One plantation started with 50,000 Indians but, when discovered, only 8,000 were still alive.Slavery and systematic brutality were widespread, and in some areas, 90% of the Indian population was wiped out.The owners of the plantations or rubber barons were rich, but those who collected the rubber made very little as a large amount of rubber was needed to be profitable.The rubber barons rounded up all the Indians and forced them to tap rubber out of the trees.Centered in the Amazon Basin, the boom resulted in a large expansion of European colonization in the area, attracting immigrant workers, generating wealth, causing cultural and social transformations, and wreaking havoc upon indigenous societies.It encouraged the growth of cities such as Manaus, Porto Velho, and Belém, capitals within the respective Brazilian states of Amazonas, Rondônia and Pará; as well as the expansion of Iquitos in Peru. There was heightened rubber production and associated activities from 1942 to 1945 during the Second World War.Around 1736, a French astronomer recalled how Amerindians used rubber to waterproof shoes and cloaks.
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Others chose not to participate in the rubber business and stayed away from the main rivers.
Because tappers worked in near complete isolation, they were not burdened by overseers and timetables.
Latex is practically a neutral substance, with a p H of 7.0 to 7.2.
However, when it is exposed to the air for 12 to 24 hours, its p H falls and it spontaneously coagulates to form a solid mass of rubber. For example, exposure to air causes it to mix with various materials, which is perceptible and can cause rot, as well as a temperature-dependent stickiness.At higher temperatures, the rubber became softer and stickier, while at lower temperatures it became hard and rigid.