Rubber Band

Rubber Band

Usage conditions apply
In 1844, the American chemist Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) patented a process for producing rubber that was pliable, moldable and waterproof. In short order, many “India rubber” goods were to be had. This early rubber band came from Leo Hershkowitz, a professor of history at Queens College in New York City who was known for having “Unearthed New York City’s History by Scavenging Archives.” The inscription reads “Metallic Gum E(la)stic Bands / (Man)ufactured under his P(ate)nts of 1844 / Henry Davenport, New York.” Davenport sold an assortment of india rubber goods and, in 1855, received a medal from the American Institute of New York, for “rubber elastic bands.” In 1856 he received a patent for mode of making gutta percha cord.
Currently not on view
Object Name
rubber band
overall; card object is mounted on: 1 5/8 in x 4 1/4 in; 4.1275 cm x 10.795 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object