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Rubber Band

Rubber Bands... The answer to everything.

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History


Rubber Band (n) - An elastic loop of natural or synthetic rubber used to hold objects together.

Origins of Rubber

rubber plant
The Mayan People used latex to rubber for entertainment and functional uses. Latex is the sap of various plants, mostly from the rubber tree. If you expose the sap to the air it hardens and become 'rubbery'. Over the year various cultures learnt that if you add certain other juices and saps to the mass it becomes more elastic and lasts longer.


Origins of Rubber Bands
This seems like a pretty hot topic. The are many reports of people 'inventing' it. I want to get into a rubber band war, at least not one that doesn't involve firing them. So here are the stories I have come across, The first being the most likely.
  • 1845, Stephen Perry, of the rubber manufacturing company Messers Perry and Co., invented the rubber band to hold papers or envelopes together. On March 17, 1845, Perry patented the rubber band.
  • 1845, Invented in England on March 17, 1845 by Dr. Jaroslav Kurash.
  • 1923, On March 7, 1923, William H. Spencer of Alliance, Ohio, began making rubber bands in his basement by cutting hem out of discarded rubber products.
Modern Rubber
There are three types of modern rubber.
  • Natural Rubber - Latex is extracted from rubber trees (family: Euphorbiaceae). This is done by tapping into the bark layers not from the sap.
    Tapping the bark of a Rubber Tree.
  • Synthetic Rubber - About 3/4's of the world rubber come from crude oil. In general, to make synthetic rubber, byproducts of petroleum refining called butadiene and styrene are combined in a reactor containing soapsuds. A milky looking liquid latex results. The latex is coagulated from the liquid and results in rubber "crumbs" that can be melted down and used.

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