Episode 113: Burning Rubber

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. Image courtesy of the Delaware Public Archives.

Rubber has played a shockingly dramatic role in our political and military history. In today's episode we revisit the consequences of the natural rubber shortage during WWII—a topic explored in CHF's new online exhibit Rubber Matters. First, Sarah Reisert tells us how the wartime rubber crisis led to the development of synthetic alternatives. And next, our executive producer Jennifer Dionisio speaks with historian Mark Finlay, author of Growing American Rubber: Strategic Plants and the Politics of National Security, about how lessons from that era may help us in the event of a future shortage.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:32 Introduction
01:00 Natural vs. Synthetic Rubber
04:12 Interview with Mark Finlay
12:03 Closing Credits


Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music from Music Alley and Magnatune. Additional music includes “Island Dance," by Empyrion, "Rubber Robots - Intro Long," by Charlie Catura, and "Bop and Bounce," by Ken Kurland.

Image courtesy of the Delaware Public Archives.

Posted In: History | Society | Technology

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