This week in history on March 17, 1845 a method of manufacturing elastic (rubber) bands was patented in Britain by Stephen Perry and and Thomas Barnabas Daft of London (G.B. No. 13880/1845). In the early 19th century, sailors brought home items made by Central and South American natives from the sap of rubber trees, including footwear, garments and bottles. Around 1820, a Londoner named Thomas Hancock sliced up one of the bottles to create garters and waistbands. By 1843, he had secured patent rights from Charles Macintosh for vulcanized india rubber. Stephen Perry, owner of Messrs Perry and Co,. patented the use of india rubber for use as springs in bands, belts, etc., and also the manufacture of elastic bands by slicing suitable sizes of vulcanized india rubber tube. Vulcanization made rubber stable and retain its elasticity.
To view Stephen Perry’s patent click here.
To learn more about rubber harvesting and processing , click here.