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Rubber band trivia
The holder for the world record for the largest ball made from rubber bands is John Bain of Wilmington, Delaware.  Or at least John held the record at one point;  it's a record that's subject to frequent change.  The statistics are listed below.  Rubber band balls are very popular, and, yes, the Guinness World Records publication does have a category for the largest rubber band ball. 
 Weight   2,508 lbs
 Height   4 3/4 feet
 Circumference    13 feet 8"
 Time for construction   3 year 2 months
 Cost of materials   approx. $8,000.
 Number of rubber bands   350,000

Christopher Columbus "discovered" natural rubber in Haiti where he saw the natives there playing with balls made from the sap of a tree called "cau-uchu."

We can thank John Priestly for the term "rubber."  He found that natural rubber could erase or rub away pencil marks, hence he called the material "rubber."

No one's absolutely sure about exactly how or when rubber bands came into existence.  One theory is that someone cut an old bicycle inner tube for securing a certain object.  Then others found it very useful and convenient...even though it was not as elastic as today's rubber bands.

Just like people, rubber bands age...and for similar reasons.  Exposure to heat, air and sun light contribute to rubber bands becoming brittle or even disintegrating.  To extend life, rubber bands should be packed in an air-tight bag or container, and stored in a cool, dark place.

Rubber would not be nearly as useful as it is without the process known as VULCANIZATION.  Natural rubber itself is soft, not very resilient, breaks down easily when over-stretched and is not able to return to its original shape after being stretched.  This special heating process discovered by Charles Goodyear overcomes these shortcomings.

Generally speaking, higher-quality rubber bands weigh less than lower-quality bands.  Higher-quality bands are also typically stretchier than lower-quality bands.  It's primarily due to the purity of the rubber used to make the band.  Because they weigh less, more expensive (per pound) high-quality bands are often a better buy.  Why?  More bands per pound. 

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