Even the most successful business people make mistakes or propose ill-conceived ideas. Such was the case when mega-successful Henry Ford conceived a plan to plant and maintain his own rubber plantation in Brazil. At the time, Ford Motor Company was probably one of the largest consumers of rubber in America, used in the production of their wildly popular Model T’s.
Historically, the Amazon had long been the major source for the world’s rubber supply – that is until a Brit by the name of Henry Wickham stole some seeds and sold them to the Royal Botanic Garden. The rubber plants did very well and soon they were sent to British colonies in the Far East. As it turned out, the Far East was a more hospitable place for rubber plantations than were the jungles of the Amazon.
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