THE PREPARATION OF PLANTATION
SIDNEY MORGAN, A.R.C.S.
VISITING AGENT FOR ESTATES IN THE EAST; FORMERLY SENIOR SCIENTIFIC OFFICER
AND NOW HONORARY ADVISER TO THE RUBBER GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION
WITH A PREFACE AND A CHAPTER ON VULCANIZATION
HENRY P. STEVENS, M.A. (Oxon.,) Ph.D., F.I.C.
CONSULTING CHEMIST TO THE RUBBER GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION IN LONDON
CONSTABLE & CO. LTD.
LONDON : BOMBAY : SYDNEY
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY
BILLING AND SONS, LTD., GUILDFORD AND ESHER
Mr. Sidney Morgan’s work on Plantation Rubber in the East is so well known that he hardly needs introduction.
An earlier book, published in 1914, by the Rubber Growers’ Association, entitled “The Preparation of Plantation Rubber,” was well received and widely read. This book dealt in a very practical manner with problems with which the industry had to contend. A second edition was subsequently published. Both editions are now out of print. The present opportunity was therefore taken to revise the original work, with the result that it has been enlarged and practically rewritten. The information given is brought up-to-date, and covers the whole process of production, commencing with the planting of the tree, passing on to the collection, coagulation, and curing of the rubber, and concluding with the packing for export. In the course of his work for the Association, Mr. Morgan carried out a great deal of industrial research in rubber production, including lengthy experiments on tapping, the use of different coagulants and different conditions of coagulation, and also on varying modes of rolling, drying, and smoking rubber. He also went very fully into the types of construction and details of the machinery and buildings employed on estates.
Much of this valuable work has escaped notice, owing to its having been published in reports with limited circulation. Also a great deal of information was supplied to planters in a quiet and unobtrusive fashion, in interviews, visits to estates, and on other similar occasions. The knowledge and experience thus accumulated has been embodied in the present volume. The subject-matter should interest not only those actually engaged in rubber planting, but those otherwise directly or indirectly connected with the industry, such as importers, brokers, and particularly the rubber manufacturers in this country and in America. My experience has been that manufacturers as a whole have but a vague idea as to the methods employed in the preparation of plantation rubber, and this work provides them with the opportunity of obtaining an insight into the actual operations on the estates. It is most desirable that a closer bond should unite the plantation and manufacturing rubber industries. Such a result is best promoted by a better understanding of the problems with which each is confronted. Perhaps I may go so far as to suggest that some leading scientific officer in the employment of one of the large manufacturing concerns may take in hand a book which will give the planters the equivalent of information in regard to the manufacturing industry which the planters are now offering to the manufacturers.
The photographs in the earlier part of the book will give the layman some conception of the enormous amount of labour that must be expended in the opening up, planting, trenching, and weeding the plantations which have replaced the virgin jungle. The authors are indebted for most of these photographs to Mr. H. Sutcliffe, one of the mycologists of the Rubber Growers’ Association. The pictures of spotless coagulating tanks and tiled verandahs regularly hosed down will indicate the cleanliness necessary for the preparation of the beautifully clean sheet and crepe rubber which became available with the advent of plantation rubber. These results are largely due to the work of Sidney Morgan and his colleagues, on whom the planters have relied for technical guidance and advice.
As regards my own contribution this is confined to a general outline of the subject. I have, therefore, omitted reference to a number of matters which would have been dealt with in detail had space permitted. The information given is based on researches on vulcanisation carried out for the Rubber Growers’ Association by the writer over a period of nine or ten years. It was not found practicable to give detailed references in all cases. The reports on which the conclusions are based will, however, be found among the regular quarterly reports made by the writer for the Association up to June, 1919. Subsequent reports have been published in the Monthly Bulletin of the Rubber Growers’ Association. We are indebted to the Association for permission to publish details from these reports, and also for the use made of numerous earlier reports published both in London and in the East.