The man who stole the rubber tree.

Once upon a time rubber was just a toy.The ancient Olmecs took the sap from the Para tree and found they could mold it into a round ball that they then used for a bit of kick about in a game not too dissimilar to football. They also found it made a great substance to keep out the huge rainfall that they often found by counting their clothes in it. After the coming of the Conquistadors and the domination of Iberia into South America the other powers of Europe realised the uses this new material called rubber could be put to. The British Empire looked at Portugalese and Spanish stranglehold on the flow of rubber from South America and they wanted a piece of the action.

We now use rubber in a variety of ways mainly through the use of  Rubber Injection Moulding as provided by companies such as https://www.meadex.co.uk/. But the Empire wanted its own supply so it got a man named Henry Wickham to organise a huge theft of the Para tree seeds under the noses of the plantation owners. Wickham smuggled the seeds back to the UK where the bio experts immediately tried to grow them in the UK and then sent some to Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. These were all part of the Empire with similar climates to Brazil.

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The seeds took and soon the Empire had a steady flow of rubber to sell. The monopoly and the boom of the Amazon supplying natural rubber was over.