Natural rubber (latex) streams from the bark of a rubber tree after grooves have been cut in the trunk first. Latex flows out of the grooves which can be collected in little boxes. If you do this well, the tree will not die and you can tap rubber during many years. Rubber objects were made of latex: bottles, car tires, elastics, raincoats, mattresses, contraceptives, surgical gloves and much more.

The rubber tree originally only occurred in the Amazon area. In 1735 a Frenchman described for the first time how the native Indian population in Venezuela, South-America made rubber bottles from the juice (latex) which flew out of a rubber tree after a groove had been cut in the trunk. In 1876 an English botanist brought seeds from the rubber tree from South-America to the botanic gardens near London. The trees were cultivated in greenhouses and people invented all kinds of applications with rubber. Through London seems and small rubber trees were brought to the various British colonies. Through Ceylon, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore the first specimens ended up in the Far East where later on the large rubber plantations arose. Afterwards, extensive rubber plantations also came into being in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.


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