Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Down Memory Lane - Rubber Machine (Mesin Getah)

Was going tru my old collections of my loyal N70 phone pics that I had snapped during my numerous trip around Malaysia - be it for pleasure or at work when I confronted this nice picture of the rubber machine (mesin getah)that I had snapped during my work visit to a batik company in Terengganu.

Nowadays, rubber would be sold on its congealed foam.. or even in its liquid foam.. no need for processing or anything. During the yesteryears it wasn't like that.

I remembered when I was young around maybe 29 years ago (hehe.. I feel old already), when we went back to my mum's village in Kelantan, we would go first to my late grandma's rubber holding. She was a rubbertapper. During that time, rubber was cheap. Nowadays due to the demand of the latex industry for rubber gloves (surgical or household), condoms and such.. rubber is expansive. Not during my grandma's time. She and us were poor.

I remembered that we usually arrived around noon. Rubbertappers usually went to cut or toreh the rubber trees after dawn, wait a few hours before collecting the liquid rubber. They then need to process the rubber, usually put in a square container, pour a bit of rubber acid, wait for it to gel, then process it using these two machines. First, the processed rubber (looks like a giant milk jelly), would be pressed with the smooth rubber machine first to squeeze out the extra liquid a few time. Afterwards, it would go to the other machine... this machine would also squeeze the excess liquid of as well as pattern or we called it flower to the rubber sheets.

But wait.. it didn't end there. My grandma need to smoke or hang it to dry first. It would take more than a week for the rubber sheet to be ready to be sold. The smell of rubber still lingers on (and it is not really a nice smell)..

So, this picture evoke a warm memory to me. I am very fortunate that I have these pair of machine myself. My hubby bought a rubber plantation from an elderly couple a few years ago. They haven't been to the holding for quite some time so the rubber holding had became a bit of a jungle. We hired a few guys to clean it up, and they had discovered the remains of a hut. When cleared further, they managed to salvage two of the same machines. They are currently in my backyard. Hope I am able to showcase those two as well as part of my legacy as the grand daughter of a rubber tapper.

Al Fatihah to my late Grandma.. Hajah Hatijah.. May her soul rest in peace.

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