Who Invented the First Rubber? Here Is An Explanation And Its History

Monday, May 6th, 2019 - History

Rubber is a hydrocarbon polymer material that is elastic, rubber is produced from the extraction of several trees that grow in moist climates, such as Para trees (Hevea Brasiliensis) or commonly known as rubber trees which are known to produce sap and become rubbery.

Rubber is also one of the most traded commodities in the world. Rubber is produced from the sap of the milk of the tree when the tree is exposed to a wound on the skin.

Regarding the history of rubber and who first discovered rubber, about 3,500 years ago, Indians living in the South American region were familiar with rubber produced from tree sap.

Rubber Latex
This rubber is used by the Indians as a raw material in making balls for a game called Tlachtlic. This game is a combination of soccer and basketball.

This game has long been played by Indians and the Aztecs of Mexico, especially for the Aztecs themselves who lost the Tlachtlic game will be sacrificed to the gods.

The history of rubber is also found in the record of Christopher Columbus, a famous explorer in the 15th century when exploring the American continent. In his notes, he said he saw the natives playing with rubber balls.

The rubber then became known in Europe in 1735 when a mathematician and also a French explorer named Charles Marie de La Condamine were attracted by the sap that came out of the Para tree. Charles then named the sap as Latex which means fluid or liquid.

Then in 1770, Josep Priestley (1733-1804) a British chemist discovered the use of rubber for the first time. He found that rubber can be used to erase writing from a pencil. He then named the object as “Rubber” which means Rubber.

In 1791, Samuel Peal made waterproof clothing and footwear. He made it from a mixture of rubber and turpentine (pine sap).

Charles Goodyear
Then in the 18th century, Thomas Hancock of England discovered vulcanized rubber. At the same time Charles Goodyear, an American inventor, also discovered accidental retread rubber. The retreading process increases the durability and flexibility of rubber.

In 1876, Henry Wickham then brought thousands of rubber seedlings to the Southeast Asian region which later became the main producer of rubber.

In 1879, Gustave Bouchardat (1842-1918) was known as a French physician and chemist, inventing synthetic rubber. This synthetic rubber made bicycle production increase when the first system tires in the world were produced in 1890. Beginning in 1909 several types of synthetic rubber have been found throughout the world.

There are various uses of rubber. Until now the rubber is the main raw material for tires. Rubber is also widely used in medical devices, especially in devices that require flexibility and resistance to shock.

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