The History of Rubber Bands

The history of the rubber band can trace its roots back thousands of years. The modern rubber band goes back to the mid 19th Century. While the original rubber bands were made from the Latex sap of rubber trees, rubber bands today are made from more modern technology and materials.

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The Mayans

The Mayan Indians used sap from rubber trees and juice from vines to create a durable and elastic material to bind things together. This is the first type of rubber band in history.

1845

Not until 1845 did the modern rubber band get invented. Two people, Stephen Perry and Jaroslav Kurash both separately invented and patented the rubber band in the same year, on the same day.

1923

The first mass production of rubber bands was by William Spencer in 1923 in Alliance OH. They were made in his basement from hems cut from discarded rubber products.

Types

There are two types of rubber used throughout history for making rubber bands. Natural rubber, from rubber trees; and synthetic rubber which is a byproduct of crude oil from refining and mixed with soapsuds.

Uses

Rubber bands have had many uses in history. They have held structures together in earlier days, as well as being used as weapons. Today they bind together documents, food, and many other items.

References

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