Etching by George Sala taken from the 'Great Exhibition 'Wot is to Be', a satirical look at the forthcoming Great Exhibition of 1851. The top half of the image depicts uses of Gutta Percha, one of the first plastics used by man. The items include 'Gutta percha cricket balls, wickets and bats, warranted to win every game, and strongly recommended by Lillywhite' and 'Gutta percha ear trumpets, by which a sermon can be heard at twenty miles distance. The bottom half of the image represents 'The marvel of Holloway's pills', including 'Greenwich pensioners, elated at having no further use for their wooden legs'.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library