Fernando Santos Granero

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2. Extractors weighing Castilla rubber balls in Puerto Portillo, Yurua River, circa 1903.

Loreto’s economy experienced an important boost in the 1870s, when the demand for rubber in Europe and the US grew as a result of the development of new industries. Rubber extraction from a variety of trees (Hevea brasiliensis, Hevea benthamiana, Hevea guyanensis, Castilla elastica, Castilla ulei) increased steadily, gradually displacing the region’s other export products. In 1885, by the time Charles Macintosh had introduced the first bicycle tires, Loreto’s rubber exports exceeded 1,000 metric tons, and represented 88.5% of the value of its total exports.

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