Elastic band tubing and elastic bands, 1996.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Elastic rubber bands are made by slicing rings from the end of a rubber tube. The rubber tube is made by extruding rubber through a die. At first the tube is plastic and sticky until it is 'cooked' or vulcanized to make it harder and elastic. To stop the tube from closing up and sticking together, air and talcum powder are blown through the tube until the rubber is vulcanized. Made by The Lee-Healey Company Ltd.