Rubber ball from Peruvian child's grave, c 1600, and rubber seeds, 1876-1934.

 
Rubber ball from Peruvian child's grave, c 1600, and rubber seeds, 1876-1934.
4 0 c m
 
31cm
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm

Description

Rubber is a natural polymer, harvested from a tropical tree species, Hevea Brasiliensis, indigenous to South America, where indigenous inhabitants had used it for centuries to make rubber balls, galoshes and waterproof cloaks long before it reached Britain in the late 1700s.The two seeds on the left were part of a batch of 70,000 brought to England from the valley of the Amazon by Sir Henry Wickham (1846-1928) in 1876, which were then used to establish rubber plantations in Malaya. The larger three seeds on the right came from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1934.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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