Pioneers & Legends of the Ceylon Plantation Industry
Sir Henry Alexander Wickham is considered to be the father of the modern global Rubber industry. In 1875, Wickham took 70,000 seeds from the rubber-bearing tree, Hevea brasiliensis, in the Santarém area of Brazil, to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London. Seedlings were then shipped to tropical regions, such as Ceylon, which gave birth to the island’s famed rubber industry. Along with tea and coconut, rubber formed the bulwark of Ceylon’s plantation industry.
Scotsman James Taylor started Sri Lanka’s first tea estate, 19 acre Loolecondera Estate, marking the birth of the tea industry in Ceylon.
The first Shipment of Ceylon Tea, a consignment of 23lb (10kg) arrived in London for trade
The first public Colombo Tea Auction was held at the premises of Somerville & Co. under the auspice of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
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