Tears of the Tree: The Story of Rubber

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Imagine a world without rubber--neither tires for driving or flying nor bouncing balls for sports, neither seals for washing machines and dishwashers, nor medical gloves--no elastics. This unique book tells the fascinating story of four thousand years of rubber--from its significance in Mayan religious rituals and culture to its pivotal role in today's world. It is seen through the lives of the adventurers and scientists who promoted it, lusted after it and eventually tamed it into the ubiquitous, yet crucial material of our lives today. It also examines the lives of those who caused the deaths of millions of natives in Africa and South America while seeking to satisfy the developing world's demand for this material. Written in a biographical format, the book examines why rubber ages and deteriorates and how the ravages of time may be ameliorated. It deals with our current concern for the environment and various options for 'waste disposal'. For the majority of people who think they know 'the truth' about rubber, this book may offer many surprises.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"... a brilliant, really wonderful and unique book. ... exceptionally interesting to people who know nothing of the technical aspects of the subject."--Mark M. Green, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY

"During his career as an analytical chemist in the rubber industry, Loadman was often asked by museums and art galleries to help identify and conserve old rubber items. His interest in the history of rubber grew, and gradually encompassed the health, safety, and environmental concerns of natural and synthetic rubbers. Here he offers a history of rubber from its first use in Mesoamerica about 1600 BC to the present." --SciTech Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198568407
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/2/2005
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Loadman began his working career as an analytical chemist with the Natural Rubber Producers' Research Association (now Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre or TARRC, Hertford, UK) in 1967, having obtained a Master's degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Durham. He continued in that area of work through to retirement in 1999, having reached the position of Head of the Materials Characterization Group.

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Table of Contents

1. The Mesoamericans and the 'All American Ball Game'
2. Europe Goes West
3. What's in a Name?
4. The Battles of the Giants--Charles Goodyear
5. The Battles of the Giants--Thomas Hancock
6. Rubber Goes East
7. The King and the Congo
8. Slaves to Rubber
9. Competition!
10. The Heavy Mob
11. Chemicals and Curatives
12. Padding or Performance Enhancer?
13. The Rot Sets In
14. Death and Destruction
15. Timeline

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