Haskelite is the brand name of a plywood, once made by the Michigan-based Haskelite Manufacturing Corporation. It was made from waterproof glue developed by Henry L. Haskell. The moldable plywood was originally called Ser-O-Ply. It was used in the construction of various vehicles including military tanks, boats, airplanes, buses, trucks, and automobiles. The plywood was manufactured with different characteristics depending on particular needs and then given a brand name.

Haskelite and PlyMetl plywood panels advertised in a 1922 company catalog


Haskell invented a process for making a waterproof glue called "black albumin glue"[1] which was used to bond wood.[2][3] The sheets made this way were eventually given the brand trade name of "Haskelite" after the inventor.[4]


Fairchild F-46 aircraft of 1938

Haskell plywood was used for construction of experimental and commercial aircraft.[5][6] The first successful commercial airplane it was used on was the 1937 Fairchild Aircraft F-46.[7]

The company produced plywood for use in World War I aircraft.[8][9][10]


In 1939 a waterproof plywood called Duramold, consisting of thin veneers of wood and cloth joined using glue, heat and pressure, and designed for aircraft construction was invented.[11]

The General Bakelite Company and Haskelite Manufacturing joined the Clark Aircraft Company of Hagerstown, Maryland to manufacture planes designed by Virginius E. Clark using Duramold.[12]

Boats and canoesEdit

A 1917 Haskell canoe

Haskelite was also used to make watercraft.[13]


  1. ^ "Manufacturers: Haskell Boat Company". W C H A. Wooden Canoe Heritage Association. 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "Veneers and Plywood". Vol. 24. S.H. Smith. 1930. p. 19. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  3. ^ Williams, Leonard P. (December 22, 1952). "Into Plywood Business". The Ludington Daily News. Ludington, Michigan. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com  .
  4. ^ "Haskelite, a Plywood for Boat Construction". Motor Boat. Vol. 17. November 10, 1920. p. 38.
  5. ^ "Haskelite, Hughes to Build Planes". The Ludington Daily News. August 1, 1939. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com  .
  6. ^ "New Johnson Twin 60 adopts Haskelite". Aero-Digest. 10: 2. 1927. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Ludington is Birthplace of Plywood Airplanes". The Ludington Daily News. July 15, 1943. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com  .
  8. ^ Cabot, James L. (June 26, 1993). "Local Company Contributed to war effort". The Ludington Daily News. p. 4.
  9. ^ "Carrom Company Is Diversified". The Ludington Daily News. September 3, 1965. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com  .
  10. ^ Beld 2012, p. 99.
  11. ^ "New Process Developed by Chicago Firm". Chicago Tribune. January 22, 1939. p. 25 – via Newspapers.com  .
  12. ^ New York Herald Tribune (July 9, 1939). "Speedy Production of Planes is Seen". The Miami News. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com  .
  13. ^ "New Material Used in Boats". The News-Palladium. Benton Harbor, Michigan. June 24, 1939. pp. 1, 3 – via Newspapers.com  .


  • Beld, Gordon G. (2012). The Early Days of Aviation in Grand Rapids. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61423-805-8. OCLC 945368042.

Further readingEdit

  • Dunbar, Willis Frederick (1955). Michigan Through the Centuries. Detroit, Michigan: Lewis Historical Publishing Company.
  • "Marine Engineering and Shipping Age". Vol. 38. June 1933. pp. 208–213. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  • "Plastic Airplane Industry is near". Lansing State Journal. Lansing, Michigan. August 10, 1939. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com  .

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Haskelite at Wikimedia Commons
  •   Media related to Haskell canoe at Wikimedia Commons