Our other sites
Today's newsletter | Register | Subscribe | Feedback

Barry Copping Blog

The strange case of the gutta percha on the beach

By Barry Copping
Posted 18 October 2012
How did this end up on a Cornish beach?

Given PRW’s original full title Plastics & Rubber Weekly, we are occasionally criticised for sparse coverage of the rubber scene. I remember remarking on this at my interview for Features Editor, adding “and you don’t publish weekly either”. But I got the job anyway.

But enough of these preliminary maunderings. I was pleased and intrigued to receive a rubber-related query from a Cornish resident. Here it is:

“A few months ago, I found this block, washed up on a beach in North Cornwall after Hurricane Isaac. I wasn’t sure what it was made of (it seemed like a cross between wood and MDF!) but I was intrigued by the name. Then yesterday I found another one.

“While doing some random searching on Google into the name Tjipetir (a place in West Java and the trade name for [the natural rubber] ‘gutta percha’ apparently), I came across a photo from the Collectie TropenMuseum in the Netherlands. The picture is dated 1894-1929."

The production facility? (from the TropenMuseum, Amsterdam, dated 1894-1929)

 “This got me thinking – is the Tjipetir plant still using the same production methods from 100 years ago, or could these blocks have been in the sea a while – that is, are they from a shipwreck? How could I find out if the Tjipetir factory still exists (there are numerous sepia prints of it on Google) – and whether these are recent exports or older? Any pointers you can give would be very much appreciated.”

Can any would-be Detective Supt Wycliffes (given the Cornish location) or Jane Marples help my correspondent? If so, please click on “Send us your thoughts on this blog” below, or email me on bcopping@crain.com.

[ Back ]

Send us your thoughts on this blog



TOOLBOX

ALSO IN THIS SECTION
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Site Index [ + ]
Site Index [ - ]
Home:  PRW.com | Contact editorial | Contact advertising | Features List 2015 | About us
End Markets:  Automotive | Packaging | Construction | Medical | Consumer Products | Rubber
Processes:  Injection moulding | Blow moulding | Extrusion | Thermoforming
Supplier News:  Machinery | Materials | Recycling | Moulds | Design
Polymer Prices:  LME prices | Market outlooks | Resin selector
Industry Issues:  Environment | Regulation Competitiveness
Plastics Knowledge:  Knowledge Bank
Comment:  Champ Chat | Editorials | Business features
People:  Movers & Shakers
PRW Business Directory:  Directory
Classifieds:  Jobs | Classifieds
View:  Mobile | Desktop
Our Events:  PDM | Conferences
Industry Awards:  Industry Awards
Diary: Diary
Advertise with PRW
Subscribe:  PRW print | E-mail products
Reprints:  Reprints
List Rental:  List Rental
Crain Communications:  Crain Communications | Crain Publications

Entire contents copyright 2015 by Crain Communications Inc.
Plastics & Rubber Weekly and PRW.com are published by Crain Communications Ltd (registered in England & Wales No. 01576350).
Registered Office: 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA, United Kingdom.