The authors recount how the synthetic rubber industry was created virtually overnight following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They examine early attempts to extend natural rubber reserves. The rest of the story is that of the full scale effort by government, industry, and academia to develop a viable alternative to natural rubber within a short time and on an economically sound basis. The authors also provide an account of what has happened to the synthetic rubber industry between the end of the war and 1980, identify some lessons that can be learned from the synthetic rubber experience for government-industry programs, and draw parallels between the rubber dependency of the 1940s and the energy dependency of the 1980s.
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