Chapter

The Tropical Cost of the Automotive Age: Corporate Rubber Empires and the Rainforest

Richard P. Tucker

in Insatiable Appetite

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780520220874
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923812 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220874.003.0006
The Tropical Cost of the Automotive Age: Corporate Rubber Empires and the Rainforest

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This chapter is concerned with the rubber industry. It reveals that rubber can be commercially grown either on vast one-crop plantations or as the primary cash-earning commodity on multicrop smallholder farms. The next few sections identify the various sources of rubber and study the search of explorers in the Amazon for the Hevea brasiliensis and the harvesting of Amazonian jungle rubber. These are followed by a discussion on the American rubber corporations on Sumatra as well as the rubber plantations that spread in North Sumatra. The search for alternative sources of supply is examined, which took rubber corporations to the Philippines, Chiapas, Liberia, and Amazonia. Finally, the chapter discusses synthetic rubber, natural rubber groves, the rubber industry in Indonesia, and Harvey Firestone's rubber plantations in Liberia.

Keywords: rubber industry; sources of rubber; Amazonian jungle rubber; alternative sources; synthetic rubber; natural rubber groves; Harvey Firestone

Chapter.  23002 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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