It was Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (The Eid) 2004, I had problems livng in Kota Bharu. The major one no income, soon all my saving will be gone. I told my biras ( that is an in law when you marry sisters). I am going back to Machang to make some feasibility study whether I can stay there. Inside my head was Hevea brasiliensis, thanks to the effort of my dad. But I have never said that to him yet…… it was Hevea brasiliensis, the rubber tree,
Before I proceed further let me remind you of the history of rubber. Thanks to the original writer. What causes me to blink was that how much do I have to pump in?
The Story of Malaysian Natural Rubber.
How the rubber industry began
Although they did not realise it, Columbus and his crew were the first Europeans to see this unique substance – rubber. It did not get its name until much later – in 1770, an eminent English chemist, Joseph Priestley, noted the ability of this substance to ‘rub out’ pencil marks, and ever since it has been called rubber in the English language. This is curious, because ‘rubbing out’ has never been an important use of rubber.
In spite of the interest it aroused very little use was made of the new discovery. This was mainly because no one knew how to prevent the rubber becoming sticky in summer and brittle in winter.
In the early nineteenth century, all this changed. In 1820, Thomas Hancock, an Englishman invented a machine, which would soften, mix and shape rubber. It was then possible to dissolve rubber and start making useful products. By coating cloth with the rubber solution it could be made waterproof; the first ‘Mackintosh’ was made in 1823. Soon after there was another important discovery, this time by an American. In 1839, Charles Goodyear found by accident that raw rubber could be improved by heating it with sulphur. The new material produced, called vulcanized rubber, was no longer affected by changes in temperature.
As other inventors found uses for rubber the demand grew. Some of the first products to be made from rubber were hose, conveyor belts, flooring and footwear – these still use rubber today. In the middle of the nineteenth century rubber came from
More rubber from better trees
Rubber is elastic, flexible, airtight, watertight, long lasting and insulating, to mention just a few of its properties. There are thousands of products, which take advantage of these useful properties. Some will be familiar to you, others less so because many rubber products do their work unseen.