ERJ staff report (DS)
Cornwall, UK -- A reader in the UK has written seeking to solve a mystery involving Gutta-Percha.
She writes, "A few months ago, I found this block, washed up on a beach in North Cornwall.I wasn't sure what it was made of (it seemed like a cross between wood and MDF) but I was intrigued by the name. Then yesterday, I found another one.
"While doing some random searching yesterday on google into the name TJIPETIR (the name of a place in West Java and the trade name for 'gutta percha' apparently), I came across some photographs (see link below) from the Collectie TropenMuseum in the Netherlands.
She continues, "Is the TJIPETIR production plant still using the same production methods from 100 years ago.â€¦or could these blocks have been in the sea a while - ie are they from a shipwreck? How could I find out if the TJIPETIR 'factory' still exists (there are numerous sepia prints of it on google) - and whether these are recent exports or older? Any pointers you can give would be very much appreciated.
We are happy to help, and if anyone in the world can help this reader, it is other readers of ERJ. Please contact the ERJ editorial office if you can help and we will forward the information to he enquirer.
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