In 1936, Borden launched a series of advertisements featuring cartoon cows, including Elsie, the spokescow for Borden dairy products.
In 1940, compelled by Elsie's popularity, Borden dressed up "You'll Do Lobelia," a seven-year-old, 950-pound Jersey cow from Brookfield, Massachusetts, as Elsie for an exhibit at the World's Fair. She stood in a barn boudoir decorated with whimsical props including churns used as tables, lamps made from milk bottles, a wheelbarrow for a chaise lounge, and oil paintings of Elsie's ancestors—among them Great Aunt Bess in her bridal gown and Uncle Bosworth, the noted Spanish-American War Admiral.
When RKO Pictures hired Elsie to star with Jack Oakie and Kay Francis in the movie Little Men, Borden needed to find a replacement for Elsie for the World's Fair exhibit. Elsie's husband, Elmer, was chosen, and the boudoir was converted overnight into a bachelor apartment, complete with every conceivable prop to suggest a series of nightly poker parties. In 1951, Borden chose Elmer to be the marketing symbol for all of Borden's glue and adhesive products.
In 1929, the Borden Co. purchased the Casein Co. of America, the leading manufacturer of glues made from casein, a milk by-product. Borden introduced its first non-food consumer product, Casco Glue, in 1932. After World War II, Borden expanded into synthetic resin glues which did not use casein.
The product known today as Elmer's Glue-All was first introduced in 1947 under the brand name Cascorez, packaged in two-ounce glass jars with wooden applicators. Sales did not take off until 1951 when Elsie's husband, Elmer, was chosen as the marketing symbol. In 1952, Borden repackaged Glue-All into the familiar plastic squeeze bottle with the orange applicator top.
Elsie the Cow and her husband Elmer have two calves, Beulah and Beauregard.
Elmer's Glue-All is the best selling glue in America.