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Vulcanite plaque, c 1840.

Vulcanite plaque, c 1840.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm


Made from vulcanised rubber by Thomas Hancock (1786-1865), the inventor of rubber manufacturing proceses. Vulcanite, also known as ebonite or hard rubber, is a semi-synthetic plastic as it is a modification of a natural substance, rubber. To make vulcanite, sulphur is heated with natural rubber, producing a harder material. This ornate plaque was sealed in a glas fronted frame for a Rubber Exhibition held at the Science Museum in 1929.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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