Distillations #113 – Burning Rubber

This show highlights one of the lesser know scientific ventures of World War II – the US Synthetic Rubber Program. This was an unprecedented collaboration of the top scientific and business minds of the day to develop an alternative to the natural rubber supplies that had been cut off at the start of the war. First, a segment on the scientific history of natural vs. synthetic rubber. Then an interview with historian Mark Finlay, author of Growing American Rubber: Strategic Plants and the Politics of National Security.

This show was a companion to CHF’s new online exhibit Rubber Matters.

Image courtesy of the Delaware Public Archives. Billy Evans turns in some old rubber to the Atlantic filling station of L. E. Wadman, 1603 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, DE.  June 15, 1942.

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