< Back |
Main menu |
We're taking a short trip to London, because that's where Thomas Hancock
is living in 1820. In this year Hancock does something to make the rubber business more
Workers operating a rubber masticating
This machine is called the masticator, but most people call it a "pickle". "Masticate" is
a fancy word that means "to chew", and that's just what this pickle does. The pickle is
a giant grinding machine that takes the scraps leftover from raincoat making and grinds
and mashes them into big blocks of rubber that can be used rather than thrown away. This
will in time make it much cheaper for people like Charles Macintosh to
make raincoats from rubber.
The pickle is the beginning of rubber recycling. But recycling rubber would become more
difficult in the future, thanks to something called
Diagram showing the inside
of the pickle.
All images from Thomas Hancock, Personal Narrative of
the Origin and Progress of the Caoutchouc or India-Rubber Manufacture in England. London:
Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1857.
Polymer Science Learning Center and
the Chemical Heritage Foundation