JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 347
After 15 or 20 centuries of development of rubber, including merciless horrors and peonage and slavery and brothel farms and whore cities in the depths of the Amazon, and it’s the spread of its development worldwide, who among the hundreds of thousands, millions, of people would’ve foreseen the development of their precious commodity into a rubber kitchen? Perhaps it is sort of like imagining Johnny von Neumann or Chuck Babbage reacting to the use of their precious inventions into a platform for entertaining children with judged performances of stealing cars and killing aliens?
Those feelings, I guess, are unknowable, though the gentle people in those folks might’ve given it all a “of course”, world-weary nod of relinquishing approval. Or not.
But right before the mass of rubber was produced synthetically, and
just as the naturally-produced rubber farms had spread far across the
globe 9and diminishing the former leader Brazil’s share of total output
to about 15%, the London-based Rubber Growers association produced
these two (below) pamphlets extolling the endless uses of their
product. And I really mean ‘endless”, as they propose in these pages
oh-my-rubbery-brothers the rubber house. Not that the exterior of the
house is made of rubber, but just about everything inside was.
The rubber house had rubber floors, and rubber floors cushioned rubber
tables and chairs, and the rubber chairs cushioned rubber seat pads,
and the rubber seat pads cushioned (yes) rubberized derriere’s encased
in rubber pants. And then things spin a little out of control, like in
the kitchen, where the floor, table top, confectionary mould, kneeling
mat, sink lining, hardware cushions and curtains (!) were made or
rubber. (This is only the big-item list, which doesn’t bother with the
rubber hoses, anti-splash nozzles, wringer rollers, ice cube trays,
sink cozies, rubber sponges (!), brushes, mitts, teapot stands, and the
myriad of small, loseable kitchen aids—those are on another list. The
kitchen apron, by the way, is just one of many rubber clothing items,
“made so pretty and delicious that it is a delight to wear”.) Rubber
moves into the dining room in a big way, covering the floor, table top,
seat covers (with cushions stuffed with rubber), lampshades, flowers,
fruit “ebonite picture frames”, drawer pulls, fireplace implement rests
(?), bulb bowls, egg cups and so on. The nursery has the same sorts of
items, with the addition of wall paneling, extra cushioning around the
rubber crib, mattress and mattress stuffing, and, of course the toys.
And so the wish of the Rubber Growers’ rubber house is stated and soon passes into history, along with the stainless steel house, the elevator house, the wind-driven house, the house-on-wheels, and the rest. I think I reached my limit pretty early on with this, but definitely passed the point of no return with the “chic variety” of rubber hats for ladies to match their “dainty rubber parasols”.