Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/327

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321
THE GUAYULE

rays and cortex (and certain others which we need not mention here) contain rubber. There is no rubber in the canals, nor is there any rubber, or rather latex, vessels. It is for this reason that, while it is not possible to extract the rubber by tapping, it is possible, by comminution of tissues, to work together or agglomerate the minute particles of rubber set free by breaking the cells which hold them. It is equally evident that chemical agents may be used for extraction by solution, but this process is of less interest in this connection. We may now pass on to examine the methods of handling the shrub and the process of mechanical extraction.

 

Collecting the Shrub

The primary problem of collecting the shrub and transporting it to the factory is a difficult one. The shrub, growing wild, being contracted for, the purchaser is free to go and get it. This means that

PSM V81 D327 Hauling guayule in mexico.png

Fig. 10. Hauling Guayule in Mexico.

peons must be hired to collect the plants in desert places often far removed from water and other supplies. They and their burros find their way into steep and rocky places unapproachable by other means. Having pulled up by the roots a carga of shrub, it is loaded on a burro and so off to a central camp, "campo de guayule" placed so as to be approachable by wagon. Here the shrub is baled after the fashion of so much hay. The bales are then hauled to the nearest railway station, sometimes 100 kilometers away, to be shipped to the factory.

Arrived there, the bales are weighed for comparison with the field weight. A certain amount of shrinkage is of course expected, owing to