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Guayule Rubber Industry in Salinas, California, ca. 1942
BANC PIC 1962.006--fALB
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Preparing the seed beds in the nursery. The ground must be finely pulverized. Note the duckboards and the overhead watering system.
New Seed sower. Plants seed in two inch strips with five inch space between. Seed hopper in front, and hopper in the rear.
One of the first seed planters, which broadcast the seed on the ground and covered it with sand.
[Machine working the field]
Nursery seedlings, eight months old, ready for digging and transplanting to the fields.
Topping seedlings prior to digging for transplanting to the fields. Group of General Tire Company officials and wives watching process.
Closeup view of seedling topper.
Another original machine, which Bud Spencer is driving, loosens the dirt around the nursery plants when they have been topped. The roots go straight down for eight to twelve inches and this operation makes it simple for the laborers to gather them, one of the few hand processes in the growth of guayule. Dr. David H. Spence, Stanford University rubber chemist, maintains that the cheapest way to grow guayule is to harvest the plants when they are at this stage. William O'Neil, General Tire's president, believes this system should be adopted for emergency development of a rubber supply.
Laborers picking seedlings from the beds after digging same.
One year old seedling, showing hundreds of flowers. Each flower produces five seeds. Estimated production for a mature plant is between two and five thousand seeds per year. Present seed collecting device, to date, has only collected about ten seeds per plant. Therefore, this device needs perfecting.
Six row seed planter. Each man plants about 50 plants per minute planting them in rows thirty-six inches apart and twenty-eight inches apart in the rows. An electric device on a corn planter check wire makes it possible to cross-cultivate both ways.
Seed planter starting operations on March 5, 1942, the day the President signed the Guayule Rubber Bill. Executives of the General Tire Company acting as the laborers.
Planting operations starting March 5, 1942 by the Forest Service. Have planted 70 acres to date, March 16, 1943.
Cross-cultivation is a simple process with this machine.
Mature seven year old field. This field went 2,850 pounds of rubber per acre in 1941.
From this plant which Juan holds can be extracted a quantity of real rubber equal to 23 per cent of the weight of the plant. The rubber comes from the roots and branches, only the leaves having no rubber content. This plant is seven years old. At this age it reaches its peak in rubber content.
Plow which plows two rows, including the roots, piling them all into one row.
Harvesting device which picks up the two plowed rows of guayule rubber, choppes [sic] it up in a sileage cutting device, and elevates it into wagons to be hauled to the mill.
Harvesting device which picks up the two plowed rows of guayule rubber, chops it up in a sileage cutting device, and elevates it into wagons to be hauled to the mill.
Four year old plant. Note yard stick.
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