dr. Krieble had been encouraged to work on this chemical by his son, Robert "Bob" H. Krieble, an organic chemist who had first heard about the possibility of synthesizing tetraethylene glycol dimethacrylate, while managing one of GE's chemical materials businesses in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in the early 1950s. Bob Krieble sought to solve the problem of selling and shipping the compound because it would harden in the absence of air, but it was Vernon who ultimately conducted the necessary experiments in the Trinity Chemistry Laboratory. The solution came to him in early spring of 1953. Still, Krieble's compound required delicate packaging, which fortuitously arrived in the shape of breathable polyethylene bottles from the Plax Company (a subsidiary of Emhart Corp.) in Hartford. That innovation in bottle manufacture allowed the product--soon to be named Loctite, by Bob's wife Nancy Krieble, in reference to its potential to hold and tighten mechanical fasteners--to be sold without an attached air compressor.

The first commercial sales of the product across state lines occurred in October 1954. The first known use of the name "Loctite" in an official way occurred in December 1954 at the Directors' meeting of the American Sealants Company. After test-marketing Loctite Sealant Grade A early in 1955, Paul Haviland was hired on July 1, 1955, to work as sales lead. Market research was conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, who concluded that American manufacturers required some 1.5 billion locknuts and 11 billion lockwashers on an annual basis for use in their products. By May 1956, the company had registered "Loctite" as a trademark. By June of that year, Bob Krieble had decided to leave his job at GE and join the company as Vice President, under his father Vernon, who served as the first President of the company. The first public unveiling of the product for the news media occurred on July 26, 1956, at the University Club of New York, where some 25 newspaper writers and editors were given the opportunity to see and feel the product in their very hands. The first Loctite patent was issued in July 1959.

Once Vernon Krieble retired from teaching at age 70 in the spring of 1955, after thirty-five years at Trinity College, he turned his full attention to producing Loctite. With help from Trinity chemistry technician Walter C. Hallberg, who spent time after work bottling Loctite, Krieble mixed and prepared 10cc bottles for direct sale to equipment manufacturers (at $4.50 per 10cc bottle), at first in the Trinity College laboratory. A year later, American Sealants had expanded its workforce to four, as Douglas C. Lee was hired to advertise and promote sales. Large scale distribution of Loctite had led to annual sales of over $500,000 by the end of 1958. Sales exceeded one million dollars by 1961, and the return on the original investment grew well beyond imagination.

The various techniques that American Sealants Company utilized to sell Loctite included the writing of application case histories, technical data sheets, and memos to machine-part industry representatives. Loctite could be used on refrigerators, pipe plugs, hydraulic fittings, bulldozers, lawnmowers, and automotives. Different grades of Loctite were developed for different uses. Vernon echoed his son Bob who claimed that "any company that has a smokestack can use Loctite sealant." Packaging and product development went hand in hand, as the company responded to various suggestions and recommendations from industrial representatives. One of those companies was the welding firm Correll Engineering Company of St. Louis, whose stamps may be seen on several of the sales documents originally housed in the Scrapbook in the collection. By 1959, however, a move was begun away from independent representatives like those hired by Correll to full-time salesmen. That year the first full-time Loctite salesman hired was Theodore "Ted" Patlovich, who had begun as a Loctite sales representative for John Kemp of Chicago.

In 1963, the American Sealants Company changed its name to Loctite Corporation. In 1997, the German manufacturer Henkel acquired Loctite in a friendly take-over bid. In 2023, Loctite was touted on Henkel's corporate website as "Henkel's biggest brand" in 2020 by sales turnover.


3 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into three series:

Series 1. Scrapbook

Series 2. Photographs

Series 3. Publications

Immediate Source of Acquisition

John P. Preysner, Jr. (who retired as Vice President and Associate General Counsel/Compliance and Privacy Officer, Henkel Corporation) donated most of the collection to the Watkinson Library in 2019. An extra copy of Drop by drop : the Loctite story, 1953-1980 was added to the collection in 2023 from materials which were donated by Henry DePhillips. A newspaper clipping (Hartford Courant) and an issue of Loctite Sealant News were removed from the Watkinson Library's Trinitiana collection and placed in the archival boxes with the collection in 2023.

Related Materials

Two publications are catalogued with the Watkinson Library's book collection: Drop by Drop: The Loctite Story by Ellsworth S. Grant (Loctite Corporation, 1983), Watkinson Faculty-Alumni X K92zD; and The Loctite Story by Kenneth W. Butterworth (New York: The Newcomen Society of the United States, 1989), HD9999.A44 L6225 1988.

There is also a one-hour video documentary on the "Loctite Corporation" available from the Raether Main Library (Media Videocassette (Level C) VID 2310).


The Loctite Story, Henkel Corporation, Spotlight Magazine (July 8, 2020), (

Ellsworth S. Grant, Drop by Drop: The Loctite Story (Loctite Corporation, 1983), Watkinson Faculty-Alumni X K92zD.

Processing Information

Items in the scrapbook were removed from plastic sleeves and placed in acid-free folders, per the direction of the Director of Special Collections in 2020. Most folders were labeled with the exact title that appeared on the original labels attached below each sleeve in the scrapbook (these labels, when possible, also were removed and accompany the items they describe); an approximate title of each group of items was assigned if no label was present. To facilitate access, folders also were labeled with an artificial page and item number assigned when the scrapbook was disassembled. Items which still had tape or glue were attached to acid-free paper before inclusion in the new folders. The original scrapbook was kept and placed in Box 3.

One oversize newspaper was placed in an acid-free sleeve and two framed photographs were left in their original frames; these items also may be found in Box 3.

Guide to the American Sealants Company collection
Eric Stoykovich, College Archivist, and Amy FitzGerald, Processing Archivist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Watkinson Library - Archival Collections Repository

Trinity College Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford Connecticut 06106