Letter from Richard Clarke to M. Gardissal

Scope and Content

Letter from Richard Clarke, Secretary, to M Gardissal, 17 Boulevard St Martin, Paris, concerning the introduction of Gutta Percha to England and India. Clarke is replying to a letter from Paris addressed to Lord Auckland, President. He records that the first mention of Gutta Percha was when a whip made of this material was presented to Society by Don Jose d' Almeida (a Portuguese merchant who had settled in Singapore) in April 1843. His inquiries have been assisted by a notice he has received from John Royle, MD, Professor of Materia Medica at Kings College, London, and in the service of the East India Company that no attention had been called to this substance before a Dr Mongomery (resident in Singapore) imported considerable quantities to Calcutta, East India House, as well as to Society of Arts in London (in 1842/3), but he has reason to believe that smaller amounts may have been imported by individuals previously. The Calcutta samples were analysed by a Dr Monck and results reported in print in the Gardeners' Chronicle in December 1843. Since that time large quantities have been imported into this country where it is used for a variety of purposes. The letter ends advertising the Society's journal, published by Parker of the Strand, London. (Found on page 71)