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The Story of Rubber
Description: A film from the 1930s about the production of rubber by the United States Rubber Company in Sumatra.
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Clip #: TFA-300C
Length: 26:00
Color: B/W
Sound: Silent
Library: TFA Network
Decade: 1930s
Region: South Asia
Country: Sumatra
Subject: Agriculture
Original: 16mm
Keywords:
1930s, map of Southeast Asia with detailed view of Sumatra, Sumatra, United States Rubber Company Sumatra plantation, rubber laborers, native workers felling trees in rainforest to clear land for planting, soil being turned over before planting, ground being marked for seed planting, seeds being placed in bed and left to germinate, workers spreading dry grass over beds to protect seeds from sun, man holding up seed with small shoots indicating seeds are ready to be planted, workers planting and watering seeds, growth 10 days after seedlings are planted, man “bud grafting” seedlings by grafting buds taken from mother tree onto inner bark of young tree, man making incision in bark of the stock, inserting bud and wrapping it with paraffin-soaked bandage, bud graft, budding, a few weeks later stock of old tree girdled twelve inches above the living bud and the top being broken off, stock of old tree being sawed off and exposed surface covered with hot paraffin wax, about four year old trees, about five year old trees being measured for tapping size with standard gauge, workers marking initial cut on tree that has reached tapping size, worker deepening cut to layer of bark that contains latex vessels which makes it ready for daily tapping, tappers beginning their daily tasks at daybreak, rubber tree tapping, latex dripping from tree, worker returning to collect latex from rubber trees after latex has stopped running, tappers using carrying poles to carry collected latex to estate collecting station, man beating hollow log to call workers for lunch break, children and adults waiting on line to be served food, workers emptying pail of latex in storage tank, latex collected in tank cars being transported on narrow gauge railway to factory, United States Rubber Company central factory grounds on the Sumatra plantations, rubber factory, rubber being extracted from latex using process developed by United States Rubber Company, finest crude rubber called “sprayed rubber,” “spray plants,” tank cars being weighed before latex is transferred to storage tanks, latex being pumped from storage tanks to reservoirs on floor above the spraying chamber of each plant, animated diagram of Hopkinson Spray Process for producing dry rubber from latex, tray being pulled from spraying chamber, man pulling apart sprayed rubber fresh from plant demonstrating increase of tensile strength after vulcanization as compared to ordinary crude rubber, workers easily lifting rubber from trays and transporting on cart to baling room for compressing, workers loading rubber into hydraulic presses, workers catching compressed rubber bales traveling down chute, workers loading sacks of rubber into boxcar for shipping to Port of Belawan, rubber being loaded onto cargo ship, Malaya, Port Swettenham, liquid latex being pumped from lighters into cargo ship tanks, temporary living quarters for rubber workers during opening of new estate, permanent living quarters, “Makan besar” (big feast) holiday event with workers sitting on ground eating, public baths with women bathing children, Malay dancers performing for plantation workers on holiday, big game hunting, hunters holding rifles over carcasses of tiger and elephant, Kisaran, monkeys, United States Rubber Company hospital, hospital train transporting patients from rubber estates to hospital, rubber laborers being examined by hospital workers and given blood tests, hospital workers dispensing hookworm medicine and castor oil treatment into female patient’s mouth and ensuring that it was swallowed, nurse examining children, Brastagi mountain resort, Berastagi

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