Pen tray made of gutta-percha

Made:
1850-1900 in London
maker:
Gutta Percha Company

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Pen tray of gutta-percha, made by the Gutta Percha Company, England, 1850-1900. Gutta-percha was introduced to
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pen tray of gutta-percha, made by the Gutta Percha Company, England, 1850-1900. Gutta-percha was introduced to
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pen tray of gutta-percha, made by the Gutta Percha Company, England, 1850-1900. Gutta-percha was introduced to
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pen tray of gutta-percha, made by the Gutta Percha Company, England, 1850-1900.

Gutta-percha was introduced to Britain by a surgeon, Dr Montgomerie, who presented it to the Royal Society of Arts in 1843 after returning from Malaya (now Singapore), where he had seen it being used to make knife handles and other items. Gutta-percha could be softened in hot water, then moulded into shape before being left to cool and harden. Gutta-percha was also discovered to have electrical insulating properties against water, which meant it was used to insulate the cables for trans-ocean telegraphy, including the transatlantic cables, until the discovery of polythene in the 1930s.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Cable

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Details

DisplayLocation:
Science Museum, Information Age Gallery: Cable
Category:
Plastics and Modern Materials
Object Number:
1984-1097
type:
gutta percha, plastics plastics writing (accessory), gutta percha, plastics
credit:
Donated by H F Wilson
status:
Permanent collection

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