Summary: Few commodities that moved from South America to Europe and North America have had more impact on our economy and future developments in technology than the sap from Hevea brasiliensis, the rubber tree. In this section you read about the competition (and sometime cooperation) among those who recognized that the production of durable forms of rubber would transform the world and make them fabulously wealthy in the process. Latex and the vulcanized rubber that can be produced by rubber have chemical and physical properties that make it uniquely suited for a wide variety of industrial, military, and other commercial uses.
- Reading due 27 March
- First draft due 28 March
- Comments due 30 March
- Final draft due 3 April
Essay: Detail the contributions of Goodyear and Hancock to the development of the rubber industry. Explain how competition between the two either helped or hindered this effort. Also, describe the physical and chemical properties of vulcanized rubber that make it such a unique material. You may have to do a little bit of googling to help you with this last part of the assignment.