Gathering Rubber Sap, Java, Indonesia


This photograph of workers at a rubber plantation in Java, Indonesia is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. In Java and the East Indies; Java, Sumatra, Celebes, the Moluccas, New Guinea, Borneo, and the Malay peninsula (1923), part of his Carpenter's World Travels series, Carpenter wrote about the rubber industry in Southeast Asia, observing that the “automobile tire has its beginnings in the milky sap of the rubber tree, of which millions have been set out in Malaya. Singapore is the chief rubber market of the world, exporting 1,000,000 tons a year.”

Last updated: September 29, 2014